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By Nino Lalic, Senior Consultant

Over the weekend of 28-29 July, the Queensland ALP held its annual State Conference in Townsville.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill, welcomed more than 400 delegates as well as observers, hundreds of party members, and local, state and federal representatives to the capital of North Queensland.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered a keynote address in which he announced a commitment to put the question of a republic to the people in the first term of a Federal Labor government. His speech was focused on inequality and a fairer tax system, including the announcement to change rules governing discretionary trusts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk delivered a key address before what is certainly the last state conference before the next state election. Her speech focused heavily on jobs, infrastructure for regional Queensland, including the North Qld Stadium in Townsville, as well as energy and water security.

The Premier also spoke of the need to put Queenslanders first by announcing a new 'Buy Queensland' procurement policy which, in an Australian first, would see the state government no longer bound by free trade agreements. Local suppliers will receive a 30 per cent weighting on any tender lodged for projects over $100 million.

Overall the state conference was very tame compared with previous years, with many issues reaching agreement between key players within the party, and no major debates taking place on conference floor.

The only issue that attracted some heated debate was the issue of a dying with dignity amendment, which will require the state to investigate and implement a particular model for voluntary euthanasia.

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