The 2020 Queensland State Election is different to any you have experienced in your life as a voter.
First Fixed Election
It will be our first “fixed-date” election. From now on, every Queensland election will be held on October 31, every four years.
Every Fourth Halloween
The choice of Halloween for all Queensland’s future elections should raise a wry smile. The more important aspect is that whoever we elect will be there for four whole years. There will be no more “captain’s calls” about election timing.
Governments Can’t Avoid Voters
The upside of this is that incompetent governments can’t avoid their date with the voters.
Voters Can’t Sack Governments Early
The downside is that if voters get it wrong, they are stuck with their choice for nearly half a decade. A lot of damage can be done in that time.
Whoever Wins 2020 Shapes Queensland’s Post-COVID Future
For this reason we must all think seriously about what Queensland is facing when we cast our ballot in about 42 days.
We must also think carefully about how we number every square on the ballot paper. Labor did away with the right to “Just Vote One”, in the hope of harvesting even more green and one nation preferences. So – every square matters.
Every Square Matters
The preferential voting system operating in this election, means how you number every square will matter.
There are a number of possible Halloween outcomes that should give us all a fright.
A Hung Parliament
The 2015 election gave us a hung parliament. The first Palaszczuk Government governed with the support of the Katter Party.
As part of the deal, KAP was given extra staff at the taxpayers’ expense. But as soon as she could, Premier Palaszczuk withdrew that special treatment citing comments by KAP Senator Fraser Anning in the federal senate.
KAP seemed out-foxed, as they did not secure any legacy for regional Queensland for having been given the balance of power.
This was not a time of good outcomes for Queensland, which tends to be true of all minority governments, but there is an even worse possibility at the 2020 vote.
A Greens Balance of Power
Media has been reporting polling done by the Greens showing they hope to win at least three seats in the new Parliament.
It is hard to know if this sort of polling is accurate, but assuming that it is, that would mean Labor will harvest a lot of green preferences across many seats.
This why some commentators are predicting a hung parliament, with Labor forming a minority government reliant on the greens for a voting majority in the House.
A “Woke” Agenda
This means Labor would be dependent on Greens MPs voting to support every bill and Labor would have to give the Greens their way on some major issues to sustain that support over four years. I don’t think they’ll be as polite as KAP was.
What Are Green Issues?
The Greens have policies that will impact on the functioning of virtually every aspect of Queensland’s economy: energy, agriculture, mining, construction, property and even tourism.
The Greens are no longer about environmental issues. They have formal policies in every key area and a very “woke” agenda.
Their policies on taxation state openly that they will raise an additional $67 Billion in taxes over the next four years.
One proposed tax is a 75 per cent tax on land value gains for property developers. The Greens see property developers as inherently bad. But without property developers, there are no private homes owned by individuals.
They also plan to raise mining royalties and to have Queensland’s electricity supply be 100% from renewable sources by 2030.
Repeating California’s Errors
Have a look at how this is working for California. It is producing over 30% of its power from renewables. It plans to increase that to 60% by 2030.
During the heat wave last month, the renewables weren’t available for reasons that are yet to be explained. The result was rolling blackouts as people sweltered through high temperatures.
In Gregory All Summer is Hot
In Gregory, we don’t have relatively short heat “waves”. We have sustained highs in temperatures above 36C for months at a time. Most of regional Queensland has a similar time in summer. If it is not the heat, it is the humidity.
We must have reliable and affordable electricity if we are to function. So, must agriculture, so must mining and so must industry – and all who work in them.
Regions Penalised Again
This term of Parliament saw Labor punish the regions at every turn, hoping to stop city voters deserting them for the Greens. If we vote them into a formal arrangement in a hung parliament, Queensland is facing disaster. By the time 2024 rolls around, so much damage will have been done it will be hard to repair.
A Critical Crossroads
Australia and Queensland are both at a critical point in history.
The pandemic has brought about not just a health crisis, but the biggest financial crisis in 75 years.
Queensland’s situation is even more dire. After two terms of the Palaszczuk Government our state is burdened by over $100 billion in debt.
Before COVID19, Queensland was already Australia’s bankruptcy capital. We already had Australia’s highest unemployment and lowest business confidence.
What Sort of Government Should We Aspire To?
We desperately need a solid, managerial government that will put in the boring but hard yards to undo the damage, turn the ship around and get us back on the right course.
That will take time, effort and consultation.
Minority Government Won’t Cut It
That is not a minority government controlled by a smaller partner. That type of government can’t govern firmly because it is always “off-balance”. Its primary focus becomes cutting secret deals with its junior partner.
I hope Queenslanders, particularly in the regions, will speak with one voice, and speak strongly.
Factional Government Won’t Cut It
A Government of factions is a government of “faceless men”. This what we have experienced under the Palaszczuk government. The Labor factions appoint the Ministers and do the deals. Factions govern for themselves. They don’t govern for the whole Labor Party, let alone for the benefit of the whole state. No wonder Ministers Lynham and Jones are bowing out.
