The angry chanting at Queensland Parliament House on Wednesday sounded a dire warning to the Liberal National Party, only months after it took power with a massive majority.


Up to 10,000 public servants and union members voiced their fury at Premier Campbell Newman’s government for cutting 14,000 public-sector jobs in Tuesday’s budget.

“We’ll be sacking Campbell Newman in three years,” they roared to the tune of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, loud enough to ensure the premier could hear.

The rally spilled from the square outside parliament into city streets, one of many protests held around the state on a union day of action.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Brisbane protest was the largest she’d seen in Queensland.

“It sends a very clear message to Campbell Newman and his government – that people are definitely not happy,” she told reporters.

“These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. These are real people with real families, and they’ve had real jobs.”

Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams told the rally Mr Newman had revised his initial job-cuts target of 20,000 down by 6000 only because he was suffering in the polls.

He told reporters the rally was the beginning of a campaign against an “arrogant” government.

“The government has to be focusing on community services, local jobs, making sure Queenslanders are looked after,” he said.

Mr Battams said the impact of the job cuts on health, which saw 4100 positions axed, was one of the main concerns.

But the Queensland Teachers’ Union said the budget would also hurt state schools.

President Kevin Bates said only 270 teachers and support staff would be employed, despite the government’s own estimates that 837 new staff were required to cater for growth.

Mr Newman told parliament he felt for the protesters who had lost their jobs.

“My ministers and indeed, I, know all parliamentarians are sorry for those people and their families,” he said.

He said people should remember the mass rationalisation was the fault of the preceding government.

“They are the ones, the Labor Party, the guilty party, who did it to those people, who made it happen, who inflicted that pain and misery on those people,” he said.

Mr Newman said the protesters could be assured of his government’s ability to create jobs in tourism, construction, agriculture and mining.

“I assure those who rally today that the Queensland that we see in the future is a Queensland where there are plenty of jobs,” he said.