Queensland redistributed

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has unveiled proposed new boundaries for a state electoral redistribution. Eight seats have been abolished: Labor-held Fitzroy, Kurwongbah and Mount Gravatt, the Nationals seats of Charters Towers, Darling Downs and Cunningham, the Liberal seat of Robina, and the last remaining One Nation seat, Tablelands. The new seats are Buderim, Coomera, Dalby, Macrossan, Mermaid Beach, Morayfield, Samsonvale and Sunnybank. I don’t think I’ll have time to dissect the implications myself, but hopefully the Poll Bludger readership can shed some light on matters in comments (indeed, they have already done so in the previous federal thread). We will hopefully also be hearing from Antony Green later today.

UPDATE: Antony Green in comments offers the following notional margins for seats outside the south-east:

4.5 5.9
1.0 1.0
Barron River
5.1 4.6
NEW 9.0
2.4 0.9
7.6 7.4
8.1 7.9
22.3 19.8
4.4 2.2
15.1 10.9
NEW 18.6
Glass House
7.7 0.2
18.0 12.6
Hervey Bay
1.8 2.1
3.7 2.0
5.7 2.6
7.2 7.1
1.7 3.4
17.6 17.0
NEW 7.4
10.7 8.4
6.5 1.3
Mt Isa
12.3 8.5
9.9 9.7
10.5 11.2
5.4 5.4
20.5 19.8
Southern Downs
20.3 20.4
17.0 16.8
Toowoomba North
10.4 7.6
Toowoomba South
9.6 11.3
9.1 9.4
23.3 22.7
4.4 0.4

Some quick notes on various seats derived from reading of various sources, including a very good contribution from reader Northern Oracle in comments.

New electorates:

Buderim. A new seat to accommodate the population explosion on the Sunshine Coast, likely to prove a gift to the Liberals.

Coomera. New Gold Coast electorate formed largely from Albert, along with part of Broadwater. Minus a sitting Labor member, likely to be won by the Liberals.

Dalby. Formed in large part from two abolished Nationals seats, Cunningham and Darling Downs. The latter was originally won by Ray Hopper as an independent in 2001, but he later joined the Nationals. Cunningham MP Stuart Copeland is spoken of as a future leadership contender, and could conceivably end up with Hopper running against him as an independent (further update: the Courier-Mail reports Hopper might be marshalled against independent Dolly Pratt in Nanango.

Macrossan. Formed in equal part from abolished Charters Towers and Tablelands, which could put their respective sitting members – Shane Knuth of the Nationals and Rosa Lee Long of One Nation – head to head at the next election.

Mermaid Beach. Formed largely from the remains of Robina, this new seat seems likely to be the new home of the Liberal member, Ray Stevens.

Morayfield. A new electorate created in the northern Brisbane growth corridor mostly out of Kallangur, which shifts southwards. Should have a solid notional Labor margin.

Samsonvale. This is essentially a successor to abolished Kurwongbah, so its member Linda Lavarch (who has already confirmed she will seek the seat) can presumably rest easy unless there is an unrelated threat to her preselection.

Sunnybank. Largely constituted of abolished Mount Gravatt, held for Labor by Judy Spence with a margin of 12.9 per cent. Anna Bligh confirms Spence will be offered the nomination for Sunnybank.

Significantly changed Labor electorates:

Mudgeeraba. Labor member Dianne Reilly, who won by 2.9 per cent in 2006, faces the unwelcome addition of large Liberal-voting areas from abolished Robina.

Glass House. Won by Labor’s Carolyn Male by 7.7 per cent in 2006, Antony Green reckons this seat might have become marginal Nationals.

Pumicestone. Northern Oracle in comments says this seat, which Labor’s Carryn Sullivan holds by 5.4 per cent, has been made stronger for the Liberals by absorbing parts of abolished Kallangur.

Whitsunday. The loss of the one-time Communist stronghold of Bowen will take a bite out of Labor’s uncomfortable 4.4 per cent margin.

Greenslopes. Absorption of parts of abolished Mount Gravatt will produce a potentially significant cut in the 10.1 per cent Labor margin.