Personality Cults Won’t Cut It
A personality cult built around the party leader, as Labor is using COVID to do for Annastacia Palaszczuk, won’t cut it.
This style of government leads to stubbornness, a lack of consultation and an inability to change as circumstances change. It actually tends to put too much power in the hands of unelected advisors, while sidelining the elected representatives.
What We Need is “Team Responsible”
Media find this boring, but as John Howard’s governments showed us, a strong team that can engage with the issues is the way forward.
Despite everything that has been thrown at the LNP’s team this term, we have stuck together as a team and stood by our principles. I am still hopeful this will count.
What is the Plan?
Labor has no plan because it has no budget, as the last sitting of Parliament showed us all clearly.
I wrote about this last week and you can still read that letter at Lachlanmillarmp.com
The LNP has a detailed plan for managing Queensland’s economic recovery. You can read more here.
What is the Record?
Importantly, we also have the record.
Under the LNP
The strong economic management of the last LNP government led to record levels of business investment in Queensland.
Economic growth averaged a healthy 2.8% and we left office with growth forecast to be higher than 4 %.
We reduced government debt by $5billion compared to Labor’s forecasts and in the last year of LNP government, more than half of all jobs created in Australia were created in Queensland.
Compare this to last week’s financial announcements by Labor’s Treasurer Dick.
Under Labor, government debt has blown out by more than $18 billion in a single year to soar past $101 Billion. Labor forecasts a deficit of $8.136 Billion.
Economic growth was negative last year and the economy is predicted to grow by only 0.25 percent – a quarter of one percent – this financial year.
Unemployment is forecast to jump from 6.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent, meaning another 73,000 lost jobs in addition to the record 234,000 Queenslanders already out of work.
The public service has blown out by another 3900 positions, and Labor has spent over $500,000 on polling voters’ feelings about COVID19.
Labor spent over $50,000 to hire a PR firm as part of their COVID response. This is in addition to the army of media advisors in the ministerial offices.
KPMG strategist Mike Kaiser has also been brought in on consultant’s rates to help create a plan for the state’s economic recovery.
Who Is He?
Mike Kaiser is a former Labor MP for Woodridge, and Anna Bligh’s Chief of Staff. When media questioned the Premier about what he was doing, she claimed not to know him. “I don’t know who you’re talking about, sorry”, she said. That just doesn’t wash.
COVID Changes – In Case You Missed Them
There are a couple of changes to COVID restrictions this week.
Gold Coast and Darling Downs
Restrictions on gatherings and visitors at hospitals and aged care homes have been lifted for the Gold Coast and the Darling Downs.
They remain in place for Greater Brisbane.
ACT Border Reopens
Queensland will reopen its border to the ACT from 1 AM, next Friday, September 25, 2020. This is well overdue. There hasn’t been a case in the ACT for months. Queensland actually has more cases than the ACT.
Either there was never a problem or it took the new consultants to think of asking to see people’s drivers licence or other proof of residence to stop people using the ACT as a gateway from Sydney to Brisbane.
The border closures remain for NSW and Victoria.
Residential Eviction Moratorium Ends
The Queensland Government has confirmed that the COVID19 moratorium on the eviction of residential tenants will finish on September 30.
However, several other protections will be maintained to the end of the year. This includes the protection for tenants being listed on tenancy databases for unpaid rent if that was due to the impact of COVID19. The requirements around social distancing affecting entry into a property will also remain.
Lessors will continue to have relaxed repair and maintenance obligations until the end of 2020, but they must continue to maintain the rental property in a safe state.
Commercial Eviction Moratorium Extended
In contrast to residential tenancies, the moratorium on commercial lease evictions has been extended by three months until the end of 2020.
Blackwater Never Had A COVID Case!
Finally, a footnote to the COVID19 stunt in Blackwater in May does not reflect well on Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Steven Miles.
Leaked emails show Queensland Health knew that my constituent, Nathan Turner, had tested negative for corona virus for three days before the news was made public.
Played For Fools
Minister Miles played this drama for all it was worth, duping 5,000 Blackwater residents in the process. Worse still, he kept Nathan’s fiancé and close contacts in unnecessary quarantine, all the time knowing there was no corona virus in Blackwater.
What a disgrace! He is a fitting heir to former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
As I wrote at the time, it wasn’t Blackwater’s first rodeo and they aren’t fools. They worked out pretty quickly what was going down.
Thank You for Reading
Thanks for reading and staying up to date.
As always, I welcome any comments or information by return email.
You can raise any issues with me the same way, or by going to my website at Lachlanmillarmp.com. You can find scholarships, grants, community events and my speeches, newsletters and media releases there as well.
If You Need Help – Please Call
If you need help or advice related to any state government issue, please don’t hesitate to call my offices.
If we can’t help you, we can usually give you the contacts for the right person who can. Gregory Longreach is PH (07) 4521 5700. Gregory Emerald (07) 4913 1000.
Kindest Regards – and stay safe,
Lachlan Millar MP
Member for Gregory and
Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers.