Cuts and chaos avoided: Queensland election 2017

We have been through a wild time here north of the Tweed, but the short version of the Queensland 2017 election is that cuts and chaos have been avoided:

The magic number of seats needed to govern in Queensland’s single-chamber parliament is 47. After adding four seats to the old parliament of 89 and the necessary redistribution, Labor notionally held 48 seats, enough to govern. ABC psephologist Antony Green now estimates that Labor will hold 48 seats, exactly the same, but in fact the whole scene has vastly changed before our eyes.

A word about Green’s magic tricks. He says it is the hardest election he has worked on for three main reasons. First is the extensive boundary changes, brought on by an LNP/Katter plan to make more regional seats, which ended up favouring Labor. Second, Labor introduced compulsory preferencing, to make sure the Green vote came back to them in most electorates. Hard to know whether that helped or hindered Labor, but preference flows based on previous elections were fairly meaningless.

Thirdly, there were genuine four or five candidate contests in a number of seats, with LNP, Labor, One Nation, The Greens, Katter Party and independents, and the winner depends on what order the candidates are knocked out.

Labor are good at crunching numbers, and the belief internally is that Annastacia Palaszczuk in her speech on the night would not have said she expected to win unless there was solid counting behind that claim.

The bottom line is that as Stephen Miles (Minister for the Environment) said on the panel towards the end, Tim Nicholls only path to victory would be a deal with One Nation, Katter Party, two independents, plus one Green.

Can’t happen.

For Labor, I understand that if everything goes wrong from here they will have 44 with probably two Greens and two Katter Party.

Before the election Robbie Katter said he found dealing with Labor civil and respectful, whereas Tim Nicholls treated them like dogs.

Anthony Green also commented that constitutionally Palaszczuk can’t vacate the chair unless she advises the Governor to call the LNP leader, who must convince the GG that he can command the floor of the House. Palaszczuk does not have to do the same, as she is presumed to have the confidence of the House until it is shown that she does not.

Hence she does not have to front the GG with paperwork showing the deals she has for support. So she can continue governing bill by bill in much the same way she has done for the last three years after she kicked out Billy Gordon in Cook and Rob Pyne in Cairns defected to become independent.

That’s if she doesn’t get a majority, which Green and the exit poll says she will.

Here’s a helpful table I have adapted from Poll Bludger:

The Green he has marked in is Maiwar, where the Green is about 150 votes ahead of Labor. While everyone is saying the result is uncertain, Labor thinks the postals and pre-polling might get them in front. Might. However, Scott Emerson, LNP and shadow treasurer looks gone in a notionally safe LNP seat. The LNP simply did not see it coming. The only LNP seat I think which gained on the night was Tim Mander. He’s the ex rugby league referee who organises the Chaplains in Schools program and is a fundie Christian. I suspect he benefitted from an Australian Christian Lobby scare campaign on Safe Schools.

The ON win is likely Mirani, just north of Mackay, where Jim Pearce, a gutsy ex-coal miner got done by a bloke who owns a gun shop and culls feral animals. The LNP preferenced ON ahead of Labor in 50 seats, but Mirani is the only place it worked for ON.

There will probably be two indies – Noosa and Rockhampton – both ex-local government.

The story in Rockhampton is that Margaret Strehlow, former Labor mayor, was the preferred Labor candidate but the locals went feral and put in Barry O’Rourke. Strehlow resigned and went independent. She will take a safe Labor seat on ON and LNP preferences.

When she spoke it is clear that she falsely thinks that Adani will help Rockhampton and falsely thinks Labor opposes Adani. She also wants the dam the LNP promised, so she is shaping as a straight out pork-barreller. Or working for her electorate with tunnel vision.

I think she’ll find it harder to do deals for her electorate outside the tent.

The two Katter boys will be re-elected.

In the voting, there was a swing of 9.2% to Labor in the “greater Brisbane” area, the LNP lost 7.5% overall, and One Nation came in at about 13%, but their vote was much higher in some regional areas. The Greens made significant gains near the centre of the city, and improved overall, even in the regions.

Labor’s vote which is now over 70% TPP in many city seats held up surprisingly well in regional cities. Cairns and the far north was reclaimed, Townsville is complicated, but looks as though Labor will scrape through the unemployment protest vote and the Adani protest vote.

Rockhampton was unique. Gladstone and Mackay held for Labor, but Bundaberg fell, I believe to the LNP on ON preferences.

LNP preferences (LNP put the Greens last) probably saved Jackie Trad from the Greens in South Brisbane.

The Galaxy exit poll found:

    Key issues for voters are jobs (33 percent); health (31 percent); stable government (29 percent); and the economy and debt reduction (25 percent), the poll found.

    Labor voters are more likely to rate jobs and health and hospitals as the key issues, whereas Liberal voters are more concerned about the economy.

    In the regions, employment is the standout issue at 40 percent.

