Ipswich MPs back Bligh

IPSWICH Labor MPs have backed embattled Premier Anna Bligh to lead the party to the next election.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said Labor was looking ahead to a big year in her electorate.

“I think people expect governments to go the full term or at least as close to the full term as possible,” she said.

“It's going to be another busy year in the Bundamba electorate with new schools opening, the Ipswich Motorway upgrade and, of course, the train line going through to Springfield.”

Mrs Miller said Ms Bligh was the right person to lead Labor to the polls.

“There is no one else who has indicated that they would like to lead the Labor Party and Anna Bligh has indicated that she wishes to stay on as premier, full stop,” she said.

Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan agreed.

“This is a government that has a very big agenda, and is keen to use our full term to see that agenda through,” the Transport Minister said.

“I want to see the new Bremer State High School open next year, I want to see the new ambulance station at Thorn Street finished and I want to see the State Government continue to deliver on the Ipswich Motorway upgrade.”

Ms Nolan said the government was thinking about the people, not the polls.

“To be honest, there's a fair amount of work to be done across Ipswich,” she said.

“No one is thinking about elections, everyone is thinking about the job at hand and the work we have to do.”

A deeply unpopular but defiant Ms Bligh this week reflected on a painful year, but ruled out stepping down as premier or calling an early election.

Ms Bligh said she was not discouraged by plummeting public support sparked by the government's controversial asset sales plans.

“I knew they would not be popular but I don't think that leadership is about being driven, on a daily basis, by polls or focus groups,” she said.

Ms Bligh said she would “absolutely” lead Labor to the next State election due in March 2012.

“I have no intention of an election in 2011,” she said.

Ms Bligh said the hardest part of her year was attending the funerals of six Queensland soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

“Personally you can't help be affected,” she said.

“I'm the mother of boys the same age.”

Ms Bligh said she would welcome a referendum for fixed four-year terms of Parliament.

“I'm not going to commit the funds needed for a referendum without knowing we've got strong bipartisan support,” she said.

A parliamentary committee this week released 55 recommendations to enhance Parliament's under-resourced committee system and improve government accountability.



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