Mt Isa. Held for Labor by Betty Kiernan by 12.3 per cent in 2006, population decline has required the addition of pastoral areas to the east and south, which by my reckoning have cut the margin to around 8 per cent (no doubt explaining the fuss Labor is making over the geographic size of the electorate, which might make the ECQ consider amendments). Given the lead contamination issue in Mt Isa itself, that’s clearly enough to bring the seat into play.

Inala. A shift southwards for this southern Brisbane seat should dent the 26.3 per cent Labor margin, but not by enough to make life interesting.

Other Labor-held seats that have credibly been said to have become more difficult: Aspley, Indooroopilly and Chatsworth.

Significantly changed non-Labor electorates:

Burdekin. Antony Green says Labor now has a slight advantage in this Nationals-held marginal, which Rosemary Menkens won in 2006 by 2.4 per cent.

Clayfield. Labor has been strengthened in this Liberal-held Brisbane marginal, which Tim Nicholls gained for the Liberals from former minister Liddy Clark in 2006 by a margin of 1.7 per cent.

Mirani. Essentially merged with Labor-held Fitzroy, thereby cutting deep into Nationals member Ted Malone’s 6.5 per cent margin. The abolition of Fitzroy had been anticipated in advance, prompting member Jim Pearce to announce his retirement. However, the loss of the maverick Pearce’s high personal vote means any notional margin would probably flatter Labor.

Nanango. Addition of unfamiliar territory could undermine One Nation-turned-independent member Dolly Pratt, who held off a Nationals challenge from Joh-Bjelke Petersen’s son John in 2006 by 4.2 per cent. The Courier-Mail reports Pratt might face Ray Hopper, whose seat of Darling Downs has been abolished.

UPDATE (26/5/08): Full details and adjusted margins from Antony Green.

UPDATE (27/5/08): More from David Fraser at Graham Young’s Ambit Gambit.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

106 comments on “Queensland redistributed”

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  1. In respect of the Abolished Seats and New Seats…

    Fitzroy is essentially merged with (NP held) Mirani. The New Mirani, which is simmilar to the pre 1992 marginal ALP seat of Broadsound is probably winnable by the NP if the sitting MP runs again, coupled with the likelihood thatthe currrent ALP member for fitzroy will not recontest.

    Kurwongbah has been altered and renamed Samsonvale, but is unchanged in nature.

    Mount Gravatt has been completey pulled to pieces – adding to the ALP margin in Manfield and allowing for the creation of the new, fairly safe ALP seat of Sunnybank.

    Charters Towers is suceeded by the new seat of Macrossan which has a substantial part of the former seat of Tablelands. It is probably still a NP seat.

    Darling Downs and Cunningham have both been abolished and partly included within the new seat of Dalby (almost every other surrounding electorate has also absorbed parts of these two seats) This is probably the NPs worst nightmare – stuart Copeland, the MP for Cunningham is regarded as a talented shadow minister and potential leadership material, whilst Ray hopper, themp for darling downs first won election as an independant before switching to the np – and has his own support base to rely on if he were to again run as an Independant.

    Robina has been split between Mudgeerabe (making that seat a probable LP gain from the ALP) and the new seat of Mermaid Beach, which should be won by the LP.

    Tablelands (One nations last seat) has been slit between the new seat of Macrossan and ALP held cook – which is probably the better seat for Rosa Lee Long to contest.

    buderim is created from safe coalition territory on the Sunshine coast from Kawana, caloundra and Maroochydore.

    coomera is created from some safe LP areas (Hope island), swing suburbs (Helensvale) and areas that have voted for labour because of siting mp and cabinet minister Margaret keech’s profile.On Balance it is probably a coalition seat, especially if keech contests (safer) Albert.

    Morayfield is essentially the existing seat of Kallangur. However the new boundaries make nearby Pumicestone and Glass House better for the coalition.

    As I already mentioned in the previous thread – the ALP marginals of Aspley, Indooroopilly, Mudgeeraba, Chatsworth and Whitsunday (traditionally marginal!) are all weakened by the redistribution – As is the Independent held seat of Nanango. The ALP is strengthened in the NP marginal of Burdekin, the LP marginal of Clayfield and its own seat of Mansfield.

