News

Tonight's Shorten visit 'blatant electioneering': O'Dowd

Bill Shorten, the leader of the opposition, visits Albion North Primary School in Melbourne, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. After his visit he held a press conference to comment on the government dropping Labor's Gonski education reform.
Bill Shorten, the leader of the opposition, visits Albion North Primary School in Melbourne, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. After his visit he held a press conference to comment on the government dropping Labor's Gonski education reform. AAP - David Crosling

UPDATE: 

THE battle for Flynn has begun with opposition leader Bill Shorten headed to Gladstone today amid the threat of a double dissolution.

Already the visit has been labelled "blatant electioneering" by Ken O'Dowd.

The LNP member for Flynn, who holds the seat by a slim margin of 5.8 per cent, suggested Shorten had launched into campaign mode "prematurely".

Mr O'Dowd downplayed the looming threat of a double dissolution saying "it was business as usual" for the government until the election was called.

Mr Shorten will be at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre at 6pm this evening to kick off his campaign, in a bid to woo Gladstone voters before they head to the polls.

If the double dissolution is called, that's likely to be in July.   

The electorate Gladstone calls home is a key seat for both major parties given history shows the voters of Flynn are known to swing.

In 2013 LNP member Ken O'Dowd won the seat by a slim margin of a 5.8 per cent.

But it was held by Labor's Chris Trevor from 2007 to 2010.

That places Flynn among the key Queensland seats where Labor will be campaigning hard to pull the swing their favour.

Herbert near Townsville, Leichhardt which stretches from Cairns across Cape York and five other seats in and around Brisbane are among the other Queensland seats named as key battlegrounds.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday cleared the way for a double dissolution election if the Senate failed to pass industrial relations reforms ditched by Kevin Rudd's government in 2007.

The legislation --- calling for the reestablishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission --- has already been before the Senate and if it is rejected again, Prime Minister Turnbull can call the double dissolution election.

Unlike the federal government, which has a term of four years, senators hold their seats for six-years.

But if the double dissolution is called, even those elected in 2013 will be headed back to the polls.

The Labor Party has already named a Flynn candidate, union man Zac Beers --- son of well-known Australian Workers' Union delegate Tony Beers --- to challenge the LNP for the seat.

Although he is yet to publicly begin campaigning.

There have been rumours circulating that Ken O'Dowd won't be endorsed as the LNP candidate to challenge, however Mr O'Dowd's office has confirmed that is "completely fictitious".

EARLIER: 

BILL SHORTEN will today pay a visit to Gladstone as Labor's "2016 election campaign" gets underway.

Mr Shorten will be at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre from 6pm, to take questions from the community regarding key issues, including proposed changes to Medicare.

>> New councillors will work with old exec team: Burnett

>> LIVE COVERAGE: Breaking news and the latest results updates from the council election

Mr Shorten said there was no better place to start his 2016 election campaign than in Queensland.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday cleared the way for a double dissolution election if the Senate failed to pass the key industrial relations reforms.

Mr Shorten said the difference between the Liberals and Labor could not be starker ahead of this year's election.

"I will spend the next 15 weeks campaigning on the same issues I've always fought for - protecting Medicare, decent jobs, better schools, renewable energy and fairer tax," he said.

"Protecting Medicare from the Liberals' cuts will be a fundamental issue this election."

Topics:  bill shorten, medicare, yaralla sports club



New monthly figures show 600 people find employment in region

Latest employment figures for the Gladstone and Rockhampton regions.

Emergency services held up in woman's rail line 'sieges'

Police generic

Woman's late night antics puts Gladstone rail under 'siege'

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'