Queensland election minus four weeks

Around the grounds:

Ashgrove (Labor 7.1%): Yet another ReachTel automated phone poll for Ashgrove was conducted on February 9 from a sample of 616, and it showed Campbell Newman with a narrower lead than in any of the previous five: 49 per cent to 41 per cent on the primary vote, which panned out to an implausibly narrow 51-49 on ReachTel’s dubious two-party preferred measure. The Greens continue to hover around 6 per cent in this poll series, which is much lower than seems credible in this seat. In other Ashgrove news, the LNP is complaining that a “community group” to back Kate Jones under the banner “Locals for Locals” was set up by Labor to help it evade the $50,000 spending cap on promoting individual candidates which is coming into force at this election.

South Brisbane (Labor 15.0%): ReachTel also targeted the Premier’s electorate with a poll canvassing 339 respondents on January 23, and it found Anna Bligh leading the LNP 35 per cent to 34 per cent, which would pan out to a very comfortable win for her after distribution of preferences from the Greens, who were on 22 per cent.

Ferny Grove (Labor 4.5%): The most recent ReachTel poll canvassed 370 respondents in this seat on February 17, and together with past results it seems to suggest a pattern of ReachTel being roughly plausible in inner suburban seats like the two noted previously, but producing fantastically bad results for Labor further out in the suburbs. This poll had Labor incumbent Geoff Wilson trailing LNP challenger Dale Shuttleworth 63 per cent to 23 per cent on the primary vote. This was the first ReachTel poll which didn’t come with a respondent-allocated two-party preferred result, which presumably had something to do with Antony Green’s blog post on the matter a week earlier.

Mount Ommaney (Labor 4.8%): Following a very late retirement announcement from Labor member Julie Attwood, the party’s new candidate is Ben Marczyk, an organiser with Together Queensland.

Stretton (Labor 9.5%) and Sunnybank (Labor 10.8%): Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail reported a fortnight ago that retiring Labor MPs Stephen Robertson and Judy Spence failed to attend the opening of their successor candidates’ electorate office. Robertson has reportedly “fallen out with branch members after the party preselected unionist Duncan Pegg over his preferred candidate, David Forde” (who is running as an independent), and “courted controversy late last year by attending a fundraising function for Mr Forde”.

Broadwater (Labor 2.0%): The ABC reports that Ron Clarke, the 75-year-old Gold Coast mayor, says he will decide over the weekend whether he will run as an independent against Labor’s Peta-Kaye Croft.

Southern Downs (LNP 21.1%): Peter Watson, Labor’s 19-year-old candidate for this unwinnable rural seat, has been disendorsed and expelled from the party over comments he left on web forums at the age of 15 and 16, in which he supported the White Australia Policy and said homosexuals were “degenerates” who should be “wiped out” from society. Anna Bligh argued, rather implausibly, that Watson had infiltrated the party in order to embarrass it. However, his father Dudley Watson is a long-standing party member and former president of his local branch, and resigned his membership in response to Bligh’s comments. Labor is using Watson’s expulsion to claim higher standards than the LNP, which is continuing to endorse Gavin King in Cairns despite his colourful record as a newspaper columnist. This follows the LNP using Richard Towson’s withdrawal in Broadwater over a drink-driving offence to plead higher standards than Labor, which continues to endorse Algester MP Karen Struthers despite her own drink driving conviction in 2007. Labor’s dumping of Watson has called attention to the party’s large retinue of wet-behind-the-ears candidates: 18-year-old Ben Parker, who lives on the Gold Coast, in Gympie; 20-year-old Oscar Schlamowitz in Indooroopilly; 20-year-old Jack O’Brien in Gregory; and 19-year-old Rachel Patterson in Mermaid Beach.

Lytton (Labor 12.2%): Meanwhile, the LNP’s 23-year-old candidate for Lytton, Neil Symes, has attracted attention over comments he made on Facebook describing asylum seekers as “terrorists and queue jumpers”.


Bernard Keane of Crikey observes that spending caps which are taking effect at this election arrive just in time for Labor’s loss of its spending advantage over the LNP, whose coffers have been engorged by donors courting favour with the expected victor.

• The registration of political parties which will take effect at the election has been finalised and it doesn’t include the Australian Sex Party, who were unable to prove they had the requisite 500 members. All that leaves is Labor, the LNP, the Greens, Katter’s Australian Party, One Nation, Family First and Daylight Saving for South East Queensland.

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.

122 comments on “Queensland election minus four weeks”

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  1. What’s in a name?

    [7.47pm: “Oh dear. What has happened,” ABC’s election analyst Anthony Green writes response to the court action taken by Katter’s Australian Party ahead of pre-poll voting due to start tomorrow.

    “The problem that has arisen concerns Section 102 of the Queensland Electoral Act 1992 governing the printing of ballot paper,” he writes.

    “That is going to be a hard clause to argue around in court. It clearly states that if there is a registered abbreviation for the party, the abbreviation will be used in preference to the full party name. It is not an option that gives the party a choice. You can’t argue ignorance of the law in trying to get this changed as the provision is strongly worded.” ]
    Read more here.

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/poll-call-march-1-20120301-1u448.html#ixzz1nriYELDW

  2. (g) if a candidate endorsed by a registered political party
    was nominated under section 88(1)(a)—contain, printed
    adjacent to the candidate’s name—
    (i) if the register of political parties includes an
    abbreviation of the party’s name—the
    abbreviation; or
    (ii) otherwise—the party’s full name included in the
    register of political parties.

    This is why Federal registration was refused in August:


  3. Under the register of political parties we find three interesting things:

    Katter’s Australian Party
    (Qld Division)

    The Australian Party

    Deputy Registered Officer:
    Luke Shaw

    Now there’s a blast from the past! Wonder if it is the famous Joh juror.

  4. [Section 129(1)(d)

    Three federal court judges sitting as the AAT considered subsection 129(1)(d) in Woollard. Woollard sets out the test to determine if an application must be refused under s.129(1)(d).

    44. In summary, the Commission, forming its opinion for the purposes of par 129(d), must determine:

    whether there is a resemblance between the proposed name, abbreviation or acronym and one already entered in the Register;
    if so, whether there is a real chance, flowing from that resemblance, that the proposed name, abbreviation or acronym will be mistaken for one already entered in the Register in the sense that an elector intending to vote for the political party with prior registration marks a vote for the newcomer because he or she thinks its name is the name of the party which is intended to receive the vote;
    alternatively, whether there is a real chance that the proposed name, abbreviation or acronym will cause electors to think that it is the same as the name of the pre-registered party or to be left in such uncertainty as to which name attaches to which organisation that no informed vote can be cast without some additional information.

    Prima facie there is a resemblance between the proposed abbreviation and the 6 registered party names as identified by Mr Doe in his objection. The resemblance lies in the shared use of the word ‘Australian’. As was the case in Woollard the resemblance is limited to the use of a generic word. Nevertheless, a resemblance does exist.]


  5. Only one objection for Queensland registration:

    [The ECQ said Mr Somerville’s objection was the only one received.

    “The commission will now review that objection and then make a decision,” a spokesman told AAP.

    Mr McLindon said the complaints were “frivolous little hurdles”.

    “I highly doubt that it will be successful,” he said.

    He also said four of the seven state executive candidates had approved the merger, and those four had since become members of Katter’s Australian Party.

    Mr Somerville, a former police officer, told AAP he was originally told he had to join Katter’s Australian Party and had planned to become its candidate for the Brisbane seat of Ferny Grove.

    But he said he was dumped after he questioned its Christian constitution and whether he’d be able to maintain a personal, rather than party, view on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and surrogacy.]