  2. So far the changes negatively impacting on the


    Aspley, Gaven, Glasshouse, Indooroopilly, Ipswich West, Logan, Mt Isa, Mudgeeraba and Whitsunday




    Gregory and Lockyer.



  3. Both Mirani and Burdekin end up marginal Labor, with the shift of Bowen from Whitsunday to Burdekin, and the division of the Fitzroy mining towns.

    Clayfield may end up marginal Labor and Glasshouse marginal National, and Mudgereeba might be marginal Liberal.

    But the population growth in some of the south-east seats is massive. It makes calculating based on the last election almost useless.

    I don’t think it has much impact on the swing needed to defeat Labor. But all those Gold and Sunshine Coast seats means the push for a Lib-Nat merge will continue. They need to resolve one candidate to run in each seat, and the Nationals are not going to give up entirely on south-east Queensland.

  4. It’s a horribly complex re-calculation and I’m using new software, so I’ll have to double check everything over the weekend. I’ll put a complete analysis of it up on the ABC website on Monday morning.

  5. Agreed re: Clayfield, Glasshouse and Mudgeeraba (which I think could be safe Liberal if won – it no longer takes in part of Nerang as it did previously).

    I’m interested in the pulling apart of Mount Gravatt – particularly how it affects neighbouring Greenslopes, which I think could be close if sitting member Gary Fenlon retires (after losing 3 speakership ballots, being referred to the CMC and having been elected in 89, you would have to wonder why he’d stay).

    The seat of Coomera will also be interesting as already noted.

  6. So in a nutshell, the south-east corner takes in three more seats.

    Morayfield. Essentially a new version of abolished Kallangur, held by Labor’s Ken Hayward on a margin of 10.3 per cent (which should now be boosted further).

    Kallangur has not been abolished.

  7. all in all life has become a whole lot more uncertain for those of us who are affected.

    ps love watching poll bludger comments!

  8. The new Greenslopes looks better for Gary Fenlon. He loses a good, but small pocket in the north around Temple St and Cooparoo (53% primary) and the large, not so good booths of Tarrgindi East and Wellers Hill (~48%). In return, he gets the big Mt Gravatt booth with it’s high Labor (55%) and Green vote (though part of the ALP vote will be personal to Judy Spence)

    But Greenslopes is also a seat that’ll swing big if the change is on and is a bit of a bellweather. Liberal during the coalition years, then Nat after 83. ALP in 89, Lib in 95 (by 41 votes) then back to Labor.

    And ditto what Antony said about the rate of growth making projections impossible. From the Report: “The current seat of Albert is predicted to reach 86.59% above the State average by December 2014.” Who knows how these new people are going to vote?

  9. Apologies for making the error about Kallangur and Morayfield earlier – Morayfield is New seat – although it is almost exclusively cut from Kallangur.

    I agree with Darryl Rosin that Greenslopes is a seat that has the capacity to swing dramatically. The addition of part of middle class Mt Gravatt makes the seat a little more unpredictable when you factor out Judy Spence’s personal vote…as well as Fenlon’s, if he decides not to run again. The seat in fact looks suspiciously like the Brisbane City Council Ward of Holland Ward – which if memory serves me correctly was won by the Libs on primaries. Different factors at play in a state election of course…but still…

    Mansfield seems to have been strengthened for the ALP – which will be a boon for them in Brisbane’s ‘Bible Belt’ seat. Cleveland, which is currently the ALP’s most marginal seat is realistically unaffected by the addition of some suburbs from Redlands.

    I’m not sure why there is an assumption that the redistributed Maroochydore would be won by the ALP – my quick look at it suggests that it would be a (admitedly more marginal) coalition seat.

    My guess incidentally is that there will be a flood of objections to the ECQ about the name of ‘Gaven’, insisting that it be renamed ‘Nerang’ – the local CoC and other community groups were quite vocal when the old Nerang was split and renamed. Adding on to that, while Phil Gray loses his personal stronghold in Helensvale there is no real reason why the ALP wouldnt be favoured to hold Gaven.

