IT WAS an ambush at Spinnaker Park this morning as three unions stole the show from deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Flynn member Ken O'Dowd's $20 million Philip St announcement.

Six minutes into the press conference about six union members dressed in black shirts and holding signs reading "put the LNP last" stood silently waving the signs about.

But 10 minutes later the silent protest turned into an argument between Mr Joyce and Maritime Union of Australia members about sacked seafarers who worked in Australian waters.

Mr Joyce quickly finished the press conference and was whisked away.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd arguing with Electrical Trades Union state organiser Craig Giddins. Photo Campbell Gellie / The Observer
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd arguing with Electrical Trades Union state organiser Craig Giddins. Photo Campbell Gellie / The Observer Campbell Gellie

But the heckling continued and ended with a face off between Electrical Trade Union Organiser Craig Giddins and Mr O'Dowd.

Mr O'Dowd asked Mr Giddins what he had been doing for local workers.

"We've been out there advocating to put the local workers back on," Mr Giddins said.

"That's what I've been doing" rebutted Mr O'Dowd.

Mr O'Dowd asked why the unions supported a political party that would introduce a carbon tax that would see the closure of Gladstone's industries.

"Rubbish," the union members cried at MR O'Dowd

"I'm talking about the future of Gladstone, Blackwater, Emerald, Tieri," Mr O'Dowd said.

He was once again met by a chorus of "rubbish" from the union members.

In a separate press conference at Auckland Point 20 minutes later, former Australian Workers Union organiser and Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers said the behaviour of union members was "probably not appropriate".

He wasn't surprised the members hijacked the press conference because "at the end of the day people who are frustrated about issues look for a way to defend that and people took the opportunity to voice their concerns."


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