Tony Abbott

Federal Liberal/National Coalition leader Tony Abbott left Normanton, in far north Queensland’s gulf country, on November 10, having failed to win Aboriginal elders' backing for his bill to repeal Queensland's Wild Rivers legislation.

The existing Wild Rivers legislation aims to protect the wilderness rivers of the tropical north, and provide Aboriginal control of employment and economic development in the region.

For many union leaders afraid of a Coalition victory on August 21, campaigning against Tony Abbott in the federal election simply means campaigning for Julia Gillard.

With a conservative win on the cards, unions have escalated their pro-ALP campaigning. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) — which has filled Labor’s coffers with more than $340,000 for the election campaign — has enlisted officials for ring-arounds in marginal seats.

“Businesses like making profits”, said Labor leader Julia Gillard on ABC’s Q&A on August 9. She was explaining why Labor opposed the Coalition’s proposal to raise the company tax rate by 1.5%. “If they’ve got to pay more tax and that’s going to cut into their profits, then they’ll think of a way of adding a bit more profit.

“What’s the best way of adding a bit more profit in? They put up prices.

“It, you know, just stands to common sense reason, doesn’t it?”

The Greens lead NSW senate candidate Lee Rhiannon agrees.


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