Rudd targeted by anti-amalgamation group

3rd September 2007Federal Labor Leader Kevin Rudd will be the target of an anti-council amalgamation campaign to be launched today on Queensland’s Noosa beach.

The Friends of Noosa group was formed in protest of the Queensland Government’s plan to merge Noosa with Maroochy and Caloundra to create a super council on the Sunshine Coast.

Earlier this month, it rallied more than 6000 people from all over the State for a protest march in Brisbane.

Today, they will launch a campaign called ‘Save Noosa, dump Labor’.

Although Mr Rudd opposes the Beattie Labor Government’s council reforms, saying they should be voluntary and done only if locally supported, the group aims to hurt his election chances.

It will encourage residents to dump Labor at the Federal election, unless Mr Rudd agrees to override the State laws.

As part of the launch, effigies of Mr Rudd, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, Deputy Premier Anna Bligh and Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser will be dumped into a large bin.

The group has already taken out newspaper and billboards ads with an image of a man dumping a piece of paper labelled ‘Labor’ into a bin.

It parodies the “Do The Right Thing” anti-littering campaign of the 1970s and 80s.

The Beattie Government’s local government reform, which will cut the state’s councils from 156 to 72, has been unpopular in many parts of rural and regional Queensland.

The Federal Coalition Government has tried to exploit that sentiment in the run-up to the election by offering to pay for councils to hold referenda on the issue on October 20.

Queensland is a must-win battleground for Labor to succed in the Federal election, but the Coalition is hoping the council amalgamations issue will ensure it wins the new seat of Flynn, possibly takes Capricornia from Labor, while retaining Leichardt and Petrie.

SOURCE: AAP and Queensland Country Life.