Only in Queensland

In Queensland politics we expect the bizarre as normal. Antony Green in a sober and comprehensive review of the Queensland election, tells us that there is nothing in the constitution that says ministers must be members of parliament. So Campbell Newman, who would lose his seat on a 5.7% swing, could theoretically retain the premiership if the LNP nevertheless won. Convention says otherwise, and I think we can count that possibility out. He could, however, retain the premiership for three months on a Commonwealth precedent while a safe seat is found.

I doubt that will happen either. The powers that be in the LNP don’t love him enough, there would be a shortage of volunteers to give up their seat, and I don’t think the electors would be impressed.

Green thinks a Labor victory, requiring a 12% uniform swing, is a bridge too far. There have been some individual seat polls with swings in that order, but I think the last statewide poll was Morgan which had the LNP on 50.5 TPP. It’s still close, and I think, quite clearly, the LNP is scared.


Scared enough to allege that the ALP is being funded by criminals and bikies. Palaszczuk fired a “put up or shut up” demand back at Newman, whose response is that it must be true because wherever he goes people tell him it’s true. Apparently it is so open that all these LNP acolytes in the community can see it happening. For Newman scuttlebutt is evidence and the onus is on Palaszczuk to prove it’s not.

A sign of the LNP’s twisted logic.

Meanwhile, bikies made a donation to the LNP, which was of course refunded.

‘Facts’ have been problematic in this campaign. Labor says health workers have been sacked, the LNP claims they have employed more. I understand that both are true. Initially there were sackings, including frontline staff. Then federal money became available, courtesy of Gillard/Swan, which enabled hiring. This money won’t continue under Abbott/Hockey.

Unemployment improved in the latest ABS figures from 6.9% to 6.1%, from memory. Labor continues to use the 6.9% figure. This telling graph shows the ABS pattern on full-time employment:

jobs_ Qld_10940483_814162748620441_6951037617407145004_n_600

Roy Morgan tells us this:

Queensland real unemployment is now 12.7% (up 1.8% since October-November 2014) and under-employment is 10.3% (up 1%). This means total Queensland unemployment & under-employment is 23% (up 2.8%). (Interviewed November & December 2014).

That’s heading in the wrong direction and is worse by a considerable margin than any state except Tasmania.

Newman says the election is about the economy and jobs, Palaszczuk says it’s about asset sales, and the economy and jobs.

The astonishing magic pork barrel continues, something like $8.6 billion worth of it. Newman was heard to say that if electors voted the wrong way their electorate wouldn’t get any. It sounded like a threat.

Newman said overseas buyers would be welcome. Clive Palmer said, yes, the Chinese are sure to buy the lot, sending a shiver down many a spine.

Ernst and Young brought out a report saying electricity would cost less under privatisation. Quiggin says this is essentially nonsense: prices in states with privatisation are roughly the same, and prices in all states have rocketed since ‘market reforms’ to introduce competition were instituted in the 1990s.

Newman has refused say why the LNP will not commit to the four principles of “accountability and good governance” outlined in an open letter from 50 prominent Australians, earning the ire of corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, QC, who helped draft the letter.

Mark has a neat roundup at The Monthly, saying, inter alia that KAP and PUP are not preferencing the LNP. The fragile flame of hope still flickers.

Only four days to go, and the town here seems still on holiday!

16 thoughts on “Only in Queensland”

  1. Clive is apparently threatening legal action against Springboard – does anyone know why? Is there any specific reason or is Clive running below his quota for legal actions this month?

  2. Two opinions on the election.

    John Quiggin:

    Still, I now think that an outright LNP win is unlikely and that there is little chance of a minority LNP government being formed. There’s even less likelihood of Campbell Newman being re-elected in his own seat.

    That leaves the prospect of a possible minority Labor government. Palaszczuk has foolishly ruled that option out, but may change her mind rather than go back to the electors.

    John Harrison thinks it’s likely a narrow LNP win, but thanks to Crosby Textor’s “Operation Boring” strategy after the two bi-election losses and during the campaign.

  3. It is a difficult choice, wish the week away to get to the answer, or wish it to linger for the entertainment value.

  4. ABC’s Factcheck doesn’t support Newmans claims that

    Crime has gone down very very significantly… because of a stance by a Government that was determined to make the community safer,”

    he said during a press conference while campaigning on the Gold Coast….

    Kerrie Carrington, a criminologist and head of the School of Justice at the Queensland University of Technology, told Fact Check the Government was selectively presenting crime data that supported its claim.

    “The generic claim that crime has gone down is wrong. It’s based on them cherrypicking a few offences that have gone down, and gone down by quite considerable proportions.”

    The fact check conclusion:

    The experts Fact Check spoke to said Queensland crime rates have been dropping steadily for over 10 years, and the most recent data does not show a significant change in that trend. Mr Newman’s claim that “crime has gone down very very significantly… because of a stance by a Government that was determined to make the community safer”, and the individual statistics cited by the Premier don’t tell the full story. The claim is exaggerated.

  5. How can Newman keep claiming that if he fails to win his seat the LNP will be out of Government? If he loses his seat on a 6% swing hypothetically and there is only an 8% swing against the LNP its clear that there would be an LNP government without him. Him asserting something doesn’t make it so. Why don’t journalists challenge him?

  6. Why don’t journalists challenge him?

    Cause he’s a tricky bugger, he even knows the GST rate, which…tricky without coffee !

    ( Jeez I love election campaigns, the final week it a hoot! “

  7. Can anyone put a name to the Greens leader in Queensland please?
    And any recent policy statements from that individual ?

  8. The Greens spokesperson in Qld is Charles Worringham. Sane, intelligent, cuts to what the real issues are and is on top of issues. Shame he doesn’t get a guernsey to the leaders debate.

    He is spending a lot of time giving media interviews and appears on TV from time to time.

  9. John
    According to the QLD greens website he’s one of many ” spokespeople “.
    There seems to be no Leader at all.
    Not surprising there was no invite to the Leaders debate.

    ( as an aside, it’s also strange they couldn’t fill the positions of “Natural Environment Policy Working Group Coordinator ” or ” Society & Democracy Policy Working Group Coordinator ” )

  10. And HERE is the Queensland Leaders Election Debate.
    It’s a bit tricky to find on the ABC website.
    ( I suspect it would have been more prominent there if CanDo was smashed by Polishalphabet, but that definatly not the case. CanDo made her look foolish. )

  11. Jumpy, I listened to the debate on radio, and thought that Newman won. People who were there think otherwise. Must have been something about his body language. I heard that he looked very grumpy afterwards.

  12. Brian,

    Watched it on telly. Newman’s body language didn’t help him.


    Charles is doing has been doing most of the talking since the media realized he was a good go to man on top of his brief.

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