Premier Campbell Newman speaks at the Gladstone Community Cabinet Consultation at Clinton State School.
Premier Campbell Newman speaks at the Gladstone Community Cabinet Consultation at Clinton State School. Luka Kauzlaric

Rowdy reception as state Community Cabinet hits town

PREMIER Campbell Newman battled more than he bargained for when Community Cabinet came to Gladstone on Sunday.

The Premier and his ministry lent an ear to 126 scheduled community deputations over two hours, while unions and community groups protested outside.

The Electrical Trade Union, Friends of Fisher Street and the Rural Fire Brigade rallied along Harvey Rd as the Premier and his entourage were whisked into Clinton State School.

Inside Mr Newman pledged a "very simple and straightforward" agenda for the state's ninth Community Cabinet meeting.

While "getting Queensland going" and "rebuilding the Queensland government" were at the top of the Premier's list of plans, his opening address didn't make reference to resolving any contentious issues in Gladstone.

Hot topics among community groups were the sale of proposed land for the Calliope High School, more funding for Gladstone Hospital and the Kin Kora round-about.

Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers called on Police Minister Jack Dempsey to contribute to funding for Operation Parasol, the anti-violence police campaign currently funded by industry.

Exodus Tutorial Centre founder Chris Tanner, Medicare Local CEO Jean McRuvie, Gladstone Hospital staff, Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rural Fire Brigade first officer Mike Sibley met with ministers.

After just five minutes with Minister for Education John-Paul Langbroek, concerned parents lobbying against the sale of Calliope High School land were shown the door.

"We didn't really get a definite answer but (the minister) is more understanding now, I feel," campaign coordinator Lynda Ninness said.

"We haven't finished yet. We are going to keep fighting this."

Ms Ninness also spoke to Minister for Transport Scott Emerson about Gladstone children travelling on school buses without seatbelts.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd clashed with protesters and independent federal candidate Craig Tomsett during the day's proceedings.

After the Electrical Trades Union questioned Mr O'Dowd's position on the sale of power company assets, Mr Tomsett lashed out during a press conference.

Mr Tomsett called on Mr O'Dowd to "check his facts" about the issue.

"When is our local community going to be put first, Ken?" Mr Tomsett asked.

"It's about time that you as a representative for your community actually stood up for your community."

Mr O'Dowd retreated from the scrum, before returning to advise residents to vote for a "stable" government.



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