YOUNG GUNS: Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden with the Young Labor team at his celebration at Norths Leagues Club after claiming victory in the January 31 election.
YOUNG GUNS: Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden with the Young Labor team at his celebration at Norths Leagues Club after claiming victory in the January 31 election. Rob Williams

Labor's youth wing gave Madden a lethal weapon

A PLETHORA of engaged Young Labor volunteers helped give Jim Madden a winning edge in his successful quest to win the seat of Ipswich West.

There is a view that young people aren't as engaged politically as they were in the 1960s and 1970s.

But Young Labor's Ben Gowdie, 19, blows that cynical outlook out of the water.

Mr Gowdie and a group of upwards of 20 Young Labor volunteers in their red shirts knocked on doors and phoned Ipswich West residents, delivered party flyers in letter boxes and manned the pre-poll booths throughout the campaign.

"Young Labor sends people out to the regions because we don't just want to just bring up a party of latte sippers," Mr Gowdie said.

"We want to bring up a party that understands, particularly in our youth wings, politics across all regions of Queensland.

"It develops us to be much better ambassadors, campaigners and fighters for Labor values."

Mr Madden had young volunteers from Ipswich, Tasmania, Victoria and New Zealand working on this campaign and said they made a "wonderful" contribution.

Mr Gowdie said he had learned plenty from Mr Madden and was drawn to work on his campaign due to what he stands for.

"The core principle for Jim is that everything starts at the grass roots. All politics is local," he said.

"The reason I believe in Jim is because he not only listens to people in his electorate and stands up for local issues, but he also has the big picture in the back of his mind at all times at the macro level... of winning government in Queensland so we can better this state.

"I come from quite a privileged background and I felt a draw to give back as much as I could and be involved in as much community development and uplifting as I could, and that is what I relate most to Jim on."

Mr Gowdie has been in the Labor Party since he was 15... and is of the belief that the greatest way to move a society forward is with sound economic policy.

"I also believe that good social policy is good economic policy, and Labor is aligned with all of those beliefs," Mr Gowdie said.

"Labor and Young Labor are tied together in the belief that when we work collectively we create something far greater and far more consequential than we individually are. That is what powers us."

Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood, who first joined Young Labor in 1974, listened to the QT's interview with Mr Gowdie and said it augured well for the future of the Labor Party, Queensland and the nation to have "such articulate young people who can enunciate their thoughts and think properly".



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