Those issues matter if they change votes. It seems likely that the ‘stable government’ issue won the election for Labor, as Palaszczuk ran hard on the theme ‘vote for the LNP and you’ll get One Nation, cuts and chaos’.

Nicholls did promise $1.6 billion of cuts, and I had no idea where that would come from apart from renewable energy.

Adani was only at 16% as an issue, and not in the top eight. However, I suspect it was the secret of the Green’s success. In three years time Labor’s work on renewable energy will be more visible. Labor also has vegetation management laws it was prevented from passing by the northern rebels and the Katters. That is another story and worth a separate post.

Labor ran very green in many our seat on Cooper, and in Maiwar. I don’t see ‘green’ progress via a separate party as the only way forward.

However, the conservative side looks fatally stretched. Dennis Atkins, the Courier Mail national affairs editor, declared the single party LNP experiment a failure on Insiders today. He reminded us that if the National and Liberals combined John Howard and Ron Boswell predicted that a conservative regional party would rise to fill the far right vacuum.

One Nation looks like a rabble living in alternative reality, but on his performance Matt Canavan on the ABC election panel, and indeed Jane Prentice, Liberal member for Ryan, could not put a sentence together that had logic running from one end to the other.

A notable factor was that Turnbull was a no-show for the election apart from the official launch. Barnaby Joyce could show, but only from Gympie north and Toowoomba west. For Turnbull, as earlier politicians have found at times, those people north of the Tweed get out their baseball bats, and wait.

I think the chaos of the Turnbull government has created such a situation.

95 thoughts on “Cuts and chaos avoided: Queensland election 2017”

  1. Thanks for the detail Brian.

    I should have waited for your summary instead of trying to watch the soporific TV panel. Really, Father Brown is very good!


    Just one pedatic point.
    Doesn’t Qld have a G, rather than a GG?

    Or will Sir Peter be sorting Qld out after he has unilaterally prorogued Federal Parlt.??

  2. Mirani is a very large electorate containing Paget which is Mackay’s industrial suburb right down below Rocky ( which I know nothing about ) and big swathes of cattle and coal country.

    Also, if you regard LNP, ON and KAP as conservatives, that’s 50% of the vote so far.
    If you consider ALP and green to be progressive then, right now that’s 46%.
    Its quite silly to assume that but never the less lots do.

  3. Turnbull, Brandis & Canavan deny that federal issues influenced the outcome. Their caveat being they would await final counting before drawing conclusions…. They don’t sound like a party ready to listen.

  4. Thanks Brian

    No hurry. We have a G of Victoria. There is a GG in Canberra.

    And in 1977 the GG famously spoke at the gee gees!


  5. Mr J

    I would see Sen Rhiannon as regressive not progressive. Harking back to Uncle Joe Stalin, Brezhnev…

  6. I’ve had very strange 24 hours. I’d almost think I was being hexed if I was superstitious.

    One story is that I have no screen at all showing on my computer. Tech coming tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m on my wife’s computer, but have not worked out yet how to log on, so I can’t write posts if I had the time, or fix GG.

    A few things to think about.

    Major party vote was the same as in 1998, around 70%, so people leaving the main parties in drove is a bit over-egged.

    In the ‘greater Brisbane area’ there are now only 5 LNP seats out of 38, may become 6. This has happened before and is what in large part the unified LNP was meant to overcome. The LNP has moved to regain the RW protest vote, but Brisbane won’t wear it.

    Turnbull has the same problem at national level. He’s had to accommodate the crazies on the right, and is losing the centre.

    The LNP here have made themselves almost indistinguishable from One Nation (PHON). Federally the Libs seem to be heading the same way.

    PHON polled around 21% in the seats the ran in, so in that sense they are far from shot ducks. Katter Party did well in the seats they ran in. Latest is that they may pick up a third in Hinchinbrook (around Ingham, north of Townsville). However, they haven’t broken out of the north.

    Katter are on the radio saying the price of support will be high. They want around $3 billion worth of infrastructure spending moved from Brisbane to NQ.

    They’ll find that Paluszczuk will not come asking for their support, because she doesn’t have to, even if in a minority. She’s premier until she resigns of loses the confidence of the house. They might call her bluff and do just that if she’s in the minority, but I can’t see her doing deals after what she has said.

    I tend to think she’ll end up 46-48, needing 48 to elect a speaker and govern. We’ll see how all that works out.

    Graham Young is doing a survey and says Adani was huge in shifting votes. He’s probably right, shifting some to the LNP, especially in the north and some to the Greens, who improved their vote everywhere, not just the three or so electorates where they ran hard. I think they stand at 9.8%, so Di Natale’s dreaming will have to wait for a bit.

    Canberra chaos was definitely a factor, hard to know how much.

  7. Political tragics who want to follow particular seats should go to this QEC site.
    At the moment, the Greens are 12 votes behind Labor with 680 interdependent preferences to be distributed. I live in hope.
    Michel Berkman comes across as someone with a lot of sense and a solid green Green background. (He worked for the environmental defenders office.)

