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Queensland cut – Annastacia wins

Figs do not grow on barren trees
      Ernie Lane in Dawn to Dusk
      - reminiscences of a rebel
Qld Uncut at gates of parliament

Queensland UnCut Rally at the gates of Parliament House October 16, 2012

 As predicted in “Julia could, Annastacia can“, Labor will form a minority government at the the invitation of the Governor today 13 Feb 2015. The final count in the 89 seat parliament is Labor 44 seats, LNP 42 seats, Katter Party 2 seats, Independent 1.

The conservatives, without Campbell Newman who lost his seat of Ashgrove, were unable to form minority government with the Katter Party.

Labour has the support of conservative independent, Peter Wellington from the Sunshine Coast seat of Nicklin. It is expected that Labor will put Peter Wellington up as Speaker of the House of Parliament.

Annastacia Palaszczuk becomes the new premier of Queensland. Annastacia  did so with the help of  crucial unions: Electrical Trades Union (ETU) for running a campaign against privatisation; the Australian Services Union (ASU) (Together Union) for their ‘Stand for Queensland’ campaign and the Construction Forestry Mining and Engineering Union (CFMEU) for their campaign donations. Seven members of United Voice union are elected MPs in the new Labor government. The Nurses and Teachers unions played an important support role.

Early in the term of the Campbell Newman government, the extra-parliamentary opposition waged a  Queensland Uncut campaign which lasted two rallies before being subsumed into Labor’s electioneering strategy called Stand for Queensland.

The ALP could not have won government without Green’s preferences. In a proportional representation electoral system, the Greens would have won 8-9 seats but are denied even one under the current optional preferential system. The Katter party, with a vote no bigger than the aboriginal population, gets 2 seats and, as usual, the aborigines get … Fuck all.

Annastacia and Governor de Jersey

Annastacia Palasczcuk with governor Paul de Jersey

Labor lost government to Campbell Newman after backing Bligh’s selling off Queensland Rail in 2009.

The Greens, without a single seat, have no say in the formation of a minority government and will be unable to prevent Clive Palmer or Gina Reinhardt from opening up the Galilee Basin coal reserves and exporting the deadly black gold to China, India and Japan. 80% of Queensland coal is used in smelters and power stations in Asia, thus increasing pollution and global warming. The manufactured goods produced using that coal (cars, steel etc) are then bought back to Queensland and other states. Economic madness altogether destroying the lives of many through exploitation, floods and drought.

One Nation candidate, Pauline Hanson, fell 200 votes short of winning in Lockyer, and so Pauline got enough votes to receive a big pay cheque from the state funded electoral system.

Annastacia’s father Henry Palasczcuk was a respected Minister in the Beattie government and held several key portfolios including: Primary Industries and Fisheries, Rural Communities,  Natural Resources, Mines and Water. At one time he was put up for speaker of the house but to prevent Jim Fouras from crossing the floor to get the job, Labor withdrew its support for Palascz and voted in Fouras, who used to hold Campbell Newman’s seat of Ashgrove now returned to Labor’s Kate Jones.

Conclusions

  • Under Labor, the 14 thousand public service jobs cut during the Newman LNP government will be lost forever. Service delivery will continue to be met by contract labour.
  • The Galilee Coal basin expansion will continue with assistance from the ALP government.
  • The government may not directly fund the railway from the Galilee to Abbot Point, the most northerly deepwater port in Queensland; but will assist India’s Adani Corporation to expand the terminal to allow far more thermal coal exports per year.
  • Minor concessions to the environment will be made such as a seagrass offset scheme, a wetland management plan, and funding for indigenous rangers but dredging the Great Barrier reef will continue.
  • Palasczcuk will change May Day back to the traditional first Monday in May and will not desert the key unions ETU, Together, United Voice, CFMEU, Nurses and Teachers.

There is no parliamentary road to socialism, not even a road to democratic rights in Queensland. However, the first aboriginal woman ever elected won a seat for the ALP in Algester.

Ian Curr
13 Feb 2015

Qld Uncut rally at parliament 23 Aug 2012

Qld Uncut rally at parliament 23 Aug 2012

6 responses to “Queensland cut – Annastacia wins

  1. Minister for Housing ...

    Leanne Enoch (Quandamooka), the new Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation:

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  2. Money Can’t Buy Me Love

    Instead of delving into the dusty corners of my political science bookshelf, I listened to the Beatles to ease nervous tension. They offered profound and insightful commentary on the Queensland election campaign and the attitudes of voters who declined to support the LNP.

