Queensland Labor Silent On Government Funding

With the ever increasing lists of projects being cancelled by the current LNP Government, any reasonable person would have thought that the Opposition would be scrutinising everything that tax payers money is spent on.

Except this hasn’t been the case.

As mentioned in the post Whats On The List Of Priorities For State Funding?, the LNP Government is committed to handing over $110 Million to “revitalise” racing in Queensland. This is despite the Queensland Premier saying that Queensland doesn’t have enough money to fund the Federally initiated NDIS, or a proposed $18 Million vet lab at James Cook University in Townsville. Even going as far as to say that unless government spending was reined in, Queensland would become the Spain of Australia.

And what has the opposition said about the proposed $25 Million Greyhound track at Cronulla Park?

Would you believe, absolutely nothing?!

Numerous attempts have been made to contact the Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk about this, with all of them going unanswered. I have even gone as far as to send a tweet to her twitter account, still with no response.

I don’t know about you, though I am starting to think that maybe all this talk about Queensland Labor getting out there and listening to people and holding the LNP Government accountable is just double speak for “We aren’t really that interested in what you have to say, we just want the media to say we are”.

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Whats On The List Of Priorities For State Funding?

Hardly a day goes by where the media and the ALP opposition aren’t making some sort of noise about the withdrawal of funding for particular projects by the current LNP government.

In recent weeks, we have seen the closure of GoPrint, Q-Fleet, SDSFanfare, the Darling Downs Correctional Centre, and Skilling Queensland, because they were running at a loss or the Queensland Government just couldn’t afford to fund them any longer and work towards reducing the current debt level.

Yet, there is one project that is going ahead despite declining interest, the LNP government is willing to hand over a minimum of $110 Million dollars, which the state cannot afford, as part of an infrastructure upgrade and in a vain attempt to revitalise this ailing industry.

That industry is Racing.

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Democracy. Is The Media Or The Miner A Greater Threat?

If you have been paying any sort of attention to the media or pub talk over the past week or so, you could easily be forgiven for think that we have a free and independent press in this country, and that a shareholder wanting to have a seat on the board is one of the greatest threats to democracy this country has ever seen.

Though is it really?

First of all, it shouldn’t be too strange to see that most of this is coming from the media itself, mimicked by boffins in government who like the things the way that they are. After all it is only the media themselves who believe that they are the Fourth Estate, boasting that the media’s function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

Putting aside any personal opinion that you may have of Gina Rinehart and her desire to get a seat or seats on the Fairfax board, lets look at this objectively and from another angle.

With the exception of the taxpayer funded ABC and SBS, and privately owned 9 Network, the other media outlets in this country are publicly listed companies. 11 out of 12 of Australia’s capital city daily newspapers are owned by either News Limited or Fairfax.

Why should we treated these media companies any differently than those other companies that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange?

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Why the State of Origin MUST Change or Concede

It would appear that I may have upset a few people this morning with my facebook status update about last night’s “State of Origin”.

Ok. The “State of Origin” is over for another year, and Qld has won it for the 7th time. Does this mean that they will now open it up to other states for there to be some real competition or, my preferred option, no longer play it cause there is no long any point to it?

Well when I say a few people I mean Amanda Foy, and she even wrote a blog post about it too, which you can read here.

Not being one to let the opportunity to write a blog post in response go to waste, I have scribbled down what you now find below.

I would like to begin by asking the question, How can it be called a State of Origin, when there are only two teams playing? Remember this is a game administered by the National Rugby League (NRL), which means you’d be safe in thinking that the rugby is played in other states, which it is.

According to the rules of selection, you can play for the team of the state you were born in and played your first registered game, and if you are eligible to represent Australia at an international level.

Mind you, it does get a little tricky when you consider James McManus, who plays for NSW, was born in Scotland and played his first game in the NT.

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The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling

As the sun rises over Queensland this Sunday morning, politically it is a far different state than it was 24 hours ago. Labor in Queensland has been handed one of the most stinging defeats ever seen in our political history.

The LNP has been handed a landslide victory, that literally destroyed the ALP. With counting still underway, so far the LNP have 74 of the 89 seats in the Qld parliament, with the ALP to hold anywhere from 7 – 10.