  8. Thanks, John.

    This isn’t a story against Michael Berkman, but it shows how wacky the reasons people use for deciding their vote.

    This morning on ABC Local Steve Austin was asking people to ring in to say why they voted they way they did.

    One woman rang in from St Lucia, I think, saying her main worry was development – units 16 stories high and stuff. When told this was a city council matter, she was undeterred and said that the state government could do something.

    Then she said she had spoken to Michael Berkman, and he was a nice man and listened to her. She said she decided to vote for him because he didn’t promise to do anything if he was elected. She hated politicians who promised to do things and then didn’t do them, so he scored by not promising anything at all.

    So Michael scored one by listening and keeping his mouth shut! He possibly perceived that nothing he said was going to change what she thought.

    She wasn’t alone in expressing very strange reasons!

  9. John, I don’t know Ali King, the Labor candidate in Maiwar, but she is a mate of Mark’s and ran a strong Green campaign, with a lot of support from Environment Minister Stephen Miles. I guess that’s why the count is so close. Scott Emerson may have thought he just had to turn up.

  10. Here’s an important one:

    Ahead of the vote on Saturday, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said her party would not work with any of the major parties to form government if they supported the loan.

    That narrows the opportunities a bit for the LNP.

  11. How can someone become a representative of a substantial chunk of people on just 77 primary votes?? That has got to be a perversion of democracy, particularly when it delivers someone as warped and twisted as Malcolm Roberts?

  12. Last figures I saw Berkman was 19 votes ahead of the ALP. Maiar is an interesting seat for the Greens to win – suggests the sort of seat that might flip if Libs are seen to be moving away from the centre.

  13. John and Douglas, Jane Price on the night was saying Libs could still win on postals etc, and it is possible that could happen. I think Greens would be favoured over Labor in that case, so we’ll have to wait ans see.

    The other big thing is that Katter is already working hard to make a solid consolidation of the crossbench. He’ll favour northern dams over Brisbane infrastructure any time, and so would they other than Greens.

    There was a voter on this morning from Mt Ommaney, normally LNP who voted Labor because the rep was a nice person and said she would try to do something about the Western freeway, which is a car park every morning and evening (John D would know). Public transport is buses only.

    Katter would take the view that if you are silly enough to live there, then that’s what you expect.

    LNP wouldn’t bother, because Brisbane will have only 5 out of about 40. We are back to the old days where the LNP is run by the bush, (the Nats always outnumbered the Libs in Qld) and if the city wants any attention they’ll have to vote Labor.

    As against that Qld’s regional cities (some of them) give the Libs a chance in the regions.

  14. John, someone on the radio was saying the independent in Maiwar ran dead, and was suspicious she was a plant to channel preferences to one of the others. More likely to be an LNP strategy, I think, so she could push the LNP over the line.

    Do you know anything about her?

  15. Chris O’Brien, an intelligent ABC reporter, did a check on the major party thing.

    He found that they were 90% plus into the 1990s. The big shift came with ON in 1998 and a gradual emergence of the Greens, then Katter as well as ON.

    He said in recent years there has been a drift away from the majors.

    However, if you take Greens/Labor as a left block, you have about 46% of the vote still there.

    If you look at the other side you have to realise that ON preferences do not all flow to LNP. There is a disaffected Labor element in there too. This has been 50/50 at times.

    First preference LNP has drifted to 33.6%. Chris O’Brien pointed out that for 66% of people, the LNP was not their first choice. He thought that compulsory preferencing had the virtue of avoiding people who most voters don’t want.

  16. Katter would take the view that if you are silly enough to live there, then that’s what you expect.

    Brian, does this argument hold water?

    If you are silly enough to live in the Far North, why should taxpayers provide you with new dams, better highways, quarantine measures to assist your cattle (if you’re silly enough to have bought some)
    until the cows come home.

    “Daylight savings” only fades the curtains of those who are silly enough to hang them on their windows!!

    My friend’s great-aunt used to keep her curtains in a dark cupboard to protect them, in their original wrappers.

  17. If you are silly enough to live in the Far North, why should taxpayers provide you with new dams, better highways, quarantine measures to assist your cattle (if you’re silly enough to have bought some)
    until the cows come home.

    So the inercity greens can have fast, cheep, disease free, Australian smash Avo, bananas, mangos and Pawpaws with their lattes
    A little matter of export revenue is one reason.

  18. Ambi, indeed. I may have been overdoing it, but they see things like cross-river rail as an expendable luxury, encouraged by Turnbull playing silly buggers with it. I haven’t researched it in detail, but know that Infrastructure Australia gave it a tick in terms of need, priority etc. but Turnbull sent it back on a pretext for further work so he could shovel money to Perth because of GST complaints.

    So everyone has their perspective.

  19. Jumpy, export revenue is indeed an argument, but the farmers are not carrying the country on their backs. Services exports is largely where the game is at, they tell us. And smart stuff.

