The landmark “People’s Bill” was officially launched in Brisbane last night with Queenslanders saying they’ve had enough of corruption and cronyism and taking a stand for a fair go for all.
About 150 Queenslanders from all walks of life attended the official launch of the People’s Common Rights and Provisions Bill 2014 (People’s Bill) at the Fox Hotel in South Brisbane.
Kym Garrick of Wynnum West, gave a very personal account of why such a Bill is urgently needed in Queensland: she was sacked from her job for having a Clean Air Qld sign in her car.
Other speakers included prominent barrister, Stephen Keim SC, director of the Centre for Environmental Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), Professor Hugh Possingham, Lock the Gate Alliance’s president, Drew Hutton and representatives from community groups.
Community members last month tabled the People’s Bill in an historic event at State Parliament. The Bill aims to restore our common rights eroded by the mining industry and dodgy governments. It sets a new ‘clean agenda’ for the state.
Keynote speaker last night, Stephen Keim, said such a Bill was long overdue in Queensland.
“When one reads the People’s Bill for the first time, one is struck with two conflicting emotional responses. On the one hand, one thinks that this is basic common sense that no one could oppose but, at the same time, one feels that the ideas are in the realm of fairy tale and pie in the sky,” he said.
“It is an indictment of the state of our polity that one does feel that achieving the basic values laid down in the Bill might be unrealistic. Indeed, that emotion underlines how much a strong people’s movement is needed to renew the Queensland democracy.”
Drew Hutton said: “Unfortunately the current Newman government is even worse than the Joh Bjelke-Petersen regime at stripping away Queenslanders rights and that’s why we need this Bill.
"Last night around 150 Queenslanders cheered and applauded this vision for a cleaner and fairer state. When we hold our people's parliamentary debate on this Bill next month, we will be squarely telling Queensland mining politics that the people are coming for you like a hurricane this coming state election, and will clean this place up whether you like it or not."
Last night’s event, live-streamed to viewers across Australia, also featured the Qld Sadies, a travelling troupe of ‘political cleaners’ who offer their services to help make politicians’ offices and dealings more transparent.
They performed their theme song, Clean Up the Political Pigsty, sung to the tune of John Farnham’s classic, Sadie the Cleaning Lady.