At the Queensland election, held on November 25, the size of parliament was increased from 89 seats to 93. Comparing this result with 2015, Labor officially won 48 of the 93 seats (up four), the Liberal National Party 39 (down three), Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) three (up one), and One Nation, the Greens and an independent won one seat each.
This is a guest post by blog commenter Geoff Henderson. It is particularly strong on the structure and standing of Adani as a company, and on the truly pathetic contribution the project would make to both jobs and the coffers of the state government in royalties. I’ve added some links of other recent material at the end. Enjoy!
Annastacia Palaszczuk has put her premiership on the line by sacking Billy Gordon, the Member for Cook, from the ALP and asking him to resign his seat.
The state of the parties now is that the LNP has 42, the ALP 43, the Katter Party has two and there are two independents, Peter Wellington and Billy Gordon. To govern a party needs 45 votes, including the casting vote of the speaker, currently Peter Wellington.
To cut to the chase, Gordon is not legally obliged to resign, and I suspect he won’t. The Katter Party are in talks with Labor, as they “don’t want to be in the business of tearing down governments every six months or every year.”
The Katter Party:
wants Labor’s commitment on improving regional roads, water development, mandating ethanol in fuel and setting up a rural development bank.
This whole matter was raised by Geoff Henderson on the NSW election thread. For posterity I’ll attempt to outline the relevant information here.
Breaking and entering and stealing in 1987 in Innisfail
Breaking and entering with intent, attempted breaking and entering and stealing in 1990 in Atherton
Breach of probation in 1992 in Atherton
Public nuisance in 1996 in Normanton and breach of bail conditions in 1999
Driver licence suspended for unlicensed driving in 2004 and 2008
Served with an Apprehended Violence Order in 2008 after a complaint by his mother.
I understand he also falsified tax returns to avoid paying child support. Furthermore on Friday Palaszczuk referred Gordon to police amid allegations he abused a former partner a decade ago.
Gordon has deceived the public, the ALP in pre-selection and Palaszczuk said he looked her in the eye and lied to her. He should resign from parliament.
However, his statement published in the Brisbane Times makes much of his underprivileged upbringing and his yearning for a “perfect father figure” when he got into trouble with the law as a teenager. I get the impression that he has forgiven himself much, and will do so again. His latest statement:
Mr Gordon, the member for Cook, said in a statement he was weighing up his options and needed time to seek further legal advice and discuss the matter with his family and supporters.
“I am very concerned that I should be afforded natural justice in any determination that my tenure as the Member for Cook should be terminated because of [the Premier’s] move to see me expelled from the Labor Party and her wish for me to resign as a Member of Parliament,” the statement said.
“The Premier has previously requested that the Police Commissioner investigate whether I have transgressed any law and that process should be allowed to continue its natural course.
“Any other attempt to remove me from the Parliament and force me to resign is a denial of natural justice.”
He said in the statement he had a “serious eye operation” on Monday.
Legally Professor Graeme Orr of Queensland University said Mr Gordon could only be forced to resign from Parliament if he served more than a year in jail.
A question has been raised as to whether Labor should accept Gordon’s vote. Personally I think this would only further disenfranchise the citizens of Cook.
Meanwhile the Katter Party are asking quite a lot of a cash-strapped government. The alternatives then are trying to govern as a minority government, or going to the people. Katter plus LNP does not add up without Wellington, and it is doubtful that he would give the LNP a go.
I understand that the LNP in post-polling analysis believe that dislike of Campbell Newman was worth about 7% to Labor. On that basis they would expect to win in a canter. Graham Young who has also done some polling believes that there was a significant “protest vote element” of people wanting to send the Newman government a message, but not wanting to elect Labor.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.
Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.
1. Paluszczuk premier at last
Annastacia Palaszczuk has been invited to form government, with the interim ministry to be sworn in on Saturday. Most likely she will start with a couple of key ministers and wait for the arrival of the newly elected members before finalising her ministry.
Former Labor treasurer Terry Mackenroth has been assisting Palaszczuk in transitioning to Government. It was revealed yesterday that he has been assisting her for the last six months.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has decided not to lodge a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns for the seat of Ferny Grove following additional legal advice.
ABC full Queensland election coverage is here. Ours is here.