  20. Frankly to my mind, Katter is more right than he is wrong. He is arguing for development in the regions where what we desperately need is regional development. Labour would be wise to address some of Katter’s ideas and build a ‘bridge’ to the bush.

    We should be developing inland energy cities in places where optimal solar energy can be generated, for instance. But in the vein of “if you don’t use it you will lose it” it is vital that we maintain a measurable degree of occupancy of the land. Aborigines can’t do it all on their own.

    We need to be building viable inland cities that are diverse enough to encourage a measure of vibrance. Perhaps a Solar Energy University with a focus on energy, sustainably growing food in harsh climates and on extreme habitat development.

  21. I think the count is only 77 % so I guess an in depth analysis on preferences is impossible. I’m sure the ECQ will put out a summary when the count is finished.

    Anyway, why is the count so slow ? Election night had over 60% counted.

  22. Jumpy, I don’t know why it’s so slow.

    Oh, and the National highway and quarantine are Federal responsibilities not State.

    It’s not the national highway according to Turnbull when it is between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. There he will only pay 50%, unlike 80% elsewhere. M1 to GC is becoming a car park also .

    BilB, I’m not unsympathetic to the Katter’s aspirations, but it’s a matter of balance.

    I know how my perspective changes when I get off the plane at Rockhampton, as it does also in Sydney. It’s a matter of balance. Greens’ policies can be genuinely problematic about dams and vegetation management for example, and in these matters, Labor leans to the Greens.

  23. To a hick Nth QLDer like me the greens and Labor are all for hydroelectric dams and pumped storage but not for food production.

  24. Jumpy, tbh I haven’t interrogated the ALP policy on dams, or the merits of any of the suggestions. I do know that Townsville has been desperately short of water of late.

  25. BilB at 2.43pm

    I was responding to a straw man.

    I live in a regional town, with much better infrastructure than people have in far North Qld. The population density here is not particularly low, partly because our dairy farms can be smallish, and we are only 100 km from Melbourne.

    The immediate development problem is to find new industries and paid activities to make up for lost jobs at Hazelwood itself, and with the contractors for Hazelwood; and jobs disappearing through a more recent timber mill closure (mostly affecting the Latrobe Valley, a little further from Melbourne).

    The existing electric transmission lines provide an opportunity for new energy supply to Melbourne and locally. Some niche horticulture, agriculture opportunities exist. New non-seasonal tourism could help even out visitor numbers around the year (beyond beach, ski fields).

    Some services need improving and would provide employment, e.g. a new regional hospital, improved goods trains and passenger trains.

    Your suggestions are timely.
    To add to the feeling that “if you don’t use it you might lose it” may I suggest that a degree of vibrancy, innovation, industry and employment, simply leads to a better life for most folk, through
    * income
    * community resilience and friendliness
    * new types of jobs
    * local educational attainments
    * varied leisure pursuits
    * enough people to form the ‘nuclei’ of clubs and associations

  26. I think there’s something about Billions of dollars for desalination plants in the Capital Cities that mostly don’t produce a bucket full of fresh water a year was a splendid investment in our children’s future but allowing a farmer to pump from a river that runs through her property is far to costly to some rare species that nobody ever heard of.

    I think, I could be wrong. I’ll have to check.

  27. Jumpy: Brisbane went close to running out of water during the last big drought. Building desalination plants and water recycling are part of a logical strategy for reducing the risk of running out. (Not helped by rising population and climate change.) It takes time to build desalination plants that can be turned on when dam water level drops below some trigger point. It also makes sense to leave them mothballed while dam levels are relatively high.

  28. John
    Some places run out of water up here every year, you know that.
    You also must know the feeling is that our State government would rather spend on a tunnel for city folk to leave home 7 minutes later every morning than ensure country folk can work at all.

    The greens don’t give a shit about votes in the bush, just the cities.

  29. John, from Diamond’s site:

    I’m a qualified secondary teacher and web designer who cares strongly about education, environment and integrity.

    She looks Green to me.

    Jumpy, can’t speak for the Greens, but I wouldn’t pay any attention to that 7 minutes thing. You can cherry pick stuff like that. When they widened Waterworks Road, they spent $25 million and it was true at the time that trip time only improved by 5 mins or so. But had the work not been done it would be completely unworkable by now.

    Also they put in turning lanes, so not so many people die on the road now. It was notorious before.

    People outside Brisbane don’t seem to realise what a formidable barrier the river is.

  30. Not having water is a formidable barrier too Brian.
    Imagine the mirth at a country pub at a city bloke complaining about a river.
    This is what we’re talking about.

  31. I agree wholeheartedly that there is insufficient understanding of life and work in rural areas, by city dwellers. And it’s not just the latte, chai hipsters.

    I used to think it would be more useful for each city municipality to “twin” with a town or region in the bush, rather than a city in Japan or China or USA.

    But then the “twinning” so often seems to be mostly about junkets fact-finding tours by the Mayor and Councillors….. Let them fact find in a rural area in their own State, I say.

