Queensland election: March 24

Anna Bligh has today announced the Queensland state election will be held on March 24, after the state’s floods inquiry was recalled to hear what Hedley Thomas of The Australian describes as “extraordinary new evidence that suggests the wrong strategy was used to manage Wivenhoe Dam days before Brisbane was inundated”.

Bligh explained today that it had been her intention to hold a poll on March 3, but she will now hold off until after the inquiry reports on March 16. This amounts to an effective campaign of over eight weeks (although she will not visit the Governor to officially call the election until February 19), which may be without precedent in Australia at least so far as past three or four decades are concerned. It had generally been thought that a long campaign would be in Bligh’s interests, as it allows an incumbent trailing by a long margin to hope that either the Opposition Leader or the party behind him might fracture under the pressure.

The state’s local government elections, previously due on March 31, will now be delayed until after Easter to allow for more clear air after the state election. It was reported earlier this month that the Electoral Commission of Queensland wanted a six months gap on either side of the council elections for logistical reasons.

For comprehensive details on each of the state’s 89 electorates, look no further than the Poll Bludger’s election guide.

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.

120 comments on “Queensland election: March 24”

  1. Katter reckons he will win seats in the FNQ.

    [FEDERAL MP Bob Katter says his Far Northern candidates are capable of a clean sweep in the state election, insisting his new party will only get more popular between now and the March 24 ballot.

    Premier Anna Bligh yesterday described Katter’s Australian Party as a “wild card” in the election, pointing to opinion polls that show the fledgling political force nabbing up to 24 per cent of votes in some seats.

    But Mr Katter has higher numbers in his sights, and says early opinion polls haven’t favoured the party as much as voters are going to.

    “You’d have to give us a fairly good chance of taking a clean sweep in the Far North,” Mr Katter said in Cairns yesterday.]

    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/01/27/202701_local-news.html

  2. Townsville Bulletin:

    [NORTH Queensland will have a paediatric intensive care unit open at Townsville Hospital by July.

    The Bligh Government has committed $8.75 million to provide employment for 30 people, including paediatric intensive care specialists, nurses and other staff in the standalone, dedicated unit.]

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/

  3. Gladstone dredging report is out.

    [Latest water quality test results for Port Curtis show no evidence that dredging is having any impact on water quality, nor any link between water quality and fish health.

    The Department of Environment and Resource Management today released a report on water quality sampling carried out in November and December 2011.

    Director General Jim Reeves said dissolved metal concentrations were lower in October, November and December compared with the initial samples taken in September.]

    http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/gladstone

    http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/story/2012/01/27/no-impact-dredging/

  4. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/elections/campbell-newman-blindsided-by-jockeying-for-spoils-of-government/story-fnbsqt8f-1226255818948

    [Campbell Newman blindsided by jockeying for spoils of government

    by: Michael McKenna and Sean Parnell
    From: The Australian
    January 28, 2012 12:00AM

    CAMPBELL Newman has endured his most testing day since becoming leader of Queensland’s merged conservative party, as tensions erupted among old-school Nationals jockeying for promotion and a state election candidate was dumped over a nine-year-old altercation at a police watchhouse.]

  5. Bundaberg Labor Candidate:

    [THE Labor Party has finally announced its candidate to run in the seat of Bundaberg.

    Elliott Heads single mother-of-two and hospitality worker Cindy Hyland will take on incumbent LNP member Jack Dempsey in the upcoming election.

    The ALP had been slow to name a candidate for the upcoming election, sparking speculation the party was having difficulty filling the spot.

    The seat was one of the last in the state to attract a candidate from the ALP.]

    http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2012/01/27/alps-bundaberg-candidate-revealed/

  6. Looks like the usual LNP Lora Norda campaign will fall flat this election.

    [MARYBOROUGH’S prison has reportedly reached full capacity.

    In this week’s Hervey Bay District Court sitting, Judge Hugh Botting asked why 20-year-old offender Dean Ryan Johnston had spent his pre-sentence custody in Brisbane rather than Maryborough.

    The barrister took a moment to speak with his local instructing solicitor Kade Eames and replied “I am told the answer is simple – Maryborough is full”.]

    http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2012/01/27/no-room-for-offender-in-prison-brisbane-court/

  7. Gympie business is reacting quite badly to the prospect of Premier Seeney leading Queensland.

    [THE economic news was far from all bad this week, as Gympie Region businesses continue to hold their own against some very negative world trends.

    The graph shows confidence remaining flat with slightly weaker trading results.
    Courtesy- Gympie Regional Council

    THE economic news was far from all bad this week, as Gympie Region businesses continue to hold their own against some very negative world trends.

    The news came with two reports, the Gympie Regional Council Business Confidence Survey results and the moderately encouraging ANZ Small Business Sales trends report.

    Although 75% of Gympie businesses reported they were treading water or experiencing some weakening of business conditions, this included 28% who said things were “about the same”.

    With 25% who had experienced “somewhat stronger” or “much stronger” performance, the “glass half full” brigade showed that 53% had experienced stable or improved conditions.