Guardian Australia can confirm the resignation request, reported in the Age on Friday, and understands it was relayed to Triggs on behalf of the attorney general, George Brandis, by the secretary of his department, Chris Moraitis. It is understood that Triggs was offered another position in the same conversation.
Government backbenchers have also ramped up their public calls for her resignation and threatened a parliamentary inquiry into “bias” in her organisation.
Triggs is understood to have refused to resign from her position. She was appointed the president in July 2012 for a five-year term and can be removed for bankruptcy or serious misconduct only.
The release of the report was always going to be accompanied by recrimination. For months the Coalition laid the groundwork, belting the Australian Human Rights Commission publicly and feeding material to The Australian newspaper, which gleefully conspired to trash an independent, public institution.
It was a pre-emptive strike inspired in part by pure malice, and in part by anticipation: they knew the report, which documents the impact of the bipartisan-backed policy of mandatory detention of children – would be devastating.
3. German higher education is free
John D brought this fact to my attention recently so I googled and here we have it:
From this semester [September 2014], all higher education will be free for both Germans and international students at universities across the country, after Lower Saxony became the final state to abolish tuition fees.
Education is the responsibility of 16 autonomous states in the German federation. There are 379 higher education institutions with about 2.4m students.
If they can do it, why can’t we?
4. Link between lead and violent crime
The last Catalyst program (series 16, episode 2) revealed that lead particles absorbed by children correlates with violent crime 22 years later. Australia, producing a large share of the world’s lead, has some hotspots, in Boolaroo, Broken Hill, Port Kembla, Port Pirie and Mt Isa. IQ is also negatively affected.
We were told that Australia’s permissible blood levels (10 micrograms per decilitre) were twice as high as those in the US and 625 times background levels.
It’s a widely held view that a glass of red wine a day can be good for you. Unfortunately new research shows that not to be the case. Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney:
we found that the protective effect reported previously in fact could be an artefact, a statistical artefact relating to the way the study was designed.
What we thought was an established fact turned out to be a methodological error:
The old methodology compared drinkers with non-drinkers. But ex-drinkers where also included in the group of people considered non-drinkers – some who had been directed to stop drinking alcohol for health reasons.
The new research compared drinkers to non-drinkers only, and consequently could not find any evidence that drinking in small amounts can be good for you.
Well, it’s still too close to call, but it’s looking that way.
Antony Green couldn’t believe what was coming out of his computer. Swings of 20% and more to the ALP. It kept coming, so he had to believe it.
There are 89 seats in parliament, so the magic number is 45. By 7.15 the computer was giving 42 to Labor and 3 ‘other’. They are Rob Katter and Shane Knuth of KAP and the long-standing, principled independent, Peter Wellington. All three are against asset sales and were, I understand, putting the LNP last.
At the end of the night the ABC computer gave 43 seats to Labor, 40 to the LNP, 3 other and 3 undecided. Antony Green reckons Labor will probably get 45, possibly 46. Wayne Swan reckons the LNP can’t get past 42.
Annastacia Palaszczuk says it’s too close to call, but she thinks Labor will form government. During the campaign she said she wouldn’t do deals with the cross bench. If she has more members than the LNP the Governor will be obliged to ask whether she can form government. At that point she doesn’t need to do a formal deal. She will just have to consult the cross bench before she brings any legislation to the parliament.
Mark on Facebook said:
Tonight’s Labor victory in Queensland is a defining moment of change in Australian politics, which will never be the same.
I hope he expands on that, but I am inclined to agree. I think the Newman/LNP style galvanised the ALP base. Kate Jones in Ashgrove (Newman is history; we never need to listen to his voice again!) said she had 500 volunteers working for her.
Tim Nicholls and Jane Prentice (federal member for Ryan) on the ABC panel both couldn’t grasp that their messages were wrong, not their messaging. Both said, we need to “explain better and take the people with us”. They couldn’t grasp that they were heading in the wrong direction!
By the way, Prentice signalled that Tony Abbott had just two days to turn things around. She was openly calling for a change in direction, or something, and said that his forthcoming address to the press gallery would be “pivotal”.
I’d love to know the numbers, but I was pleased with the number of women who won seats for Labor. Jackie Trad for deputy!