  32. Jumpy: If a small outback town runs out of water it may be practical to truck in water or move the people to somewhere with water. However, if a place the size Brisbane ran out of water neither of these strategies would be practical.
    I shouldn’t have to tell a construction person like you that the lead time for installing desalination plant means that it is not a quick fix.

  33. There’s been plenty of lead time to build dams around Brisbane.
    Droughts aren’t a new thing.
    But somehow an arse breathing turtle that hates large reservoirs of water or some other green crap gets in the way.
    But somehow a coal powered desal plant is the environmental bees dick.

    Good grief.

  34. My family lived and worked in the serious outback for over 18 yrs so I understand how people feel when they work in the heat, the flies and the dust while getting poorer services than they would in the cities or places like Mackay. I can also understand why the Katters do well in the areas where they come from.
    I don’t think there are any easy answers for regional Qld because the problems and opportunities vary substantially over the regions.

  35. Luckily the desalination plant near Wonthaggi (a regional town) in South Gippsland has not yet been used on a large scale.

    It would be coal fired.
    As more solar for the grid is installed, the proportion of coal energy it uses will reduce. I understand that some desalination in WA is solar powered??

    Mr J, folk gotta drink.

    On subject of “the bee’s d*ck”, I suggest you might enquire about the Queen Bee’s “nuptial flight” and the fate of the bees’ d*cks that get involved with the Queen.

    It’s an explosive story!

  36. Jumpy, you are being very facile over this. It might help if you used your brain, because right now you are demonstrating what the problem is with some regional folks.

    The City of Brisbane is over a million people, and more than double that in Greater Brisbane. That does not include the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

    Bridges are significant infrastructure, and in Brisbane there are none for local traffic below the city, I think around 40km from the sea (the Gateway is really a highway). There are a few around the city centre and only two upstream until you get well away from the city.

    You are particularly ignorant about the water supply. There are no feasible sites left for major dams in the Greater Brisbane area. You can lift the Wivenhoe wall, but remember many of us live below it. The Traveston Dam on the Mary was never a good place to build a dam. It was flat and porous, would have inundated much fertile ground, imperilled much more than one of the 25 most endangered turtles in the world, and probably had an environmental impact around the Fraser Coast at the mouth.

    The Mary River is not part of SEQ. Why should their area be devastated to supply us?

    The desalination plant is another story, but when it was built we had about 6-9 months supply left.

    Look I’ve got other things to do. That is only the beginning of what you need to know before any of your comments become worth engaging with, but I can see that there is no respect, only flippant point-scoring.

    The Gold Coast can’t always supply itself, and we pump water up over the range to Toowoomba, in the highest lift in the world because they stupidly voted against recycled water.

  37. Not having water is a formidable barrier too Brian.
    Imagine the mirth at a country pub at a city bloke complaining about a river.
    This is what we’re talking about.

    Jumpy, they can piss themselves laughing, but take a look at the Centenary Bridge, a significant structure, although around 46km from the sea. If the Western freeway is to become something other than a carpark, it will have to be widened.

    Look at the size of the river. Yet it provides zero drinking water for us below the Wivenhoe. The tidal zone goes up a bit further than Centenary Bridge.

    The Wivenhoe catchment needs 50mm before it starts to run off. The dams are now around 70% and haven’t been full for at least three years. Recently they were saying if we keep losing 10% a year for another couple of year (as happened 2000-2005) it will be time for restrictions and planning more desalination.

    Your mates can piss themselves, but they are ignoramuses, who, it seems do not want to know. Pathetic.

    End of rant.

  38. Brian
    If your going to get so insulting and emotional in response to my polite comments then maybe your just not up for it.
    Perhaps look into dam policies of each party and insult the ones you disagree with is you need to blow off steam.
    The greens have a NO DAMS EVER ! policy and the ALP don’t have one at all.

    For a fraction of the taxpayer dollars to tart the SE up for 2 weeks of 2nd rate sporting ‘ games ‘ we could have a couple permanent dams up here.

    ( Note, no accusations of not useing brain, being facile, ignorant, flippant or an ignoramus being directed at others in a dis-respectful way by me )
    But if the subject make you too tetchy I’ll drop it.

  39. Nice rant Brian. Jumpy was due for one. Both you and I have lived for a long time in both regional and capital cities for many years and have some idea of the problems of living in both types of environment and how some people who have lived within a small area for most of their lives struggle to understand the differences between what can and should be done in regional and and capital city areas.
    Living in Central Qld was a cultural shock for the Davidson’s. The mines I was used to were truly multicultural while the central Qld mining town we lived in was dominated by by Central Q’landers who had lived almost all their lives in Central Qld.

  40. John, I grew up in the bush, have rellies and people I grew up with there and during about a quarter of a century in QEd I visited Thursday Island, Cairns and the Tablelands as far as Ravenshoe, Innisfail, Tully, Townsville, Mirani, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Maryborough Hervey Bay, Mt Isa, Longreach, Charleville, Dirranbandi, and points in between like Arcadia Valley, Taroom and Monto. Staple conversation was the weather and rural commodity prices.

