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Some lessons for pollies

Queenslander's will be heading to the polls this weekend for the state election

The inexplicable shortage of ideas to benefit our region can only be put down to people having to hold the party line.

State politics has never really drawn my interest; however, I respect the work our state members put into supporting the community.

Higher up the chain though, there is a festering of all sorts of muck. In Victoria for example, Daniel Andrews is essentially holding his state’s population captive, unable or unwilling to target sections of the community whose activities and beliefs are facilitating the spread of COVID-19. In Western Australia (WA), Mark McGowan has closed all his borders, with the WA Chief Medical Officer admitting that the primary reason for this is to keep residents at home where they will spend more. In Queensland, the same attitude prevails, with many businesses suffering greatly from the lack of tourist inflows. These Labor lockdowns fit nicely with newly invigorated socialist beliefs, that the government always knows best.

While Labor leads the charge in locking down citizens, we shouldn’t ignore Jacki Trad’s real estate deals or Eddie Obeid’s prison-worthy wheeling and dealing. On the political right, we’ve got the Ruby Princess circus and the activities of Daryl Maguire, now under investigation.  Notwithstanding the massive wealth generated by the opening of coal mines, we should also not forget the bad old days of Bjelke-Peterson, when for a long time Queenslanders were essentially cut off from the rest of the world and the retirement life of some politicians involved jail.

About half of state spending is paid for by the Federal Government, most of the rest being inefficient, unfair and damaging imposts such as payroll tax and stamp duty. Despite massive reform, duplication across states is still rampant and parochial grandstanding is the standard modus operandi.

So here we are, on the eve of a state election. Labor is dissing the LNP and the LNP are dissing Labor. One Nation attempts to trash Brittany Lauga’s reputation. Clive says he hates Labor. Across social media, hatred has drowned out policy.

What of policy? Labor says it cares about workers’ rights but backs policy that actually costs jobs and sides with the bare-foot Greens to shackle the mining industry. The LNP, meanwhile, dust off the gramophone and wind the handle on the old election ’78 to play crackly tunes of new dams and crime clamp-downs. Is it any wonder people are jaded with politics? Where are the new ideas? Where is the leadership?

The inexplicable shortage of ideas to benefit our region can only be put down to people having to hold the party line. Here are some policy tips to get the voters interested. Candidates can use these words verbatim:

  • “I will see to the relinquishment of the lease on Great Keppel Island. The current leasee and successive aspirants have failed to make good on their ambition. That has cost the community dearly and there is no chance that the development will ever go ahead in its current form. My government will work with local councils to fund the establishment and construction of a comprehensive facility comprising camping, glamping and accommodation units, all solar powered and complete with roll-on-roll-off access ramp. This facility will be relatively low cost and popular with locals, grey nomads and international tourists alike. It will integrate without undermining the excellent work of existing businesses and once established it can be offered to the private sector for lease or sale on commercial terms.”
  • “Family violence is a scourge on our community. The outrage expressed after someone is hurt, or indeed dies, is little more than an emotional outlet. My government will put in place early intervention measures such that people involved are provided with not only care, but a compulsory program of professionally administered, disciplined support carried out far away from family and other influences to ensure that attitudes to relationships meet acceptable standards.”
  • “Youth crime is often a function of family breakdown and poor social structure. My government will provide well-organised, professionally run camps for wayward youth, along the lines of several excellent examples that already exist. Attendance will be compulsory and attendees will emerge without a criminal record and with experience and a certificate of completion for at least one of a number of immediately useful vocation alternatives. Attending camp more than twice will mean an automatic jail term of at least 3 years.”
  • “Businesses have an obligation to pay superannuation and to pay their tax. Well run businesses have record keeping procedures that support business viability and assist in meeting these obligations. My government will insist that to be able to operate in Queensland, all businesses keep formal records which must be submitted no later than 31 October. All businesses must undergo a streamlined special purpose audit to ensure tax and superannuation payments are up to date. Businesses that don’t pass audit cannot trade in Queensland.”

There you go, something interesting to take to the electorate over the next two days. Federal candidates, I’ll have something for you in a while.

Speaking French

Originally Published – Thursday, October 29, 2020