G20 Brisbane: Union attempts to grab leaders’ attention

QNU advertisement aimed at G20 leaders.G20: Full coverage

It is not the first thing most people would think of when thinking G20.

But the Queensland Nurses’ Union hopes to at least prick a few world leaders’ minds.

The QNU has joined with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association to call for Australia to adopt the Financial Transaction Tax, known colloquially as the ‘Robin Hood tax’.

The tax is applied to banks and other financial institutions each time they make a transaction, such as trading stocks or bonds or credit default swaps.

QNU Secretary Beth Mohle said public health care should be on the summit’s agenda.

The group had made a television advertisement in an effort to reach the 25 world leaders during their time in Brisbane.

“Governments are put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of their people,” Ms Mohle said in a statement.

“The provision of universal healthcare for all people should be the priority of our leaders. Sadly this does not appear to be the case in Australia at this time.”

Ms Mohle said the recent Ebola crisis highlighted the vast discrepancies in health care across the world, while Australia was still fighting the proposed $7 Medicare GP co-payment.

While a levy of between 0.005 and 0.05 per cent has been proposed by the group as an appropriate FTT, Ms Mohle said broadening the tax base and “ensuring transnational corporations paid their fair share” were other options.

The QNU are not the first group to try and take advantage of the world spotlight on Brisbane. World Wildlife Foundation, Transparency International and the C20 – the civilian G20 – have all had billboards rejected by the Brisbane Airport Corporation.

WWF have responded by collecting 40,000 signatures protesting the BAC decision to reject its #onmyagenda climate change ad as “political”. It has called for people to tweet world leaders their opinions on climate change, in lieu of the billboard.

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