A lot of media time was wasted this week discussing preferences, when most people wanted to hear about the issues facing Queensland and what the various parties propose to do about them.
Read It “In Character”
If you are already weary of the election coverage, my suggestion is to read it with the voices of different comedians – just in your head, of course, or the family will think you have lost it.
Putting Labor Last Brings A Blast
For instance, this week the LNP said it would be putting Labor last in every seat. This was not an endorsement of minor parties. It was a declaration to voters that Queensland cannot take four more years of the Palaszczuk administration at any cost.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles was up campaigning in Townsville and sounding like UK comedian Catherine Tait’s perpetually outraged character who meets the mildest remark with an outraged cry of “How very dare you!”
The Hon Dr Steven Miles criticised the LNP’s preference plan as a “win at all costs” strategy that would effectively put anti-vaccination candidates before the ALP on the LNP’s how-to-vote cards.
Win at all costs is usually Labor’s preserve.
How Very Dare You?
“How very dare you?” he seemed to cry.
Inconveniently, the Townsville Bulletin journalist pointed out that Labor’s long-held strategy of putting One Nation last would lead to exactly the same outcome, unless Labor put the LNP ahead of the anti-vaxxers, on their cards.
The Townsville Bulletin report then dryly observed the issue was really a non-issue, as under the Queensland full-preferential voting system, preferences are usually not fully distributed.
Now for some Frank Spencer
Meanwhile in the marginal seat of Gaven, ALP member Meaghan Scanlan was in a Frank-Spencer level of panic about the LNP preferences plan.
An observant letter writer to the Gold Coast Bulletin shot back, “If I am not wrong the ALP has always placed the LNP at the bottom end or near bottom end of how to vote cards for many elections”. Boom Tish!
Meanwhile in Katter Country…
The Katter Australia Party and One Nation agreed to swap preferences for positions one and two on their cards.
Astonishingly, Robbie Katter also publicly called for a hung parliament. I’m astonished because this is the worst hope for Queensland facing the challenges we do in virtually every quarter.
A Dash of Billy Connolly
KAP is also clearly in negotiations with Labor. A “Text to the Editor” of the Townsville Bulletin said, “The last time he sided with Labor was just rainbows and butterflies, now wasn’t it?”
Read that in a Billy Connolly accent and you just have to nod your head because that’s how we got into this fine mess.
What should you consider when voting this election?
Queensland Needs A Government that is Responsible, Fair and Honest
Putting COVID aside for a moment, after five years of the Palaszczuk administration, Queensland is in a desperate way with ballooning debt, the highest unemployment and bankruptcies in Australia, a state-wide problem with youth crime due to bad laws, a broken child protection system, an ever-expanding public service and the lowest business confidence.
This does not tell the story of competent government.
If Labor is returned, the fixed four year term means we will all be victims of this incompetence for close enough to ten years.
DAF Hide and Seek
A responsible government does not instruct public servants to hide from members of the public seeking their assistance. But this was an actual instruction to employees of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
College Closure with No Plan
A responsible government does not close educational facilities like the Emerald Agricultural College and the Longreach Pastoral College rather than upgrade the model to meet modern training regimes.
$10 Million for No Plan
A responsible government does not then spend $10 million and still have no plan for their future use that ensures agricultural education remains available in central and western Queensland.
$12 Billion Infrastructure Fail
A responsible government does not fail to invest in infrastructure to the tune of more than $12 billion.
That failure has cost not just opportunity but has probably contributed to a range of other problems, like water security, just to name one.
Infrastructure is a fancy word, but when governments neglect it, the costs are real at both a financial and personal level. It is not just rising unemployment and falling quality of life.
Road Maintenance Fail
Who can observe the climbing regional road toll and not see the failure to fund our road maintenance as being a factor.
Teacher Housing Fail
Who can read about the 25 year old teacher at Lockhart River who was viciously attacked with a knife this week and not be outraged at the insecure teacher housing she was provided with. That’s an infrastructure fail right there.
Diss Lady Cilento
Spending $300,000 to change the name of the Queensland’s Children’s Hospital because you don’t like the honouree is not responsible government. If you weren’t sure, watch $2.1 million from offended donors walk out the door.
Losing 5,000 rural fire and SES volunteers is not responsible government.
The Plan to Close Mining
Allowing the promotion of a secret “Queensland Proposal” to shut down Queensland’s mining industry and forever change our state is not responsible Government.
Raiding the Pension Fund
Loading debt onto government-owned corporations and raiding public service pension funds is not responsible government.
Dams and Drought
Demolishing a key dam during drought is not responsible government.
Not Fixing Child Protection
Allowing Queensland children to be tragically killed and mis-treated without trying to fix a broken child protection system is not responsible government.
Preventing Bushfire Fuel Management
Preventing landholders from managing bushfire fuel loads on their own property due to ideology about vegetation management is not responsible government.
Especially when the government itself seems to be exempt, given its plans to build a major highway through a significant koala habitat in the south-east corner.
No Budget, No Scrutiny
Refusing to bring down a budget before the election is not responsible government.