  6. Another day another dodgy Newman Inc. deal uncovered – this time by the Brisbane Times.

    [Council minutes show Mr Newman voted in 2006 to resume land for a tunnel, four lots from the original owners, Denise Smith and her brother Allen, who are the directors of one of the city’s oldest family funeral parlour businesses, K M Smith.

    Allen Smith is the father of Liam Smith, a close friend and now business partner of Mr Monsour, who is developing the land.

    The then Newman-led council paid Allen and Denise Smith a total of $1.4 million in 2009 as compensation for the resumption of two lots.

    Less than a year later it handed back to the Smiths the other two lots of adjoining land deemed “surplus”.

    Documents seen by Fairfax reveal Liam Smith lobbied for the return of the land by contacting local council representatives.

    When contacted about the resumption this week, Mr Newman’s spokeswoman rejected any link between the resumption and the council, and supplied legal advice obtained by Mr Newman stating the resumption was undertaken by the state government for a busway.

    But, after being confronted with the council minutes confirming Mr Newman’s voting on the resumption, a statement from Brisbane City Council and reference to the resumption in a planning document from Mr Monsour’s company, the spokeswoman acknowledged the resumption was related to council.]


  7. Newman’s top staffer claimed $464,000 ‘rake’

    by: Michael McKenna and Jared Owens
    From: The Australian
    March 02, 2012 12:00AM

    [THE head of Campbell Newman’s campaign fund at Brisbane’s city hall was paid $464,000 out of $1.2 million in donations from developers and business over the past three years while being paid as an adviser to the former lord mayor.

    Greg Bowden took a “rake” of 37 per cent between July 2008 and June last year – more than double the standard fundraising commission – after taking on a full-time role in running the Forward Leadership Fund, the then re-election fund of Mr Newman and his council, which operated independently of LNP headquarters.]

  8. The life experience of LNP Broadwater Candidate 111:

    [Ms Barton is living with her mother at Coombabah while she “saves to enter the property market” but said she does help pay some of the household bills, making her conscious of cost of living pressures.

    Ms Barton has previously worked in fashion retail and isemployed as an electoral officer by shadow attorney-general George Brandis.

    She started studying part-time for a law degree at Bond University in 2007 but said with a full-time job she was not sure when it would be completed.

    “After the election I will look at my options but the plan is to finish university,” she said.

    Ms Barton will take on Labor’s Peta-Kaye Croft who holds the Broadwater seat by a slim 2 per cent margin, as well as Independent candidate former Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke.

    She said she had wanted to be a member of parliament since she was a child.

    “I joined the LNP back when I was 17, in 2003,” Ms Barton said.

    “Since I was six or seven all I have ever wanted to be was a member of parliament.]


  9. Now Newman Inc. has taken to arguing who technically owns the shares, himself,his mother or the company his mother owns but he has a share in:

    Daniel Hurst ‏ @danielhurstbne
    @jackietrad Today: “I own no publicly listed shares myself.” Technically true, although his mum’s co. (which he has share in) does. #nuance
    Retweeted by Col Smith

  10. The Corrupt Bjelke Petersen Government “the last decent government in Queensland” but it costs money to hear Newman Inc spin this line. Newman Inc obviously didn’t live anywhere near Brisbane or Queensland to be able to mouth such garbage:

    [QUEENSLAND’S business elite are paying up to $22,000 to cosy up to Campbell Newman under the LNP’s latest pay-per-view program.

    The Courier-Mail can reveal the first event of the so-called QForum was staged in Brisbane on Thursday night and featured former federal treasurer Peter Costello.

    It is understood Mr Newman told the gathering that Joh Bjelke-Petersen ran the last decent government in Queensland.

    His behind-closed-doors comments came only hours after he publicly labelled the same regime corrupt while touring the late former premier’s home of Kingaroy.

    The revelation comes after a horror week for the LNP leader dominated by Mr Newman giving himself the green light to continue owning all his interests and pleading ignorance over multiple payments from developer donors.

    The rise of a new high-level program for paid access to LNP politicians will spark renewed outrage and debate over the ethics of the practice.]


    The Fitzgerald report is here to refesh minds about what an LNP government looks like in power:


  11. Election will be delayed in the unlikely event that Katter is successful in the Queensland Shttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/elections/no-choice-but-to-delay-poll-if-court-rules-for-katter-says-bligh/story-fnbsqt8f-1226287792431?sv=f72f7f4a54ee507713138c9c14c5f220

  12. Newman Inc. obviously speaking out of the other side of his mouth when in the bush where it is in his interests to oppose Katter.

    [“What a dirty, low, filthy act,” Mr Katter said of the LNP leader’s suggestion the Bjelke-Petersen government was corrupt.

    “Who does this Johnny-come-lately, this little lightweight fella, think he is?”

    Mr Katter said Sir Joh and the National Party had presided over the building of much of the state’s infrastructure while Mr Newman was living interstate.]


  13. The above is a great example of where despite forming his own party when push comes to shove Katter still defends a corrupt LNP that he was a major player in at the time.

  14. All this financial data will be lost on Newman Inc. the last time the rating agencies spoke to him about Brisbane City Council finances he sacked the ratings agency.

    [In October 2011, Standard and Poors kept its AAA rating of the New South Wales economy.

    Last week, Moody’s gave their latest assessment of the Queensland economy, reporting that persistent debt was the problem, and confirming its AA credit rating.

    It pointed out the economy had strong budget flexibility, a diverse economic base and a high level of internal liquidity.

    “But the level of the state’s financial performance continues to deteriorate as elevated levels of spending on services and infrastructure outpace revenues,” Moody’s said.

    Treasurer Andrew Fraser last month said Queensland’s fortunes were turning, pointing to a $60 million surplus in 2014-15, one year ahead of the government’s schedule.

    Yesterday he said that result put the closer to recovering its AAA credit rating.

    “We will return the credit rating through responsible fiscal management as outlined in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review. By expediting a return to surplus, we improve the state’s fiscal trajectory and put us closer to the AAA credit ratio band,” he said.

    “After the Bligh government ushered Queensland through the GFC and natural disasters, Campbell Newman’s $6 billion of reckless promises is set to plunge our state back into deficit when we should be returning to surplus.”]


    [“When Campbell Newman’s Brisbane City Council was threatened with a ratings downgrade by Standard and Poor’s in 2008, he sacked them. “He doesn’t like scrutiny, especially when it comes to finances – be they his own personal financial dealings, his more than $5 billion in unfunded pre-election promises, or his budgetary failures as Lord Mayor.

    “We’d all expect Campbell Newman and Tim Nicholls to come out and use this report to talk down Queensland’s economy. “What they won’t do is outline when they would get the budget back to surplus – simply because they can’t.” ]


  15. Meeting – what meeting?

    [Mr Palmer, the party’s biggest financial contributor, has been in the news for weeks over issues including a threatened $8 billion lawsuit against QR National, the downfall of Gold Coast United and ongoing legal action with Hyatt over the management rights of his Sunshine Coast golf resort.

    Sources said the group was concerned about negative headlines surrounding Mr Palmer and the unwanted focus on his party links in the lead-up to the LNP’s campaign launch in Brisbane tomorrow.

    But late yesterday a party spokeswoman denied the meeting took place, instead asking if it was a case of “more Labor muckraking”.

    When asked if he was concerned about Mr Palmer, Mr Newman tried to wash his hands of the billionaire.

    “No, it has got nothing to do with me,” he said.

    “But good luck to him in sorting out all these issues.”

    Premier Anna Bligh this week took advantage of Mr Palmer’s troubles, saying “people need to be aware that if you have an LNP government in Queensland you are going to see a lot more of Clive Palmer”.

    Last financial year Mr Palmer donated more than $600,000 to the LNP through two of his companies, Queensland Nickel and Mineralogy, making him the party’s biggest donor.

