Labor members question the Party’s policies

Labor Party policies are being challenged by the party's rank and file members

Some Labor Party members are questioning the Palaszczuk Government’s support for environmentally harmful projects.

People expect which ever party is in power, Labor or LNP,  to manage the economy and ensure that there are jobs for Queenslanders, now and in the future.

But if Labor is to seriously consider winning the upcoming state election it also needs to address environmental issues like:

  • Climate change and coal mining
  • Protecting our koala population
  • Conserving the Barrier Reef, and the coastal wetlands of Moreton Bay.

As a Labor member it’s been pretty disappointing these past few years to witness the State Government supporting major projects that are environmentally harmful.

Projects like the Adani coal mine which could open up a huge new coal basin and make a significant contribution to global warming.

And locally, projects like the Toondah Harbour project proposed by Walker Corporation which would involve major dredging in areas of Moreton Bay which are supposed to be protected because they are environmentally important.

The Toondah Harbour project still has to get a final go ahead decision from the Palaszczuk State Labor Government. Environmental assessment has been held up for more than a year by the Federal Government.

The never-ending postponements are evidence enough that this controversial project is being opposed for good reasons by environmentalists and many in the local community.

The Labor Party’s support for environmentally harmful projects has caused people to leave the party and voters to consider other options.

But what options are there?

Public confidence in politicians is at an all time low – people are extremely dissatisfied with the major parties at state and federal levels, as well as our local councillors.

Old school methods where politicians make cosy deals with special interest groups have made the public very cynical.

The LNP was soundly rejected by voters in early 2015 and is now facing an identity crisis with the resurgence of populism and personality parties which have no serious policy making capacity.

The Greens struggle to get more than 10% of the vote and independents lack the money and manpower to get elected.

But there are other ways to deal with concerns about the environment. It has been very encouraging to see rank and file branch members working within the Labor Party to push for a change in direction on major environmental issues.

Changing Labor policies on the environment

One of the Labor party’s strengths is its policy making process. Issues can be debated seriously through branch meetings, discussed at conferences and may ultimately get adopted as part of a policy platform which elected officials are expected to implement.

As an example, I recently worked with many others within Labor’s policy making process to to ensure that Koala protection is made evident in future South East Queensland regional planning

Politicians at all levels of government need to be finding and using better ways to engage with the people they represent.

This might even include radical ideas – like listening to what people want their governments to do, or not do.

And then trying to build bipartisan consensus on the way forward.


Callen Sorensen – Karklis

Callen Sorensen-Karkliss

Callen is an active member of the Australian Fabians Society, ALP, Crime Stoppers, Meals on Wheels and is a Quandamooka Noonucle Indigenous person with a strong commitment to community. Callen has worked in the retail, IT and market research sectors and is currently a student at Griffith University.

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

3 thoughts on “Labor members question the Party’s policies

  1. Good on you!
    But what can be done about it?
    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is off to India and will meet Adani.
    We look as though we need a new port to import gas because we sell ours, at a cheap price of course.
    Deputy Jackie Trad supporting a Gold Coast project in spite of investment money bleeding.
    Not local issues?
    Well locals do care about State issues but also what it predicts for Toondah.

  2. Callen is hopeful for Koala protection in future Queensland Regional Plan. I’d like to see that when our Redland koalas are on the brink of extinction. When building boom began here in 1987 koala habitat trees went down like nine pins with koalas still in them. Recall one Sunday morning locals crying for my help on hearing koalas screaming as their trees came crashing down near a Ney Road church in Capalaba to make way for a new housing estate. Labour politicians were guiding development for decades that did not include protecting koala habitat in any area of Capalaba where I live near Coolnwynpin Ck that had tonnes of earth bulldozed into it both sides of bridge by CBD. All protected corridors, creek banks, where koalas were seen, were sold to developers with deep pockets. My late husband Paul told me I was wasting my time trying to save koalas, as ‘they will do what they want to do anyway and we can all be bought!’
    Monday March 6, 2017 CM article reads and I quote: Wildlife winners in land sale. Parcel of land on Noosa’s north shore will serve as prime real estate for koalas after State bought back the beachfront block. Env Min Dr Miles said it was proposed the 7000sqm property be added to the Great Sandy National Park.
    In Redland City we also need a National Park by politicians all sides urging the Federal government to ‘gift’ the Commonwealth land of WWII history on Birkdale/Capalaba border alongside heritage listed Willard Homestead built in mid 1800’s to become prime real estate as sanctuary for koalas & promoted as a tourist attraction, for people of all ages. This land must not fall into the hands of greedy developers .. not at any price.

  3. What a refreshing perspective. A young person putting in when most of the time the contributions are from a much older cohort.

    The ALP and the LNP need to look at the public interest and make policies that protect, enhance and sustain the public interest. Sadly is likely few of the local pollies can articulate the public interest they are all too often captured by vested interests. In Redlands the vested interests are all too often the property development interests. They mount their arguments in false rhetoric like “jobs, jobs, jobs” or “affordable housing” or “housing for our kids” or “open for business” and the silly “putting Redlands on the map”.

    Perhaps at the next State election we will get down to someone even trumpeting something like “Make Queensland great again”…?,

    But it is good to see the start of a discussion about the policies of a major party (as opposed to the slogans)…well done Callen

Comments are closed.