    Broadwater has also become somewhat better for the ALP with the removal of Hope Island (the only booth in the electorate the coalition won on Primaries at the last three state elections).

  10. Does anyone have a clear view about the Townsville, Cairns and region seats? I am assuming that Barron River is better for the coalition (losing ALP voting parts of Cairns and gaining Coalition voting rural towns) and Cairns better for the ALP.

    Mulgrave looks a little better for the Coalition by expanding into innisfail, whilst an enlarged Hinchinbrook looks to increase the NPs margin.

    The three townsville seats look like a bit of a mystery to me though. Any thoughts?

  11. Mirani looks better for the ALP. It now takes in a lot of the mining towns that were in the old seat of Fitzroy. Results in the pioneer valley and Sarina at the last Federal election swung heavily to the ALP, and Ted Malone is not exactly a dynamic local member.

  12. Mundingburra and Townsville look like much of a muchness, maybe a smidge safer ALP. Thuringowa though, is a bit mystery partly because it’s built to accomodate growth. The report’s a bit vague about voter numbers and growth, but let’s work through it. (And all these comments are based on previous results, which as Antony pointed out, may not be a good guide this time.)

    The exisitng Townsville is keeping up with the State. The existing Mundingburra is falling behind so picks up a swag from Thuringowa. The existing Thuringowa though, is already too big and screaming ahead of the state. It looks like all the growth is on the ocean side of the Bruce highway, which has been moved into Hichinbrook which was way under quota and falling.

    Those booths were below average ALP for Thuringowa and have been replaced by many fewer Nat votes. All up, Thuringowa should be a bit safer ALP. But those ‘below average’ ALP booths are now the largest and strongest ALP booths in Hinchinbrook. The Nats margin will be cut and the growth trend is probably against them. (I can’t see many extra Nat votes in Hinchinbrook. Those new booths in the north are tiny)



  13. Sorry, should have written something more like “Thuringowa should be a bit weaker ALP” (But still safe as houses).

    BTW, Antony, if you’re reading this, how do you deal a change like Thuringowa, where there’s a sizable new area but it’s not obvious where those new voters have cast their votes in the past? Does the ECQ (or AEC) have projections they share with you?


  14. I’ve double checked all my calculations for seats outside the south-east, and these are the major changes.

    Tablelands (ONP) abolished
    Fitzroy (ALP 16.4) abolished
    Darling Downs (NAT 19.1) and Cunningham (NAT 16.4) abolished and new seat of Dalby is estimated at NAT 18.6.
    Charters Towers (NAT 11.0) abolished, new seat of Macrossin is NAT 7.4
    Cook ALP 15.1 now estimated at 10.9

    Beaudesert from NAT 4.5 to 5.9
    Bundaberg no change NAT 1.0
    Barron River from ALP 5.1 to 4.6
    Burdekin SWITCHES from NAT 2.4 to ALP 0.9
    Burnett NAT 7.6 to 7.4
    Cairns ALP 8.1 to 7.9
    Callide from NAT 22.3 to 19.8
    Caloundra from LIB 4.4 to 2.2
    Glass House ALP 7.7 plummets to 0.2
    Gregory from NAT 18.0 to 12.6
    Gympie little change, safe NAT
    Hervey Bay from ALP 1.8 to 2.1
    Hinchinbrook from NAT 3.7 to 2.0
    Kawana from LIB 5.7 to 2.6
    Budderim is LIB seat margin 9.0
    Keppel from ALP 7.2 to 7.1
    Lockyer from NAT 1.7 to 3.4
    Mackay ALP 17.6 to 17.0
    Maroochydore NAT 10.7 to 8.4
    Maryborough IND held
    Mirani SWITCHES from NAT 6.5 to ALP 1.3
    Mount Isa from ALP 12.3 to 8.5
    Mulgrave ALP 9.9 to 9.7
    Mundingburra ALP 10.5 to 11.2
    Pumicestone stays at ALP 5.4
    Rockhampton from ALP 20.5 to 19.8
    Southern Downs from NAT 20.3 to 20.4
    Thuringowa from ALP 17.0 to 16.8
    Toowoomba North from ALP 10.4 to 7.6
    Toowoomba South from NAT 9.6 to 11.3
    Townsville from ALP 9.1 to 9.4
    Warrego from NAT 23.3 to 22.7
    Whitsunday big shift from ALP 4.4 to 0.4

    All those numbers based on 2006 results and make no attempt to take account of the popularity of sitting MPs.

