A group of about 40 protesters chanted “we can't eat coal, can’t drink gas, lock the gates” as they gathered outside Ipswich Civic Centre on July 21 to oppose the coal and coal seam gas industries. Inside, Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed a business and community breakfast, co-sponsored by the Ipswich City Council. Outside, a Julia lookalike sat down to a breakfast of coal and toxic coal seam gas “fracking” fluid, in a symbolic protest at the threat coal and coal seam gas mining pose to farmers and residents of south-east Queensland.
At an insurance public forum attended by more than 150 people in Ipswich on April 5, victims of the Brisbane floods of early January shouted, sobbed and pleaded for help from elected council and federal representatives, and the head of the Insurance Council of Australia, Rob Whelan. Despite promises of insurance industry reform from assistant federal treasurer Bill Shorten, residents were angry at the lack of response from many insurance companies to their claims, 11 weeks after the floods that devastated big areas of Ipswich and Brisbane.
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