    I have on brother who is a cattle grower, another who has a PhD in pastures, and a nephew who lectures at the agricultural college in Emerald.

    Jumpy, I was not angry or emotional and don’t need a pat on the head from you. I was simply calling ignorance for what it is. People who revel in their ignorance take it to another level.

    You’ve given me mostly pub talk, I’ve given you information.

    On the Commonwealth games, I did not welcome the Brisbane Games in 1982, nor the 2018 Gold Coast games.

    In retrospect, I think the 1982 Games, together with Expo 88, provided useful infrastructure (Southbank out of Expo is magnificent) and put Brisbane on the map, shedding its country town image.

    I have an open mind about what the Games will do for the Gold Coast:

    With a census-estimated 2016 population of 638,090,[3] The Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and the second-largest city in Queensland.

    People might start to take it seriously as more than a string of tourist villages.

  41. Well Brian, if you think the folk living in the places mentioned in your travel resume feel they are treated equally by government as the SE then I disagree and we’re ignoramuses.

    Little question though, do you think the SE folk feel they’re treated as lessor than the regional folk ?
    Or are they cleverer than that ?

  42. Jumpy, I think the trick is not to assume anything, and to know what you don’t know.

    I can’t answer any of those questions.

    There is also a difference between how people feel they are being treated and how they are actually treated. Once again, I can bet there is a difference, but I don’t actually know.

    On ABC local, which at this time is national with Nightlife and Philip Clarke they have just had a discussion on Northern Development.

    A bloke from the north saying they have 93% remnant vegetation and don’t want to be told they can’t cut down a tree by someone in the Riverina (not the big smoke), where they have 93% cleared.

    I have sympathy for both, but I tend to think the people in the Riverina should butt out. At the same time the people in the north can’t do whatever they like.

    In the end, it is a ‘wicked’ problem. We all know there needs to be a balance, but there is no answer that will keep everyone happy.

  43. There is a potential issue in Macalister.

    Greens decided preferences locally, and the local Greens preferenced Hetty Jonston. If Greens preferences lift her above LNP then LNP preferences may shoot her above Labor.

    Green voters are more likely than most to make their own minds, and it is thought that those who know Johnston wouldn’t tend to preference her.

    Labor needs Macalister to get to 47.

  44. Hetty Jonston needs around 2000 preferences from combined Greens and others, which together only got so far 3600 votes.

    Green preference on a measly 1791 votes (6.5%) could decide the seat and the election in terms of a governing majority.

  45. I have heard claims that the Maiwar independent will give about 50% of her preferences to the Greens with about 25% to Labor and the LNP. If this is true the Greens are in.

  46. John
    I recon any claim the candidate in question gave more than one single preference to anyone is a false claim.

  47. Mr J

    Perhaps Mr D was referring to the preferences expressed by those electors who gave the independent candidate their first preference?

    Or were you just being witty again?

    Welcome to Pedants Anon.

  48. I think John D was quoting from scrutineers reports. At present Green is but 12 votes ahead, but If John is right, Berkman is in.

    I’m worried about Macalister, and dumb local Greens decision to preference Hetty Johnston.

  49. Apparently the delay in counting is because the votes within each electorate have to be physically moved to the returning officer at a single point. In Traeger, that’s the equivalent of Vienna to Amsterdam without the same road and rail.

    There are 100,000 votes still in transit. They have to arrive by Tuesday next week, and the final count should be done by the end of next week. Writs not returned until the beginning of January.

    The one that is worrying is Hetty Johnston in Macalister. She only has to get 1000 preferences from 3700 Greens and others to get ahead of LNP, and LNP prefernces would then probably vault her to the top ahead of Labor who have 36.6% first preference.

    She is ferocious single issue child safety, but comes across as rigid, narrow-minded, even a bigot. Not sure where she stands on renewables, coal and stuff.

  50. Kevin Bonham & Poll Bludger both seem to regard Johnson’s chances as not good. On your point,t the number of preferences she needs to get will depend on how many preferences from Greens and independents go to LNP? If that number is X then she will need 959 plus X

  51. Douglas, right now Johnston needs 975 from the 3767 votes below her. Around half of them are Green and the local Greens preferences Johston ahead of Labor.

    Kevin Bonham & Poll Bludger, and the ALP itself seem confident, but I simply can’t see why they would be. On the face of it, Johnston is in with a very good chance. ALP scrutineers may know otherwise.

    In this Courier Mail article (pay-walled) Johnston has virtually claimed the seat:

    “They did a full recount because on the night of the election they did LNP and ALP and chose ALP to win, but they did that same process again yesterday for me and they had me 2277 in front at that point.”

    In that article the ALP say she would need a preference flow of 70%. That may have been true earlier, but on current figures she only needs 26%.

    ALP could still govern with 46, plus one Green (Maiwar has tightened with the Green only 4 in front of the ALP) but it would be tight.