  15. Darryl, the sizeable new area added to Thuringowa from Burdekin only had 232 voters and there is no local polling place, so the only votes I transfer are a proportion of postal and absent votes.

  16. So on Antony’s figures, despite Lockyer slipping under the radar for some reason, these are the tricky seats.

    Glass House ALP 7.7 plummets to 0.2
    Hervey Bay from ALP 1.8 to 2.1
    Whitsunday big shift from ALP 4.4 to 0.4

    Burdekin SWITCHES from NAT 2.4 to ALP 0.9
    Hinchinbrook from NAT 3.7 to 2.0
    Mirani SWITCHES from NAT 6.5 to ALP 1.3

    Caloundra from LIB 4.4 to 2.2
    Kawana from LIB 5.7 to 2.6

  17. Another seat that is still dicey for the Nationals and not highlighted so far is Bundaberg which the ALP could have won last election if not for poor internal politics spitting the vote there. A one percent buffer unchanged still leaves it on a knife edge.

  18. Hi Anthony,

    I’m just curious, with the new margins in both Cook and Macrossan – I assume you are using a full count, to work out the ALP vs NP margin in both – or are either/both of your margins based on ALP vs IND?

  19. Steve,

    Of all the NP seats, Bundaberg is the one that I would think would be causing the Coalition the most concern – Bundaberg had never previously been won by the Coalition and the ALP vote was substantially deflated by the Dr Patel scandal, an ALP candidate with links to the Bundaberg hospital and the absence of the former MP (and former Mayor). At least some of that ALP vote should return at the next election.

    Burdekin would be somewhat of a worry as well – its not clear though whether the margin after the 2006 election is reflective of demographic change in the electorate or simply a response to a shambolic coalition campaign. If its the former, then obviously the seat is likely to fall on the new boundaries.

    In Mirani, the ALP won’t have Jim Pearce’s personal vote (and Pearce has often behaved like a virtual independent); In Hinchinbrook Cripps has had a full term to work on improving that margin – which unsurprisingly went down following the previous long serving MP’s retirement.

  20. Northern Oracle, as far as I am aware Cripps and Dempsey have remained under no pressure in the parliament so far either. There was a move in the last parliamentary sittings according to Hansard to pressure the member for Gympie because of his lack of alternative unemployment policies and he instantly ran away from the parliament. Leave on full pay, I suppose. Don’t know if his constituents know if he was missing in action.

    It would be interesting to see how Cripps and Dempsey would handle a bit of blowtorch to the belly. The modern day Nats do tend to react rather unpredictably.

  21. Northern Oracle, in case you missed it.

    Mr LUCAS:
    When we look at the unemployment statistics from March it is a very great pity to see that Australia is at 3.9 per cent, south-east Queensland is at 2.9 per cent and the Wide Bay-Burnett area is at 6.1 per cent and yet their representative–

    Mr Gibson:
    No thanks to your government over the last 10 years.

    I warn the member for Gympie under standing order 253.

    Mr LUCAS:
    Their representative in this place not only wants to junk a $1.6 billion project–and he can have his wrong view on that–but where is his replacement injection of capital into his community that will ensure jobs growth in the future? There is nothing there. There is a policy to provide less water at a higher cost. There is no economic injection of $1.6 billion. All he is saying to people in the Gympie area is that, due to his kooky water policy and his voodoo economics, there will be nothing for them there. Would he have the dairy farms back again–the ones that we know have been in long-term decline? Other people in this House–even on the member’s side–ultimately want to work to create employment opportunities in their electorates. The member for Gympie stands condemned. The opposition of course is anti dam. It is anti employment, anti business and anti Gympie.

    Mr GIBSON:
    I rise to a point of order. I cannot find myself remaining in the parliament when these lies are being told. I will depart.

