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Warm welcome for Premier on northern tour

by Eric Tlozek, Wednesday January 16, 2013 - 10:35 EDT
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The Premier has heard concerns about job cuts and falling regional investment, but says most people are pleased to see him. - ABC

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he is being warmly welcomed on his regional tour of Queensland.

After visiting Cairns and the state's far north, he is spending today in Ingham and Townsville.

The Premier has heard concerns about job cuts and falling regional investment, but says most people are pleased to see him.

"I'm really fired up - it's really great to be around regional Queensland again," he said.

"They do feel they get ignored and Brisbane's a long way away and I'm very sympathetic to that, I understand that."

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk is on a listening tour in the state's south west.

She will visit Morven today to discuss cuts to health services in the town.

Ms Palaszczuk says councils have expressed concern about a lack of state government consultation.

"When you take away jobs from these regional towns what then happens is the family then has to leave the towns," she said.

"That means you're pulling kids out of schools, it means people are no longer investing in their local economy.

"This is not good for Queensland, this is not good for the south west and it must stop."

Ms Palaszczuk says the ALP will spend the next two years listening to the concerns of regional Queensland and she will visit Mount Isa and the north west later in the year

"This is the year that Queensland Labor will set about putting together brand new policy," she said.

"We'll be doing that by listening to people and formulating those policies over the next two years in the lead up to the election.

"We have started with a clean slate but there is one thing that I have made absolutely clear that under a Labor Government there would be no assets sales."
Mr Newman will open a new shelter at Ingham in the state's north today.

It is one of 10 jointly funded by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which contributed $30 million towards new shelters after Cyclone Yasi.

Mr Newman says the shelter is a great community facility, but is not a substitute for good preparation.

"At the end of the day the best way for Queenslanders to protect themselves is for everybody to take personal responsibility in the way we maintain our buildings, and prepare for these times of year," Mr Newman said.

Mr Newman says the shelter will provide recreation as well as safety.

"The new shelter will house about 800 people in emergencies but it's also a multi-purpose centre," he said.

"It can be used for all sorts of indoor sports but it's going to have great use and utility for the local community."

The week-long tour will also include Mount Isa, Emerald and Rockhampton.


© ABC 2013

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