Protest outside Regional Parliament

IT wasn’t surprising the sound of around 150 chanting construction workers could be heard from quite a distance.

The vocal group were protesting outside the MECC against the issue of ‘sham’ contracting in the construction industry.

Protests in Mackay are being echoed around the State, with CFMEU members walking off sites around the State, bringing the Brisbane CBD to a standstill and walking off the job at the Gold Coast hospital.

“It is where an employer forces an employment arrangement onto a worker and calls them an independent contractor, where in essence they are actually workers,” said Jade Ingham, Regional coordinator for the CFMEU.

“They don’t pay workers compensation insurance they don’t pay superannuation, at the end of the day these blokes aren’t contractors they are employees,” he said.

Mr Ingham said the issue is more prevalent in the commercial construction sector and there are instances in Mackay being investigated by the union.

Historic day for Mackay

Day one of Regional Parliament is well underway at the MECC.

As members of parliament took their seats, the main auditorium at the MECC began to fill with people of all ages, keen to get a look at democracy in action.

Hundreds of students from across the region will visit Parliament this week and as things kicked off, the kids started to roll in; being told everything about Parliament by teachers, the youngsters were well informed of the workings.

Speaker of the House John Mickel opened proceedings and Premier Anna Bligh followed, speaking of the importance of Regional Parliament, the beautiful place that is Mackay and of course local sporting identities that were born and raised in the region.

“I am very pleased we can bring state parliament to Mackay,” Ms Bligh said.

“It is an important part that people get to see democracy in action,” she said.

Discussion and debate will continue throughout the day, with a free community barbeque at 5pm and question time at 7.30, before day two tomorrow.

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