    Sentiment about the future also showed a reasonably balanced spread of expectations, with 45% expecting things to remain “about the same”.]

    http://www.gympietimes.com.au/story/2012/01/28/no-boom-but-gympie-stable-region-economy/

  8. Last time the Nationals were weeping, sulking and sooking because of an early election – now Horan cries crocodile tears over a long election campaign.

    [Mr Horan said during his 21 years as the Member for Toowoomba South, he had never witnessed such a long and drawn-out election campaign.

    Normally 26 days, this year the unofficial campaign will last almost 60 days.

    Mr Horan said the length of the campaign had the potential to harm the Labor Party’s chances of re-election.

    “I don’t think people like a long, drawn-out election campaign and I don’t think (Ms Bligh) has treated the voters with respect,” he said.]

    http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2012/01/28/campaigns-length-could-harm-labor/

  9. Mount Isa view of state politics from North West Star:

    [One candidate who was feeling less sure about his political future was Queensland Party member Jim Nicholls. The party was deregistered following the merge with Katter’s Australian Party.

    Mr Nicholls said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to run under the Queensland Party banner by March 31.

    He said he would make a decision in the coming days.]

    http://www.northweststar.com.au/news/local/news/general/let-the-campaigning-begin/2434396.aspx

  10. AndrewFraserMP Andrew Fraser
    We know the date for BCC election so why is the ratepayer funded photo of Graham Quirk on page 1 of @FinancialReview ok @Campbell_Newman?
    52 minutes ago

  11. All the experienced Nations sacrified by city upstarts? Back in the good old days the Nationals would have had their own leader, now they are just a dog’s body contolled by a wagging Liberal tail.

    [A COUNTRY versus city divide continues to dog the LNP, with former National Vaughan Johnson decrying the lack of bush politicians on Campbell Newman’s frontbench.

    The Gregory MP yesterday insisted “it doesn’t all happen in the southeast corner” as he demanded more rural MPs be elevated to the ministry if the Liberal National Party won.

    Mr Newman yesterday denied Mr Johnson’s comments were proof of continuing divisions within the merged LNP, saying he “totally agreed” that regional Queensland should be represented on George Street.]

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/plea-to-give-bush-pollies-a-go/story-fnbt5t29-1226255782505?sv=b79ae5862a771c43b91fe5124336539d

  12. Michael Leunig the popular Australian cartoonist described the Queensland LNP attitude well in this poem. Madonna King could fire up the LNP cheersquad with a rousing rendition on ABC radio perhaps?

    [They took him on a stretcher
    To The Home for the Appalled
    Where he lay down in a corner
    And bawled and bawled and bawled
    “There’s nothing wrong with me”, he wailed
    When asked about his bawling
    “It’s the world that needs attention,
    It’s so utterly appalling:
    IT’S SO UTTERLY APPALLING”
    He sobbed and cried and called.
    And the chorus rose to join him
    At The Home for The Appalled.]

  13. orenhelbig Koren Helbig
    .@stevenwardill says Newman might’ve thought 7 years in council was prep for state politics but looks “like an Under-7 trying to play NRL”.
    58 minutes ago

  14. Business backing LNP .

    [Queensland’s business community has had enough. After decades of being the fastest-growing state with the lowest taxes and the envy of their peers in NSW and Victoria – many of whom made the move north to also bask in the economic sunshine – the past three years have been a shock.

    While all states were affected by the slowdown in the global economy in late 2008, Queensland’s economy was hit particularly hard, especially the property and tourism sector, which are still struggling to get back on their feet.

    The loss of the much-vaunted AAA credit rating in early 2009 was a crucial turning point for both the business community and Queensland voters in their attitude to the Bligh government. To be lumped on the same credit rating as the minnow states of South Australia and Tasmania was the final straw for many in the resource-rich state.

    As Queensland prepares for a marathon eight-week election campaign ahead of the March 24 poll, the influence of the state’s key business leaders is demonstrated as they switch their allegiances to the Liberal National Party.]

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/businesses_abandon_labor_ship_wANkUEXNe7JXMgo7SnkUHK

  15. Cairns Base Hospital bunfight.

    [Calling the first media conference of her election campaign yesterday to make the name-change announcement, Cr Lesina insisted health would be her top priority if elected.

    Although Labor has not committed to upgrading Cairns Base Hospital’s funding status if re-elected, Cr Lesina hopes a review into hospital funding will recommend lifting CBH to the top funding tier.

    She said she would also push to cut the waiting list for cataract surgery and join Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall’s campaign to install a urologist in the Far North’s public health system.

    Her announcements yesterday drew criticism from the LNP’s Cairns candidate, Gavin King, who pointed out the Opposition had already pledged to lift the hospital’s funding status to tier one.

    “I’m not sure that dropping the word ‘base’ has anything to do with the problems plaguing our health system in Cairns,” Mr King said.

    “The real issue is funding for the services we provide.”

    Mr King said he “won’t stop” until Cairns Base Hospital is made a tier one facility – a promise criticised by Labor as a “$200 million thought bubble” that hasn’t been properly costed and runs contrary to national funding arrangements.]

    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/01/28/203015_local-news.html

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