With the helium hardly out of the LNP’s campaign balloons, the doomsdayers are coming out of the wood work, filling the press with prophecies of doom and gloom predictions that are supposedly on Queensland’s horizon.

One of the most amusing is this piece by Paul Howes, where he claims that Clive Palmer is going to be the real Premier of Queensland. This is exceptionally amusing considering the fact that the whole of Australia knows that Bob Brown is the real Prime Minister of Australia. And considering that he was one of the faceless men that took part in removing Kevin Rudd from the office of Prime Minister, putting in fellow union comrade, Julia Gillard.

Sadly for Queensland, there will be some pain coming, though it probably has more to do with the true reality of Labor’s mismanagement of this state’s finances coming to light than it does about the LNP living up to it’s election promises.

Though consider for a moment that if the opposite had have happened, that the ALP remained in power for another 3 years. If their behaviour over the past 3 years, and during the election campaign is anything to go by, they would have literally decimated this state.

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What Do We Know About The Candidates?

The Queensland state election is only 4 days away, and voting is always a topic in conversation. When asked who someone is going to vote for, let alone knew who was running, the typical reply is “don’t know”, or they were voting ALP or Green because they didn’t like Bob Katter or Campbell Newman.

What many people can’t seem to understand is that A) Bob Katter isn’t running for a seat in the Qld state parliament, and B) the only people that have a say as to whether Campbell Newman gets to become premier are those who live in the electorate of Ashgrove.

With the focus being on Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman over the past few weeks, there really hasn’t been any possibility to find out more about the candidates in the different electorates, apart from which party they represent.

I am (un)fortunate enough to live in the electorate of Mt Coot-tha, which is being contested by the Andrew Fraser ALP, Adam Stone Greens, Saxon Rice LNP, and Margaret Waterman Katter’s Australian Party.

If you believe the propaganda put out by the Greens, this seat may see the first Green politician voted into Qld State Parliament, and thanks to the preference deal done with the ALP in the seat of Ashgrove it may just happen.

What will a vote for each of the candidates actually mean for this electorate and for Queensland?

Adam STONE The Greens
The flyer sent out for him is misleading to say the least. A vote for Adam Stone is not a vote for a third option in Queensland politics, it is a vote for the ALP, whether directly or by preferences.

The Greens have never shown support for any other party aside from the ALP in their slow rise in popularity, either at the state or federal level. All you have to do is have a look at what they have done in the seat of Ashgrove, having given their preferences to the ALP in an attempt to prevent Campbell Newman from winning that seat. They could have said there would be no distribution of preferences, though they chose to do a deal with the ALP that will see them get their preferences should the ALP candidate fail to win that seat, and Mt Cooth-tha is one of them.

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Election seen through smudged lens

In yesterday’s The Courier Mail, Des Houghton wrote an opinion piece about the Qld ALP’s 2012 election campaign.

The piece began with the line, “SO WE have endured an election campaign with plenty of mud-slinging”.

A paragraph later he borrows from the ALP strategists play book, describing the party in similar terms to how they described the LNP. Words like; inept, rancid, pernicious, corrupt, insincere and misleading were some of them.

Then before listing all the failures of from Labor’s 12 year reign in Queensland, he says “I have a horrible feeling we are going to the polls not knowing as much as we should about how an incoming government will handle new challenges…” adding later, “The print, electronic and social media was hit by an asteroid shower of misinformation. Mudslinging smudged the lens through which we view policy.”

Now as much as I am not a fan of the ALP, the blame cannot and should not rest with them. The media are just as complicit in the deception of Queensland voters.

The media are the ones that have kept quiet over the past 12 years while the ALP mismanaged this state.

The media are the ones that allowed The Premier to publicly and personally attack an ordinary Queensland citizen, under the protection of parliamentary privelege.

The media are the ones that have allowed this mud slinging to continue to throughout the election campaign .

The media are the ones that went into a feeding frenzy every time an allegation of impropriety or corruption was thrown at the LNP leader.

Yet it was the same media that has been eerily silent on any hint of corruption from within the ALP.

If the media was less focused in trying to justify their own existence by helping Anna Bligh with her campaign against Campbell Newman, and more focused on actually educating the Queensland voters about what the issues are and how to vote properly, things wouldn’t be looking as grim as what they are.

Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, March 24, the Queensland media have a lot to answer for regarding the way that the campaign has been played out and the future of politics in Queensland.