  52. Jumpy, just thinking about how that basically silly conversation I had with you ended, I understand perfectly well how people in the regions feel in the normal sense of ‘understand’.

    However, I won’t make generalisations about them without social research to ‘know’ with some scientific backing.

    Moreover, I have not called them ignoramuses. Anything I said negative about anyone was referring to your characterisation of them, which I doubt is true.

  53. Jumpy I read that brief post. Is there something new in it that I missed? Regions will always be ignored to a greater or lesser extent, there is no way to bring everything to all people. We can only tilt at the best compromises.
    If you don’t like those decisions, vote against that party.

    BTW, I am still hoping for your regional insights into the Adani project. I rely on reading stuff but I spoke to no person who might be more directly affected by the decision one way or the other.

  54. Jumpy, from your article:

    “A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer the preferred means of promoting regional development. Existing government initiatives are rather generic and are not sufficiently fine-tuned to the needs and demands of Australia’s diverse regions,” he wrote.

    It’s not rocket science. When I left the Ed Dept in 1991 we had 13 regions for schools etc (not TAFE and universities) each with a regional director. Each had unique needs.

    One of my first notable experiences in 1969, was a barbecue at a regional seminar in Townsville. Later in the night, with a few beers under our belts a teacher form Cardwell was complaining that the ‘southern suburban sprawl’ started at Townsville.

    I decided then, you were more likely to hear plain speaking late at night, but you had to be sober enough to remember next morning what was said.

    Cardwell is on the way to Cairns which is 347 km further north from Townsville and another country.

    From Cairns it is 1685 km to Brisbane, which is further than it is from Brisbane to Melbourne via the Newell Highway.

    Just before I left in 1991 I met a principal from Central Region (HQ Rockhampton), who had been chosen to represent the region by the regional director. He was telling me how the regional staff blew in driving their aircon cars, ran around in circles for an hour or two and then took off thinking they were in touch with school needs.

    I’ve also seen research showing that when you ask a school what it needs, you’ll get the outcome of intra-school politics rather than the actual needs – or what the principal wanted all along.

    On top of all that is the voice of the chief financial officer in the Ed Dept from my early years ringing in my ears, “Brian, need is infinite, but the department’s budget isn’t!”

    So make of all that what you will.

  55. Geoff, on Adani I spoke to my sister-in-law, who lives at Gracemere, just west of Rockhampton. They are Nationals voters from way back, and see One Nation people as disruptive trouble-makers.

    She was I think fairly neutral and not pretending to know all about it. She said that the mine was on “poor country”, meaning it was not productive. I haven’t spoken to my brother recently about it, but earlier on he had concerns about the disruptive nature of the railway across grazing lands, from the point of view of farm management, but also the natural movement of water when there was heavy rain. And they do get summer rain in very large bursts in that region at times. I mean like 11 inches in a storm here, and 8 inches there, as they ring up and compare notes.

    Other than that we talked about the politics. At this point I’ll say she was impressed with Robbie Katter, as have a lot of people been, but KP has not made inroads south of Townsville so far. Didn’t run in Rockhampton.

  56. Just as a point of interest with my bro, they live on creek flats about 100 metres from a creek which can run or even flood with no local rain. They have to park their car on the other side and use the foot bridge when the creek comes up, hence the interest in what is happening with the weather further up the creek is not just academic.

  57. Brian
    she will need more than 975 preferences to the extent that any preferences from the Green and the Independent go to the LNP. Every one of the preferences from those candidates that goes to the LNP increases the number of preferences she has to get to make into second place ahead of the LNP.

    Put it another way out of a three-way split of preferences with the LNP and the ALP, Johnston’s share will need to be about 25% higher than the LNP’s share. If LNP gets 20% of those preferences she will need to get 45% .

    Like you I suspect the only people who have a good handle on this would be the ALP scrutineers.

  58. Just pointing in the direction of research done.
    Looks to be saying what I was getting at.
    Perhaps I am useing my brain and not being a flippant, facile ignoramus that make incorrect caricatures of my neighbors.

    But weren’t we talking about dams not schools ?

  59. Jumpy, let’s just leave the earlier stuff, I’m talking about everything. Joh Bjelke notoriously neglected electorates that didn’t vote for him. So Gladstone did not get the schools they needed, they got masses of demountables. Something about flying with the crows.

    Liz Cunningham changed the government because the Labor one didn’t fix the leaky roof of the hospital.

  60. Geoff,
    I did reply the other day.
    My ear to the ground around here is Adani is fine other than the water issues and nobody has the stomach for taxpayer money going to a private company.

    Either they stands on their own two feet or drag their arses elsewhere.

  61. Thanks Jumpy, I just missed it.
    Did you get any feeling about environment, or that the projected jobs were a fraction of the original Adani advice?

  62. Douglas, that is really helpful. This time next week we’ll all know.

    meanwhile in the AFR Robbie Katter says Labor has more of a mandate to form government in Queensland.

