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Qld: Labor shows the human face of the global downturn

By Gabrielle Dunlevy
15 Mar 2009 5:18 PM

BRISBANE, March 15 AAP - To the left of stage and five rows back sat Dustin.

We were told that Dustin was a mine worker who spent most of his adult life driving trucks and dozers in the mines.

Until February, when he was retrenched.

Along with his wife Crystal, and their daughters Calli and Jessica, Dustin was invited to the Labor Party's Queensland state election campaign launch to represent the human cost of the global financial crisis.

Under a banner saying, "Protecting and delivering jobs", Premier Anna Bligh delivered the centrepiece of her party's campaign - a pledge to create 10,000 new jobs, in a state recently battered by job losses.

"We must never ever let the statistics that we hear deaden our senses to the fact that behind every one of these numbers are very real people with very real stories just like Dustin," Ms Bligh told supporters.

"I gave Dustin and Crystal a commitment this morning ... I will fight with every fibre of my being for jobs and a return to prosperity."

Besides illustrating the human cost of the global downturn, the Labor launch was also a picture of harmonious state and federal relations.

Earlier, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - or "Kevin" - as he was introduced to the crowd, was greeted with rapturous, standing ovation.

Mr Rudd endorsed Ms Bligh as "a good person, a strong leader, with a no nonsense practical, down-to-earth approach".

He said the global downturn was like a storm. The Liberal National Party (LNP) would have families fend for themselves, but with Labor - "we are all in this together".

In contrast to the LNP campaign launch, held only an hour earlier on the other side of Brisbane River, the Labor launch used contemporary music to set a more modern scene.

Dressed in a crisp white pant suit, Ms Bligh was applauded off the stage to the 2006 dance hit "I Like the Way (You Move)" by Australian-British DJ duo BodyRockers.

She had announced almost a dozen new policies across health, education and the environment - so someone out there should like the way she moved.