    Indeed Annastacia – or was it Wayne Swan – might have written the lyric as the key guiding principle for the whole campaign. There were five dimensions to the warning about love not being for sale, to reference another lyric by Cole Porter from an earlier era.

    First, there was the cost-effectiveness of the on-the-ground campaigning strategies of meeting real people by knocking on their doors, sitting at desks in shopping centres and meeting them outside pre-polling offices in the weeks before polling day and then welcoming them at polling booths on the day. The best documented of this phenomenon was in Ashgrove where the ALP candidate resolutely avoided stage-managed events and mobilized an army of locals to assist in direct contact, both face-to-face and over the phone. The several millions available to the LNP provide futile in the face of “people power”.

    Second, there was the cost-ineffectiveness of mass media advertising, even in Murdoch print publications of near-hysterical bias. A large slice of the non-LNP community rely on social media and on-line news sources as an alternative to newspapers and watch videos and advertising-free television provided by the ABC or other on-line options rather than the mainstream commercial channels.

    Third, there was the cost-ineffectiveness of making conditional promises of constituency-specific largesse, from sport changing sheds in Ipswich to road construction and anything anyone else asked for in Ashgrove. In retrospect, this strategy had two negative effects. On the one hand, many people living in Ashgrove and other potential high-risk and therefore highly promised constituencies felt slightly ashamed. On the other hand, people in un-marginal seats felt ignored or under-valued, including LNP non-marginals. The further people were from Brisbane, the more they felt alienated and angry – the tourist strips just north and south of Brisbane already felt well looked-after but people further north rapidly reverted to the traditional hostility towards Brisbane which has been part of Queensland culture since federation. Money in this case made them angry and the LNP unloved.

    Fouth, there was the question of offering access (and, by inference, favourable decisions) in return for money donations. The Newman rule changes meant that large amounts could be contributed without close and contemporary scrutiny of the sources. There were persistent examples publicized throughout the campaign where coal miners, sand miners, quarriers and CSG operators all benefitted from weakening of oversight arrangements. And more specifically property developers, casino builders and infrastructure builders were encouraged to trumpet their success on the basis of employment opportunities created as a by-product of their initiative.

    The ALP made one of its few miscalculations here, quietly setting up an alternative access-selling structure and then being losing the high moral grounds when this became public midway through the campaign – and they were rightly condemned for this by Tony Fitzgerald in a key intervention which was otherwise focused on the decline of accountability under the Newman regime.

    Finally, there was the macro-level discussions about money in the form of debt repayment and privatization of assets. The outcome suggests that most voters were unconvinced that the semantic shift from “sales” to “leases” changed very much. The intention under either arrangement was seen as removing an asset owned collectively by the community of taxpayers and offering it to the private sector who by definition would need to extract personal profit to make it worthwhile as an undertaking.

    The general proposal related privatization to debt-reduction where benefits were in the longer term and difficult to personalize. But the perceived imperative for offering spending plans for short-term political benefits drawing on the same source suggested that taxpayers were being bribed differentially with their own money. The Lahey cartoon on the central policy auction with Palaszczuk holding up a fish skeleton while Newman brandishes a vast bag of dollars could be read both ways and the outcome suggests that many voters would rather settle for fewer infrastructure dollars in return for keeping their assets for present and future generations.

    It remains unclear how far the Abbott government’s own take about “not buying love” on this mattered to Queenslanders. His budget suggested that the purchase price for his love was quite low for the rich, quite high for the average voter but unfair for those most in need of support. But that is another story.

    Here in Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk by contrast would be well satisfied with the verdict of an electorate which did care less about money and more about trust and accountability:

    “Say you don’t need no diamond ring and I’ll satisfied
    Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can’t buy.”

    Roger Scott

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  3. Manufacturing Solar

    Good point, thnx … however solar installation and maintenance are still only service jobs.

    Service industries do not broaden the economy much, as we already have service and construction industries.

    A manufacturing base here in Qld would, even if it were mechanised and automated, make for a more resilient economy. An economy based on export of coal and minerals is insane. But, as you pointed out earlier, where would the government get the capital to develop a solar manufacturing industry?