    I say to the member for Gympie that he was on a warning under standing order 253. He then stood and uttered the unparliamentary term ‘lies’. I ask him to consider the situation. He has interjected many times this morning. Sometimes when you give it you have to cop it. I say that applies to both sides. If the member for Gympie wishes to leave the chamber, I could have sent him out of the chamber for what he just did. If he wishes to leave the chamber, that is a matter for him.

    Mr LUCAS:

    We are employed and entrusted by our communities to represent them in this House. For someone, in a fit of immaturity, not being asked by the Speaker but because they do not like what happens in this place, to walk out says something about the quality of representation that the member of Gympie is giving his electorate. Never in my 12 years here have I once seen an opposition member do that. We have had very many great contests and arguments in this place, but to spit the dummy and walk out when his electorate is being discussed is simply disgraceful.

  22. Will Mark McArdle stay as member for Caloundra or seek more Blue pastures on top in Buderim? Seems logical to me.

    The preselection “game” will be very interesting on the Sunshine Coast, surely the Liberal leader (de-facto I admit) would be allowed to move to a “safe seat”?

    Fiona Simpson, on reflection, will stay on in Maroochydore it is the family seat after all. (Who says all Nambour High alumni are Labor).

    So a long term prediction from moi. Liberals lose Kawana and Caloundra at the next election, McArdle is the new member for Buderim and Simpson retains Maroochydore with a greatly reduced margin.

    Celebrations to be held at the big pineapple – just the kind of place for a party. 😛

  23. Hi William,

    Will you please amend your new Whitsunday margin from 4.0 to 0.4, it looks like there has been a typo.

  24. Ruawake, hope they select a candidate for Caloundra a bit earlier than Labor did last election. The bloke who ran was beaten by the clock.

  25. If you are right about Kawana then Steve Dickson might be wishing that he had run for Mayor of the Supercouncil afterall.

  26. Steve Dickson looks to have lost the baptist enclave to Buderim, maybe Christian Dickson will be the only family member in politics after the next State election.

    Remember he was a one nation member – maybe he will try family first next time.

    Buderim has two bits to it “on top” where you cannot buy a dunny for less than a million bucks or “below” where it is retirement villages, and the Baptist centre. Old Sunshine Coast so to speak.

    Steve Dickson will be fed to the wolves in the pineapple party shake up.

  27. Northern Oracle,

    You first have to estimate an ALP/Nat margin for each booth in Tablelands. My estimate was to take the preference count from 2006, exclude Rosa Lee Long at the final count with an estimated preferences of 60% exhausted, 30% to National and 10% to Labor. This produces a National 2PP margin for Tablelands of 6.0%, but it is a very low total count with so many exhausted preferences. Then I split the booths for Tableands between Cook, Macrossin and Hinchinbrook. It is these Tablelands booths that cut the Labor margin in Cook.

    Darryl, all the Census Collector District enrolment data was published for the old electoral boundaries at http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=376. If you stick it all in a database, you can make use of it. The Electoral authorities release lists of new electorate CCDs to anyone who asks, but you have to have first captured all the CCD data.

  28. So, accounting for all of the 34 seats that have thus far been so conveniently summarised for us by Mr Antony Green at post 22, we have

    ALP 17 18
    LIB 2 3
    NAT16 13
    ON 1 0
    36 34

  29. Arrgh…

    Anyway, in those 34 seats we have a total National seat count of 16, now reduced to a notional 13, and a Liberal count increased from 2 to a notional 3… reducing the margin between the two from 14 to 10 (in those seats).

    No wonder it is the National Party that are so keen to push the Pineapple Party idea, as the demograpic sword that has been hanging over their heads for so many years is finally starting to fall.

  30. Anyway, final numbers are:
    Old Parliament ALP 59, Lib/Nat 25, ONP 1 IND 4
    New boundaries: ALP 63, Lib/Nat 22, IND 4

    Labor seats abolished are Fitzroy, Kurwongbah and Mount Gravatt
    New Labor seats Coomera, Morayfield, Samsonvale, Sunnybank
    Labor also gains Mirani and Burdekin from the Nationals, while the Liberal seat of Clayfield ends up with a Labor majority of 0.3%.

