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Labor 'down but not out': Palaszczuk

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Annastacia Palaszczuk Sharyn O'Neill

QUEENSLAND Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has acknowledged Labor's downfalls and vowed to "never repeat those fundamental mistakes".

She said her small team was now working towards recovering and rebuilding after the March 24 election near annihilation when she spoke at a Labour Day dinner at Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday night.

"Right now the state Labor Party is down, but not out," she told dinner guests.

"Nobody could miss the message we were given by voters - including by those who once supported us.

"We let them down by not listening enough to them and their concerns.

"We let you down by not heeding your complaints on issues like asset sales.

"For that I have apologised and committed the parliamentary team to never repeating those fundamental mistakes.

"Our loss was historic and, to some, unimaginable.

"But I am looking to the future, not the past.

"We must set our sights on regaining government in this state.

"And I say to you all tonight: we will regain government in Queensland."

Ms Palaszczuk said the party must learn from "the errors we made in our last few terms" and re-connect with the community.

She said the ALP and the Queensland Council of Unions had established the T.J. Ryan Foundation to provide a forum for debate on policies and policy development.

"I acknowledge that our parliamentary representation has been significantly reduced," she said.

"So we will need extra support as we begin redrafting our policies and look for new and bright policy ideas.

"The aim (of the foundation) is to develop policies that reflect our basic values and principles and encourage debate through public forums, policy roundtables, guest speakers and research projects.

"The foundation will also be a tribute to T.J. Ryan, one of our movement's shining lights.

"It was Thomas Joseph Ryan's government from 1915 to 1919 that is regarded as having laid the groundwork for the Labor governments that dominated Queensland politics in following decades.

"In particular we should remember his efforts in the areas of industrial relations, worker's compensation, and his work to tackle unemployment.

"Those issues that directly affect people's lives are still central to our cause and will remain so.

"By contrast (Premier) Campbell Newman has already disappointed many of those who supported him by tearing up a written commitment not to sack public servants.

"We now find he is prepared to cut loose up to 30,000 of his employees.

"We actually won't know how many jobs will go until we see the State Budget in September.

"Mr Newman promised to lower the cost of living for Queenslanders.

"But it is hard to meet the cost of living and pay the bills if you have no job."

Topics:  annastacia palaszczuk, labor, may day


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