    And governments have already sold its profitable rail and telecommunications infrastructure that would have helped in a state so decentralised as Qld.

    btw the Dept of Energy & Water spends much of the summer worrying about floods stopping coal exiting by rail to the ports!

    The Greens do not have a single vote in a parliament elected on an optional preferential system … I find it strange that Queensland Greens have not made a bigger issue of this lack of democratic representation?

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  4. Re Jobs in Solar – The jobs in manufacturing always decrease over time as automation replaces labour. Solar is no different so manufacturing solar is not where the jobs are in Australia. They are in the installation and maintenance, which is across all regions and not concentrated in any one area as with mining. So the benefits are wide spread. For example, electricians across Australia have found solar PV to be a very good add-on to their normal work.
    http://www.solarissustainablehomes.com.au

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  5. Qld exports coal and jobs

    hello trevor,

    Thnx for your comments.

    1) You are right, there is no one in the Labor cabinet who knows anything about energy or energy policy.

    2) Clive Palmer got everything he wanted from Campbell Newman. This is short-hand for saying that the flow of coal out of Queensland is not impeded by state governments be they LNP or Labor.

    3) You are right to point out economic factors such as price of coal, capital for investment, boom/bust cycles etc.

    4) Will India’s inclination is to go nuclear reduce the market for coal?

    Personally I doubt it. The economic system is one of over-production and coal still has a big future as a high energy source. It is unlikely a Labor government will switch out of coal to uranium exports just to help out India’s demand for nuclear fuel … it would not surprise me to hear the ALP announce that Qld is ‘nuclear-free’ (except for visiting war ships, medical supplies, etc etc). This would be a PR exercise to appease Green voters.

    6) Queensland is an exporter of coal, yes; but also is an exporter of jobs. Qld lacks a manufacturing industry because our coal is exported, goods manufactured offshore and then those goods imported. This includes solar panels which are made in China, Germany, …

    The new minister (Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Minister for Energy and Water Supply) is Mark Bailey, a high school teacher and former Councillor for Moorooka … Sir Humphrey will run rings around the member for Yerongpilly 😉

    Ian

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  6. Your predictions

    There were many other groups other than unions working to get rid of the LNP. Aust Solar Council is but one, that held forums throughout Qld in support of a fair go for the solar industry as the LNP, along with the Abbott Govt had ruthless attacked this industry whilst pouring millions of subsidies at the fossil fuel industry. There was also a lot of concern about the Great Barrier Reef and conservation groups focussed on this.

    I raised the issue of what the ALP would do to control the fossil fuel industry in Qld at Group of 17 discussions. The predominantly Labor panel had no substantial answer.

    Re your predictions – Future of the Galilee Basin coal mine is very hard to predict.

    It hinges on a range of factors now:
    – price of coal is on the decline at present and $60 per tonne doesn’t give a big profit to Reinhardt. It was as high as $120 per tonne a few years ago and 25% of mines wide are uneconomic at present.
    – India and China coming on board to reduce coal use and demand is already falling – china is already committed to reducing coal use and Climate Talks in Paris may put pressure on India
    – Who may go for more nukes and renewables. Any carbon price affects coal the most and puts gas as more competitive. Many renewables are cost competitive with gas even when external costs are ignored as they continue to be.
    – Divestment campaigns are working to some extent and putting further pressure on stock markets and investors’ concerns over the long term future of coal investment as it is capital intensive, requires long term planning and is looking more and more like a high risk investment.

    Labor will struggle to find the money to invest in coal so I think it will not be as high a priority to continue funding ports and rail. They may tell the industry to find private investment. As well the unions are at last starting to see that there will be far more long term jobs in the renewables industry than there ever will be in the mining short term boom/bust cycle. This is shown by the strong support for the solar industry that the Qld Council of Unions and the ACTU showed in the recent state election by attending and speaking at the solar forums all across Qld. In 2012, there were 27,000 people employed in renewables across Aust. with about 6000 alone in solar PV in Qld. This compares to 32,000 in coal in Qld. Both industry sectors have lost about 5000 jobs in 2013/14 – solar because of the attack by both state and federal LNPs, coal due to falling demand and price per tonne.

    Trevor Berrill Sustainable Energy Systems Consultant & Educator http://www.solarissustainablehomes.com.au
    Phone 61 7 3207 5077 or Mobile 0400 177 283

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