News letter from Jim Turnour, Labor Federal Member for Leichhardt

Dear Chamber,

There have been historic changes in Federal politics since my last update with the election of Julia Gillard as the new Labor leader and Prime Minister. It was a very emotional day and I really felt for Kevin Rudd and his family. Julia Gillard though received the overwhelming support of the caucus because she is an extremely intelligent and capable person who will make a great Prime Minister.

Since becoming leader she has demonstrated these skills, securing a quick resolution to the dispute over the mining tax.

The miners have agreed to pay more tax ensuring that we can proceed with the increases in superannuation, infrastructure funding and tax cuts for business. It is incredible then that Tony Abbott and the Liberal Opposition still want to oppose this tax when the miners have agreed to pay more and there are significant benefits that will flow to the community. You can find out more about the new Minerals Resource Rent Tax here.


I continue to work hard on diversifying and strengthening our local economy to make our region a great place to work and raise a family and I know Julia Gillard will strongly support these efforts.

I have been working hard with local business leaders to bring more flights to Cairns and we are getting results with 5,225 more airline seats arriving each week compared to 12 months ago.

Last week, I launched a petition in support of my campaign to lower landing charges at Cairns Airport to attract even more flights to Cairns. Learn more and sign the petition here.


The recent Jobs Expo at the Cairns Showgrounds was a great success – close to 1000 jobs were on offer and 473 people on the day secured a job or an apprenticeship.

Citic Pacific Mining's presence at the expo was a real confidence boost. I want Cairns to be a hub for the mining industry and a lot of work is being done locally to attract the industry here - we have an international airport and offer a great lifestyle for fly-in fly-out mine workers. So to have a major mining company like Citic Pacific travel to Cairns for the Jobs Expo is a very positive sign.


There is still a lot of hard work to do, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I am confident that our region can and will come out of the global recession well placed to take advantage of emerging tourism markets and that new industries like mining services will play an important role in diversifying and strengthening our economic base.


You can read more news at


Jim Turnour
Federal Member for Leichhardt