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ETU hits back at Nolan bagging

The "Rachel Nolan sold us out" billboard run by the ETU.

The "Rachel Nolan sold us out" billboard run by the ETU. Photo: Sarah Harvey/The Queensland Times

The Electrical Trades Union has hit back at a former Bligh government minister, who blasted the organisation in a blistering attack on Thursday.

In an opinion piece for Fairfax Media, Rachel Nolan, who served as both the transport minister and finance minister during her 11 years in Parliament under the previous Labor government, said she was defeated in 2012 "in a nasty and bitter campaign led in large part by the ETU".

The ETU funded a billboard in Ms Nolan's electorate which stood for almost a year ahead of the 2012 election which read 'Rachel Nolan sold us out'.

Former Labor MP Rachel Nolan

Former Labor MP Rachel Nolan Photo: Supplied

Ms Nolan lost the seat of Ipswich to the Liberal National Party's Ian Berry at the last election.

Secretary Peter Simpson said the union was simply "upholding ALP policy then and we are still upholding ALP policy now".

"Ms Nolan's opinions are consistent with the bitter and twisted view of the world," he said in response to Ms Nolan's opinion piece.

"If she had bothered to read and abide by the policy platform of the ALP, which specifically said they couldn't sell assets, she would probably still be the member for Ipswich.

"Because she and others decided to apply Liberal Party policy, Labor voters and workers threw her out."

In her opinion piece, Ms Nolan warned current Labor MPs against standing "in lock step" with the union now.

"Five minutes ago, they were doing all in their power to hasten the demise of a Labor government," she wrote.

"Now they are doing the same to the LNP.

"Sure, it's possible to be oppositional just for opposition's sake, but that kind of angry, scowling, bovver boy, 'youse can all go jump' approach brings nothing constructive to the debate.

"It might be fun for the bruvvers to chant on their RDO before heading off for a few beers, but most people aren't just troglodytes who are opposed to everything.

"They do not share the distorted world view of the ETU."

Ms Nolan said an "informed and constructive" debate was needed on asset sales issue.

Her former parliamentary combatant, Tim Nicholls, agreed.

"The only thing that I can really say about the ETU is they continue to spread misinformation and stories about what the government is doing," he said.

"The government has said clearly, we are taking people into our confidence.

"We have said we haven't made a decision, we have consistently said that, the ETU has run around the place, in their union protection racket, trying to make something out of nothing."


  • The position of the ETU is as valid today as is was then. They have been standing up for their members. Peter Simpson and Stuart Traill were kicked out of the Labor party over this issue. But it would seem they were more loyal to the cause, than Rachel Nolan. What is it with these people? They get a good job and a pension for life, but sell out to the other side when things don't go their way. That Ferguson is the same. He only got where he is from the unions, now he is selling them out. Good on you Simmo and Stuey, standing up for your members, even when the Labor party wouldn't.

    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 3:11AM
    • I have some difficulty in understanding how ensuring the election of a union hating LNP government is "standing up for their members". Unless The executive of the ETU are far sillier than they appear they must have known that their campaign would contribute to the election of an LNP government.

      Peter Stanton
      Date and time
      March 07, 2014, 2:24PM
  • Rachel - you still have not got it have you. The labour party stated less than twelve months before the election that there were NO PLANS TO SELL QR... I was one who stupidly voted for your lying government with that and labour party policy in mind. You are the real troglidite... and I am not a member of the ETU oh and by the way how many blue collar ex QR/Aurizon jobs have been lost in Ipswich and where is that QR headquarters that you promised would move to Ipswich... at least the ETU fight for their members which is less than can be said about what you did for your electorate and former supporters.

    Rachael Sold Ipswich Out
    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 3:53AM
    • I hope then, that you will be careful with your vote in the next election since the LNP is determined to sell of Qld assets.

      Date and time
      March 07, 2014, 12:26PM
  • I used to respect Rachel Nolan until she proved while in office just how far she had strayed from Labor Party working class roots. This little rant of hers has made me lose whatever respect I had left. Bitter, petty and small-minded.

    Chris R
    Date and time
    March 07, 2014, 5:28AM
    • they need more signs around our treasurers and premiers houses so they get the message

      Date and time
      March 07, 2014, 6:32AM
      • Fancy campaigning against an ALP member like that. Well you can't complain then if what you end up with is worse than what you had - especially if you played a part in that. Be interesting to see the type of candidates they end up supporting.

        Date and time
        March 07, 2014, 6:59AM
        • Seems to me like the etu is remaining consistent in their opposition to asset sales and supporting their members. Doesn't matter which party it is, if they threaten the livelihoods and jobs of the unions members then the union opposes those policies. This is good consistent policy on the unions part.

          Date and time
          March 07, 2014, 7:23AM
          • Rachel who?

            Dr Loopy
            newmans land
            Date and time
            March 07, 2014, 7:23AM
            • The ETU has made themselves irrelevant in public policy making and debate. Their behind-the-scene dealing, head kicking style has no place in today's world. When I was a member they continually wanted to start a fight with organisations that had nothing to do with the trade. Smarten up Simmo, time to join the real world again.

              Date and time
              March 07, 2014, 7:27AM

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