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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Labor Manifesto returns ‘home’

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, November 01, 2009

    Labor Manifesto returns ‘home’


    The Manifesto of the Australian Labour Party (1892) has returned home after being present under the new Tree of Knowledge Memorial at Premier Bligh’s 19th community cabinet in Barcaldine.

    Ms Bligh said it was a historic moment with the manifesto to return to the exact point where it was first read aloud over a century ago.

    “UNESCO recently named the The Manifesto of the Australian Labour Party (1892) a document of international significance,” she said.

    “The Manifesto is now among 35 items of exceptional value that have been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register placing it in the same league as the Magna Carta which is also on the list.

    “So I think it is a unique historical moment to have it here, under the new Tree of Knowledge memorial today in 2009.”

    The Manifesto is part of the John Oxley Library collection of Queensland documentary heritage, which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary and our State’s 150th year.

    “In honour of these milestones the Library has been touring some of our Queensland treasures including the Manifesto to communities across the State,” she said.

    Between August and November this year the documents have been viewed by the public at Stanthorpe, Allora, Warwick, Ingham, Charters Towers, Longreach, Barcaldine and Mount Isa libraries.

    The Manifesto of the Australian Labour Party (1892) can be described as the foundation document of the Australian Labour Party.

    The document provides a detailed account of strikers’ grievances against employers and the government and was first read out under the Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine during the Great Shearer’s Strike of 1891.

    Prominent leader Charles Seymour wrote the document and it is signed by Thomas Glassey, Queensland’s first elected Labour parliamentarian.

    “It marks the step when, following the violent repression of the strikes, the labour movement shifted its goals to attaining political power through parliamentary representation,” said the Premier.

    “It is an historical fact that Queensland had the first Labour government in the world, the short-lived Anderson Dawson government of 1899.

    “It is wonderful to think that this handwritten document contains ideas that were to inspire the world and I think we are privileged to have it here in Queensland.

    “This is part of Queensland’s history and I'm sure both Labor and Conservative voters will agree that its remarkable the document has survived so long in such good condition – this document belongs to all of us, regardless of our political views.”

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