PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk snubbed protesters waiting to rally against vegetation management laws in Mackay last night by entering the venue via the back door.
A small but vocal crowd had gathered at the Mackay Convention Centre to get their message across, but instead of greeting the crowd the Premier was whisked in via a back door.
In a sign that the rural community will not back down, about 100 people teamed up to voice their outrage and were disappointed that they didn’t get to see the Premier, despite corralled in an area 50 metres from where she was expected to walk.
Organisers said it was evident that the Premier and her security detail had decided to eliminate the chance of a similar confrontation occurring to when she was heckled by protesters at her arrival at Beef 2018 in Rockhampton earlier this month.
Ms Palaszczuk and her ministers are this week in the Mackay and Whitsunday area to ‘govern from the region,’ which lead to the impromptu rally.
AgForce Central Regional President John Baker said up to 100 people had turned out and said the rally was “passionate and well behaved.”
“The Premier was supposed to arrive at 5pm and sneaked in the back way and didn't front us,” Mr Baker said.
“We were disappointed in one respect, but we took it as a bit of a win in some way that she must be feeling the pressure and didn’t want to front us.
“There was a bit of frustration I suppose that she snubbed us in one respect, but in another respect it was a bit of cowardice on her part that she didn’t front the crowd. There was a bit of satisfaction and we got the sense she must be feeling the heat.”
Farmers gathered ahead of her arrival, to share stories about their hardships on the land and how the controversial new laws are expected to hold them back. One third generation cane farmer told the crowd that she would struggle to diversify under the new laws.
Chants of “don’t bully me,” “fair laws for farmers,” “we feed you, we need you” and “no farmers, no food” rang out as the Premier arrived.
Mr Baker said there was good support from both Canegrowers and AgForce members at the rally and vowed that the fight would continue.
”She’ll feel the heat a lot more before the two and a half years are up,” Mr Baker said.
“We are in if for the long haul and if they are not going to listen to us we will keep the momentum going until the next election.”