‘Very average’: Union boss slams Trad performance

 

Union threats to embarrass Jackie Trad have proven empty with CFMEU boss Michael Ravbar moving his resolution on Cross River Rail without naming the Deputy Premier.

Mr Ravbar rose this afternoon at Labor state conference to move the resolution, backed by the ETU, to ensure no work commences on the CRR project - and no subcontractors start - until the contractors meet the Government's procurement policy.

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad (centre), with Federal Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Tony Burke and Member for Lilley Anika Wells. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP
Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad (centre), with Federal Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Tony Burke and Member for Lilley Anika Wells. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP

Last week Mr Ravbar flagged potentially amending the resolution after calling for Ms Trad to resign.

"There's one on Cross River Rail," he told reporters last week.

"It doesn't say Jackie but you can amend resolutions. I might decide to get up and amend the resolution.

"Who knows. I'll keep my powder dry, we've got a couple of days, and have a bit of fun while we're there."

But this afternoon he chalked that speculation up to media reporting.

"There has been a lot of interest in the last few days about this resolution. A lot of stuff in the media, a lot of hype," he said.

"Sometimes people don't like it when the CFMEU sticks up for their members and their families with regards to jobs."

He said the State's procurement policy was "the best in the country".

"But if you want to go out there and win an election you've got to make sure you deliver it.

"It's easy here talking to the converted. You might be able to con a few but you won't be able to con the majority."

The motion was passed by the conference.

CFMEU Queensland boss Michael Ravbar. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
CFMEU Queensland boss Michael Ravbar. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Speaking to reporters outside the conference, CFMEU boss Michael Ravbar said his union still wanted the Deputy Premier to resign.

He said he was glad that Ms Trad had been set aside from overseeing Cross River Rail.

"It's a fairly strong motion," he said.

"It's also sending a message to the Government (about) how to actually manage projects well.

"They've got a great policy, but they don't seem to be delivering projects very well.

"If you take the personalities out of it, … (Ms Trad) can't actually fix the Cross River Rail anyway because she's been sidelined.

"With other people's involvement I think we can actually hopefully … get it fixed."

Mr Ravbar said Ms Trad's performance while overseeing Cross River Rail had been "very average".

"She ain't popular out there in the public arena," he said.

"If she's going to take on these serious portfolios like Treasury and Cross River Rail, do your job."

United Voice state secretary Gary Bullock and AMWU state secretary Rohan Webb listened in as Mr Ravbar addressed the media.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the State Labor conference today. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the State Labor conference today. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Both Mr Bullock and Mr Webb told The Courier-Mail last week that they would not support any attempt by Mr Ravbar to take on Ms Trad on the floor of the conference.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called for unity, encouraging the party faithful to work together in the lead up to next year's state election.

The Premier told the conference the party would head into the 2020 October election as the underdog, taking a swipe at the LNP's history of preference deals.

"The last two elections have shown us that we're unstoppable when we work together," she said this morning.

"We've shown that when we work together there is nowhere for the LNP to hide. Make no mistake, the votes the LNP will again receive from Clive Palmer and One Nation means we are again the underdog at next year's election," she said.

"But you know what? I don't mind that. After all, 48 MPs is better than seven."

This was met with clapping from around the room.

During her speech, the Premier reaffirmed the Government's commitment to jobs, taking aim at the Newman Government's cuts and touting the 216,000 created since 2015.

People took to their feet cheering when she announced the re-establishment of QBuild.

Ms Palaszczuk also backed the coal, gas and renewable industries, telling the rank and file, "all these jobs are good, decent jobs".