Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rudd hails fellow comeback kid - Brisbane Times

AAP

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd knows the value of a comeback kid.

Just six weeks after his reinstatement as prime minister, the minority government announced former Queensland premier Peter Beattie would join Labor's campaign to govern in its own right.

Despite the "odd stoush" between the pair, Mr Rudd on Thursday said he welcomed Mr Beattie as Labor's candidate for the sunshine state's working-class seat of Forde.

"He is one of the great sons of Queensland," Mr Rudd said of the man who was premier for nine years until his retirement in 2007.

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During the prime minister's sole public appearance on day four of the campaign, the pair appeared to be old chums, smiling and shaking hands, with Mr Rudd at one point referring to his new team member as "PB".

"He will be an enormous asset to the Labor party," Mr Rudd said, citing his record of investment and generating jobs growth in Queensland.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Labor party on Thursday when the pair greeted at Beenleigh Events Centre by a small group of protesters.

"Blow in, blow out Beattie," one protester's banner said.

"We remember last time," said another.

Mr Rudd wasn't immune, with a placard dedicated to him: "Turn back Rudd".

Passing pedestrians stopped to take photos of the swelling media pack, asking what was happening.

"I'm glad to see him back," local retired resident Ron Barton said of Mr Beattie's return to politics.

"He did a good job for the state as premier and I endorse him now as the local member."

Liberal National Party MP Bert Van Manen holds Forde by a 1.6 per cent margin, after he snatched the seat from Labor in 2010.

Mr Rudd is understood to be spending Friday in Melbourne.


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