    Mr Palmer said stories about his influence were a Labor “beat-up”.]


  16. Fake Jeff Seeney ‏ @FakeJeffSeeney
    Cammy reckons the last decent QLD Government was run by Sir Joh. So basically. up yours Cooper, Ahern & Borbidge!

  17. Fake Jeff Seeney ‏ @FakeJeffSeeney
    Its clear Cammy thinks Joh ran a decent Govt by how he interacts with journos. His styles not so much feeding chooks as it is starving them.

  18. Oh Dear another short press conference for Newman Inc. over this one no doubt:

    How will Newman explain what he said on 4.4.11 and going to QFORUM on Thursday #candocashforhimself #pressconferenceshutdowncominup
    26m Andrew Fraser Andrew Fraser ‏ @AndrewFraserMP

    Newman on $ for access in @australian 2011: I will not be part of behind closed door meetings to an elite group of people paying for access

  19. Young Libs hunting platypus Joe McCarthy style:

    Young LNP Queensland ‏ @QLDYoungLNP

    Driving round West End with @keegansard looking for that platypus stalking Can Do. We gonna beat the shit out of it!! #qldvotes
    Retweeted by LNP Insider

  20. Oh goody a rego freeze – are we going to have another infrastructure freeze like Borbidge had too?

    [MOTORCYCLISTS, truck and ute drivers will pay more in registration fees to help fund an LNP promise to give the owners of “family vehicles” a reprieve from Australia’s costliest car rego.

    Opposition transport spokesman Scott Emerson yesterday conceded some drivers would face rego rises while private passenger cars under four tonnes had their registration frozen for three years.]


  21. BigPeteSol ‏ @Bigpetesol
    Hey Campbell you idiot a lot of us drive 4WD 4 door utes as our “Family car” dont penalise rural Qlders with this stupid rego hike. #qldpol

  22. Mr Newman sidestepped a question:

    [BOB Carr’s performance as NSW premier came under attack today as the incoming foreign minister started working the phones and planning his first overseas trip.

    Mr Carr was a “dud premier” who “destroyed NSW”, Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman said on the campaign trail today ahead of the state election on March 24.

    Mr Newman sidestepped a question about being “parachuted in” to the LNP leadership, and whether that meant the LNP had no confidence in its own MPs, by vehemently attacking Mr Carr’s record as NSW premier from 1995 to 2005.

    “Bob Carr has been parachuted in and he’s the guy who gave NSW all the problems that Queensland has with Anna Bligh,” Mr Newman said.

    “He bailed out (leaving) other people to deal with the consequences and to try to patch them up.]


  23. There is still one question left for Newman Inc. to answer in the next three weeks – what sort of voodoo economics can explain your $7.5 Billion worth of unfunded election promises? The evidence it this stage is that Newman Inc can not explain it because their figures just do not make any sense.

  24. Today Katter’s Australian Party goes to the Supreme Court in Queensland in an attempt to get Katter’s name on the ballot papers. In the unlikely event of a win the Queensland election would be delayed.

    If Katter wins his case today and the election were postponed to June 16 it might give Newman Inc. time to have an attempt at telling us where the money is coming from to fund their $7.5 Billion of unfunded election promises.

  25. Jake is back from WA but Newman Inc. can’t tell why.

    [Former state opposition leader Lawrence Springborg has denied knowing why his long-time friend and political strategist cut short a contract in Western Australia to return to Queensland.

    Both Liberal National Party president Bruce McIver and leader Campbell Newman have rejected claims controversial former political operative Jake Smith has a role in the official state election campaign.

    Mr Smith was a key strategist in the opposition office when John-Paul Langbroek was opposition leader and Mr Springborg deputy, and brisbanetimes.com.au understands there is some concern within LNP circles about his return.]

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/springborg-backer-back-but-role-unclear-20120305-1ubld.html#ixzz1oBHRbPvH

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