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Queensland Labor competition policy U-turn long overdue.

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Senator Meg Lees

Australian Democrats

Parliamentary Leader


June 28, 1998-



Queensland Labor Competition Policy

U-turn long overdue


New Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie's U-turn on competition policy reforms announced today i s long overdue but comes too late to save the thousands of regional jobs lost because of Labor's promotion of competition policy since 1990, according to the Australian Democrats.


Democrats Leader Senator Meg Lees said the Democrats have long campaigned against the competition policy reforms because it fails to take proper account of social, regional and environmental consequences of economic decisions.


“Paul Keating's 1995 Competition Policy Reforms, signed off by Labor Premiers Wayne Goss and Bob Carr, was the high water point of a policy that had sacrificed thousands of jobs in regional Australia to feed the profits of big business," she said.


"The Democrats strongly opposed and continue to oppose competition policy in the Senate and in the three State Parliaments where we are represented, but the reforms passed with Labor and the Coalition voting together.


"All the arguments we ran then have now proven to be right and the community backlash against the loss of control over the way business is conducted in their regions is clearly growing.


"The Democrats welcome Peter Beattie's policy U-turn, and will now be increasing the pressure on Federal Labor and the State Governments of Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales where we hold or share the balance of power to follow suit," she said.


For comment, contact: Senator Lees 0418 804 805

For Queensland media, contact Senator Andrew Bartlett 0418 743 789

Enquiries: Alan Jenkins 015 558 711