Bill’s bid for 2016 votes
GLADSTONE workers, union members, retirees, councillors and chairman of the ports corporation were all ears to federal opposition leader Bill Shorten and new Australian Labor Party Flynn candidate Zac Beers tonight.
The federal election has not been officially called but Mr Shorten encouraged voters to choose an energetic Mr Beers in 102 days if there was a double dissolution election, earmarked for July 2.
Mr Beers said he had been disappointed with the representation in the region.
"I've lived in Gladstone for 16 years, I grew up here, I have seen the high and lows of the construction boom," he said reading from his notes.
"This region needs a stronger long term investment. We need major projects and innovative policy for agriculture."
Mr Shorten took to the lectern without notes and spoke freely to the full Labor crowd.
After talking about ALP's vision he answered questions from the audience.
Questions were asked about 457 workers taking local jobs, unemployment rates, jobs for people with disabilities and tobacco taxes.
The audience was impressed with his answers of employers should preference locals, full employment, more jobs and education for people with disabilities.
Except for Brendan Moore who wanted to know why the Labor party was still slugging smokers.
Mr Shorten didn't renege on his party's policy to increase the tax on cigarettes.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chairman Leo Zussino asked Mr Shorten where he stood on returning the $50 million port access road project mothballed by the Coalition Government.
Mr Shorten said he was "very open" to the project and said the ALP would kick the goal that the Coalition had set up by delivering the project.