Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk. Pamela Frost

Annastacia Palaszczuk talks jobs and FIFO in Mackay

JOBS were the focus of Annastacia Palaszczuk's visit to Mackay yesterday morning where she popped in for a quick tour of a Paget business.

She looked around SDV Longwall Support's workshop and offices and chatted to staff about the importance of local jobs.

The business services the equipment used in the mining industry to stop cave-ins while earth is dug out underground.

There was no sign of her Deputy Opposition Leader and retiring Mackay MP Tim Mulherin.

SDV Longwall Support's operations manager Dan Wilkins spoke to Ms Palaszczuk about Mackay's shortage of jobs, especially for young people. He said their business was mainly family-orientated and spoke about the 100% FIFO issue.

"If they fly out, are they going to turn up?" Mr Wilkins said. "Are they going to catch the next flight back? So we want local people."

"That's what I want to see more of," Ms Palaszczuk replied.

She also confirmed her position on the Bowen Basin Service Link, previously known as the Walkerston Bypass.

"This is an important project which is why Labor's Building Queensland will assess the project as a priority," she said.

While in Paget Ms Palaszczuk also made sure other staff knew where she stood on the 100% FIFO issue - against it.

"I want to make sure local people have the opportunity to live and work locally," she said.

There were a few laughs as she toured the office, speaking to staff members who were surrounded by media and Ms Palaszczuk's team. One staff member told her how long he'd lived in Mackay and she asked what the limit in years was when you could call yourself a local.

Another staff member wished her luck in the election, saying "Well, you've got some work to do".

She laughed and agreed.

Ms Palaszczuk flew into Mackay on Tuesday night and spent the night at Mackay Grande Suites.

She chose to eat at Burp for dinner and got up early yesterday morning for a brisk walk along Bluewater Trail.

The Opposition Leader then hopped on a bus to Paget, where she spent about 30 minutes and then left for the airport, bound for Brisbane.



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