Scott demands Labor apology

Queensland Times, Saturday 13th September 1997.

Labor's support of proposed boundary changes for the federal seat of Oxley had ignored the concerns of ordinary party members, pre-selection candidate Anne Scott said yesterday.

Mrs Scott, contesting pre-selection for the Ipswich-based seat against former premier Wayne Goss, demanded an apology from Labor State secretary Mike Kaiser for his criticism of her submission to the Australian Electoral Commission over the boundary changes.

She rejected Mr Kaiser's claim that her submission was designed to bolster her pre-selection chances.

Mr Kaiser said he had said nothing about Mrs Scott that required an apology.

"My submission to the Australian Electorate Commission and additional comments at the public hearings yesterday reflected the many concerns raised by individuals and community organisations on the splitting of the Ipswich CBD and the placement of inner suburbs of Ipswich in the new electorate of Blair in the proposed redistribution," Mrs Scott said.

"Many ALP branch members have expressed concern with the redistribution, and a number of local ALP party units have made submissions to the ALP state office objecting to the redistribution.

"For Mr Kaiser to say that the ALP supported the Oxley boundaries does not reflect the views of the rank and file members of the party."

Mr Kaiser said the party had asked all  branches and individuals to send their objections through the head office. The party had then made a submission saying that, on balance, it would accept the Oxley-Blair boundaries, as the electoral commission could not have created the seat without splitting another community.

"Only Anne went off and lodged her own submission directly with the Electoral Commission," Mr Kaiser said.

"All other party members and party units in Ipswich were prepared to play by the rules. They discussed their proposals with the party's redistribution committee.

"Labor's redistribution committee could not find a way of re-combining Ipswich without there being some serious consequences on some other community."

He said the party, unlike Mrs Scott, did not have the luxury of being able to criticise the electoral commission proposal without offering an alternative. 

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