Welcome to 2015 to all MBI’s readers.
The 2015 State Elections were held on Jan 31, 2015. The electors have had their say. The votes have been counted. Elections Queensland has declared the results. As a result of a swing of about 12% in voter preferences, Queensland has had a change of government. The Premier, Campbell Newman has lost his seat in Parliament. A new Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has been sworn in on Feb 14 and the new cabinet has been sworn in on Feb 16.
When the former Premier called the snap election in early January, the ruling LNP had a massive 70-seat majority in Parliament following its landslide win in the 2012 elections that swept the ALP from office. The LNP was one of the most cashed-up political parties in Australia. How did it manage to lose this election from such a position of strength? No doubt people will write endlessly on this subject and offer all sorts of opinions for ages to come. On election night, Federal MP Jane Prentice commented that the problem was that the Newman Government had not done a good job in getting its message out. Another panellist responded that the Government was failing to realise that it did get its message out and voters didn’t like the message. One other observer commented that not only did people object to the message, they objected to the arrogant and contemptuous manner that the LNP Government put the message forward. This is the sort of difficult feedback the LNP will have to accept if it wants to move forwards.
To lead its future efforts, the LNP has looked to the past and elected career politician and former leader Lawrence Springborg as its new leader. His deputy is another former leader, John-Paul Langbrook. Former Deputy Leader, Jeff Seeney, and former Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, who had been touted as leadership contenders did not stand. They had been leading architects of the policies and approaches that were so soundly rejected by voters on January 31. Those policies and approaches have now been all but dropped by the new leadership team.
Here on Bribie Island we have a new representative in Rick Williams – a former financial planner and small business owner. He enjoyed a swing of 14.2% to unseat the sitting LNP member, Lisa France. A political newcomer, he now faces the daunting task of getting to meet the many groups and organisations in the Pumicestone electorate and understanding their needs and supporting their efforts. In his comments in the Bribie Weekly (February 13, 2015) he says this is going to be a priority.
So where to for Ms France and why was she unseated after just one term? The swing of 14.2% means that traditional supporters of the LNP must have voted for the opposition candidate. Obviously many voters including traditional supporters of the LNP were not satisfied with her performance. In many ways, her loss to the parliamentary ranks is most disappointing. She was one of the few politicians at any level with any knowledge of science. With her science degree, she was actually able to understand some of the difficult issues facing the State and actually hold a conversation on technical subjects for more than the 30-second sound-bite which seems to be the limit for many of today’s politicians. Even rarer for politicians these days, she had actually had a real job before entering politics. If she is going to put her name forward for political office in the future, hopefully she has a long look at why party supporters turned away.
In other news, MBI has started work on a series of articles on the most environmentally inappropriate activities conducted here on Bribie Island in recent years. These will be published through 2015 as volunteers have time available to write them up.
In one surprise over the holiday period, MBI was contacted by Brisbane couple, Dick and Dora, who MBI had interviewed in a previous article. That previous interview can be found at: http://mybribieisland.com.au/2012/06/mbi-looks-at-declining-real-estate-values-on-bribie-and-asks-why/ MBI took the opportunity to hear of Dick and Dora’s plans today. That interview will also be completed uploaded when time is available.
MBI invites readers to come back and check its pages as 2015 goes by. And comments and input are always welcome.