    The Coalition see Darling Downs and Cunningham abolished while gaining the new seats of Dalby and Dudderim and Dalby.

    One Nation’s seat of Tablelands has also been abolished.

  31. While it is unwise to compare fed with state results but to cover for Queensland’s population growth maybe it would be worth comparing the new state seats based on the federal booth numbers.

    Regardless in light of how the Liberals are travelling does anyone seriously expect the ALP to be troubled in being returned.

  32. 44 Mexican Beemer, even the creation of the Pineapple Party cannot disguise the wasted opportunity of the conservative parties in Queensland over the past ten years especially in policy formulation. There has been no attempt at renewal of existing policy within either the Liberal or National Party outside of the froth and bubble of a proposed, hastily cobbled together ‘marriage of convenience’.

    Old timeservers like the Member for Beaudesert and the Member for Warrego stopped contributing anything useful to the Queensland debate years ago. Policy formulation has been next to zero by both the Nats and Libs. One would expect that the most experienced parliamentarians would contribute most to the parliament but not so in Queensland.

    The tactics of the Tories in the Parliament have been disastrous delivering a consistent flogging for them every day parliament sits for many years now. For most of that period the twice defeated Nationals leader and Member for Southern Downs has been Leader of the Opposition. He will still be the leader after the redistribution and following the formation of the Pineapple Party.

    The Liberal Leader and Member for Caloundra has been side stepping sneers and jeers about his role as compliance Office in a Law firm of which he was a partner before entering Parliament. No real attempt at explaining how seniors were ripped off in the Mortgage scheme has been forthcoming let alone a commensurate show of remorse. Not a good look for a potential Leader of Queensland.

    The creators of the Pineapple Party have promised preselection to current sitting members so if things go ahead as outlined so far, the dysfuntionality of the two individual parties will be entrenched in the new Pineapple Party. It will take far more than a redistribution or merger to sort out the fundamental problems that have been sidestepped for a long time now by the queensland conservative parties.

  33. If multi-member electorates were introduced then I think that the result would be less Labor, more Libs some Greens and maybe less Nats.

  34. Hi Tom,

    Funny you should mention it, because I was thinking that issue through a month or so ago. As the ECQ mentions in its report, the average enrolment has increased by something like 20% since the last redistribution. It seems likely that it will continue to increase along the same lines, and scheduling redistributions apx eight years apart means that there are big changes when they do occur, and that there is some large discrepancies between enrolments in the meanwhile.

    My fanciful idea is to base QLD state seats on QLD federal seats (as in Tasmania) – but with 3 members for each seat. There are currently 89 members in the QLD L.A. and this would come to 87 based on 29 federal seats, but would likely increase to 90 soon, as QLD seems likely to gain yet another federal seat before long.

    Each member in each seat would be elected on a quota of 25% + 1 vote.

    This would have the advantage of:
    1- making the parliament more representative of the overall public sentiment

    2- virtually ensuring that any opposition has at least enough members to remain functional

    3- aligning seats so that people are more familiar with their enrolment

    4- gradually increasing the number of members to keep pace with population growth

    5- doing so without any sudden large increases

    6- bringing a lot more seats ‘into play’ as not only would members change as the 50% mark is reached, but in some ‘very safe’ seats (eg Maranoa or Rankin) a third (or first) member might be possible.

    It also means that the Greens could pick up a couple of inner city representatives.

    The even more interesting question might be whether the Nationals might still be able to pick up some urban / coastal members at the expense of a second Liberal member in ‘non labor’ seats. They might only need to pick up about 14% on first preferences to do just that, eg Libs get 36%, Nats 14% in a seat, the Nat is likely to be elected as the second coalition member. This could be balanced by Libs winning ‘second member’ contests in some rural seats, although perhaps it is more likely that some well known independents would instead.

  35. 48 Geoffrey, according to Antony at 43 all the Gold Coast seats will remain held by members as they are at present with the new seat of Coomera being nominally Labor. Looks like he forgot to mention the new Liberal seat of Mermaid Beach but it was late and he’d been swimming in figures all day..

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