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MP for Noosa returns fire over weekends off ‘cheap shot'

THE dot which Noosa MP Glen Elmes may have had on his forehead on Friday evening was not a laser sight as the Labor Party tried to line him for a political pot shot.

It would have been the special marking in honour of the Indian festival he attended as part of his portfolio, which includes multicultural affairs.

On Friday Mr Elmes returned fire on Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk who labelled him the Minister for Long Weekends.

Ms Palaszczuk claims Mr Elmes has dodged 60 multicultural events since April with Assistant Minister Robert Cavallucci standing in for him.

Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Elmes told Parliament his absences were partly because "many Brisbane multicultural events occur at the weekend when I am in my Noosa electorate".

Mr Elmes - also Minister Assisting the Premier and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs - said Ms Palaszczuk did not take into account his multiple responsibilities.

"Since I've been the minister I've been to 21 multicultural events," Mr Elmes said.

"Multicultural events is one of four areas of responsibility that I have. By far the biggest is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

"Aside from meetings I've spent 23 days in conference with indigenous mayors or in indigenous communities."

"I was sworn in in April, you've got to cover a lot of ground this time of the year before the wet season.

"It becomes impossible to move around. I had to get an understanding of indigenous affairs, meet mayors, councillors and community groups."

Mr Elmes said this, added to parliamentary sitting weeks and his electoral duties was "an enormous amount of time".

He said ironically on the day Labor launched its political attack he was in Mackay for a multicultural festival Global Grooves.

"There's an award night I'm doing for the Premier on Saturday night, then I'm shooting the gun to start Noosa Triathlon on Sunday at 5.50am."

Mr Elmes said he believed that important issues like Aboriginal affairs and dealing with newcomers to Australia who may be vulnerable because of their circumstances should be above partisan politics.

Topics:  glen elmes, queensland politics


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