    He’s still waiting to a do a deal with Plaszczuk, which I think will simply not happen. head of his list is the Hell’s Gate dam north of Townsville. He also wants the government to build the Adani rail line and make money out of it.

  63. Douglas, I think unlike PHON they have no money, apart from some shooters and fishers, so they have to restrict their efforts.

    After Robbie Katter spoke to Steve Austin on local radio the other day people were ringing up and saying, How can we vote for these guys?

  64. Thanks Brian for the Adani update re Chinese funding. The caveat is that another Chinese bank might step up. Possible I think but not a big chance.
    If this sinks Carmichael it also sinks The Galilee Basin because all those (7-8) potential mines need the rail line. I think Gina R has a holding there. If I’m right perhaps a coalition of miners might pull something together. But each of those investors would need a green light to mine the Basin and that could take years. And if the price of coal continues to decline as predicted, the future of Adani in Oz is constrained.

    Attention has been drawn to Adani’s high debt level and some very high financing due next year on Abbot Point. If Carmichael slips through Adanis fingers, Adani may seek to unload Abbot Point to say, Glencore, and it will mean the balance sheet will take a hit of up to $2.5 billion if Carmichael is included as a stranded asset. That on top of the losses due to the Mundra power station, apparently sold for just 1 (one) rupee.
    But Mr Adani is seriously clever and well connected. It has taken him just 15 years to bring himself to where he is now, so we will see how he deals with his Australian problems.

  65. Geoff, my impression is that Adani’s companies could all go broke, and he and his family would be just fine.

    He seems to operate through a series of dodgy enterprises from which he extracts wealth and keeps it elsewhere.

  66. I need to say that Kevin Bonham is doing an excellent job in analysing the bejesus out of every seat that is in doubt.

    There is also an excellent summary by Tim Colebatch at Inside Story.

    By his definition of ‘Greater Brisbane’ Labor/Greeens have 36 of 41. In the rest of the state Labor has only 11 out of 52.

    We’ve heard lots of noise from federal Coalition MPs in the bush screaming that One Nation is a threat. But Brisbane is where they lost the election. Ignore that reality, and they’ll keep losing.

    That’s about right, and it has happened before.

  67. Brian that Adani Corp could fail is an interesting thought. And you’d be right about the Adani family being ok. But Adani has ties with Modi and there might be some protection from the Indian government.
    I’d be happy enough if Adani quit Australia. And if he is ever brought to book for his various other sins, so much the better.

  68. Geoff, I think if Adani was taking over an Australian company the federal treasurer has the final call and could eliminate him for any reason whatsoever.

    Where we are now is different. If there was a legitimate way to stop him i think we would have heard about it.

    Jumpy, a bloke from the AEC was talking the other day. I think he said the AEC internally does recounts if they think there is any doubt. After the writs are returned, there is a legal process (court of disputed returns?), but the bloke said you have to bring evidence, you can’t just ask for it because it was close.

  69. Thanks Brian.
    I think Federally there’s a automatic recount if the difference is only seperated by 100 votes.
    I think that’s a good thing considering the AECs competency recently.
    I’ve no reason to think the ECQ are any more competent.

    ( note: questioning competency is NOT attacking integrity)

  70. Labor has won majority in Queensland, says ABC election veteran

    Labor has almost certainly won the 47 seats it needs to form a majority government in Queensland, the ABC’s veteran election analyst Antony Green says.

    Mr Green has called the Gold Coast hinterland seat of Gaven for Labor, the final seat Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to govern without crossbench support.

    The election expert added there was still an outside chance that independent candidate Hetty Johnston could snatch the seat of Macalister, south of Brisbane, from Labor despite being in third place.

    But Mr Green believed that was unlikely.

    New Saturday salon now up.

  71. It looks as though Michael Birkman has edged out Ali King to take Maiwar for the Greens. Macalister looks safe for Labor, so that makes 47, the magic number. Labor is at 50.1% in Townsville, just 54 votes ahaed, with about 84% counted. Too close to call, but the only real undecided seat.

    That leaves the LNP stranded on 39 or 40 I think.

    Nicholls is toast as Phones run hot as LNP contenders consider leadership spill.

    Contenders are Deb Frecklington, David Crisafulli, Tim Mander and John-Paul Langbroek.

  72. I’ll put this comment on this thread.

    William Bowe (Poll Bludger) has had a look at the impact of ON on the election. The Oz is flogging the view that Labor won on the back of ON preferences.

    So, depending on just how you do your calculation, it looks as if the effect of having One Nation in the field was either so small it could just about be a rounding error, or else was moderately significant in favor of the opposition. But on no story did it help Labor.

    That’s on the numbers, anyway. Politically, of course, it’s quite a different matter: it’s very likely that the LNP lost votes because of its dealings with One Nation, just as it did in Western Australia. So in that sense Labor benefited from One Nation’s return.

    But that’s no help to News Corp either, because the LNP came to grief precisely through following its preferred strategy, of jumping into bed with the far right.

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