Queensland Needs A Fair Government
In addition to responsible, competent government, Queensland desperately needs a fair government, that sincerely tries to govern for Queensland’s interests not their own.
That is not the Palaszczuk administration as we have experienced it.
Manipulating Parliament, Silencing MPs
The Labor “smarties” have made a sport of treating all non-government members unfairly in the House. In doing so, they have manipulated parliament and gagged MPs’ debates. This has meant some electorates have essentially lost their voice in what should be the people’s house.
Dancing the Side-Step
It is not a sign of fair government when an expert QC suggests that Queensland’s constitution may have to be changed to prevent future government’s avoiding checks and balances as the Palaszczuk government has.
The Lady Cilento Survey
I am sure you all recall the Health Minister responding to his own on-line survey so enthusiastically he made the results pointless.
The Art of the “Consultation”
Labor has made an art of phony consultation. Just look at the number of Committee reports that have one recommendation – “That the Bill be passed”.
Tick the Boxes
The best example of that was the Great Barrier Reef Laws. The Committee heard hundreds of submissions from experts and farmers and local communities about the impact of these laws which remove the ability of farmers to farm without bureaucratic approval.
Then Do What You Want
It was all ignored. Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri said the report was an “insult” and a box-ticking exercise. The consultations were all in the report but were just reported and that’s all.
The same trick has been played on every kind of bill you can think of – from Abortion to Nature Conservation.
Pick Obedient Groups
Another type of phony consultation is what we have seen in the Lake Eyre Basin where whole classes of stakeholders were ignored and only Labor’s hand-picked groups were consulted.
Don’t Listen, Don’t Know, Don’t Care
The real world outcomes of failing to listen are never good. We have seen it in Bill after Bill after Bill in this term of parliament. That is what happens when you don’t consult, both genuinely and widely.
Labor’s Interests Always First
Not to do so means you are not governing in Queensland’s interests and this is not fair government. But in political terms it is always aimed at flattering Labor and Green voters.
Jobs for Mates
It isn’t fair to appoint people to government boards on the basis of their party membership and gender instead of their qualifications and ability to do the job.
Fiddling the Grants
And it isn’t fair to fiddle sporting grants so that worthy applicants miss out in order for applicants in Labor electorates to be substituted. This is particularly unfair to country clubs and country kids.
Youth Crime isn’t Fair
It isn’t fair that Queenslanders personally bear the cost of a youth crime wave caused by Labor’s hopeless youth justice laws. In fact, it isn’t even fair to this cohort of youth lost to crime.
Queensland Needs an Honest Government
There is a lot more I could add. But you get the idea. We need fairness and we also need honesty in government. This government has not been transparent.
The first scandal was Main Roads and Transport Minister Mark Bailey using his personal email to conduct ministerial business with union mates
Rolling right along, we’ve since had Jackie Trad (twice), David Barbagallo (what’s a lazy quarter of a mill between mates), Mick de Brenni (Queenslanders who live in Labor electorates more deserving), and of course the Premier herself.
Contempt of Parliament
Not only has Annastacia Palaszczuk refused to sack any of these ministers or hold her chief of staff to account, she herself has been found in contempt of parliament.
This is a very rare thing and followed her bullying of the Katter Australia MPs, stripping them of their parliamentary resources.
Parliament’s powerful Ethics Committee found the Premier’s threats and actions “amounted to an improper interference with the free performance by the KAP members", forcing her to apologise.
Correcting the Record
All of this made David Barbagallo’s evidence to the CCC recently almost delusionary.
He said “I worked for Goss, we brought in the CCC stuff, you know. We’re the good guys.”
No, That was Russell Cooper
Actually no, David, you didn’t. That was all brought in by Queensland’s 33rd premier, the National Party’s Russell Cooper.
Premier Cooper introduced the anti-corruption legislation recommended by the Fitzgerald Report in October 1989.
This included the Electoral Review Commission in order to prevent governments passing electoral laws to suit themselves.
Wayne Goss Abolished it in 1994
And Wayne Goss? Wayne Goss actually abolished the Electoral Review Commission in 1994.
That’s Why the Fix is In
So, the field was wide open for the Palaszczuk Labor government push through all the electoral changes that they have. They set up a financial gerrymander that favours them over everyone else. They removed your right to “just vote 1” with 18 minutes notice to the Parliament.
That’s Why We Are Back to Sorting Our “Druthers”
And that’s why Queenslanders are back to sorting our “druthers”. Labor might just be squealing because the “how to vote” strategies of other parties won’t allow them to harvest the preferences of other candidates, and so hang on to power for another four years.
The cut off for the nomination of candidates has now been brought forward to this Sunday, October 11. The order of candidates on the ballot will be determined by a draw to take place at the ECQ’s temporary office in Emerald at 2.30pm on the same day.
Late Nominations Still Possible
There may be late nominations, but at the time of writing there is still myself for the LNP and candidates for the ALP, the Informed Medical Options Party and the Civil Liberties and Motorists Party.
Once the ballot draw has taken place, I will be able to finalise a “how to vote” card for Gregory for those who may be interested.
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. Although we are in caretaker mode my offices are open.
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.