Blair has covered a highly variable area around Ipswich since its creation in 1998, having been substantially redrawn at three redistributions since. Originally covering areas inland of Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast, the redistributions of 2004 and 2007 saw it progressively take over central Ipswich from Oxley. Prior to the 2010 election it lost 28,000 voters in territory south of Ipswich to the new seat of Wright, in exchange for 13,200 voters in rural areas around Lake Wivenhoe to the north (previously in Dickson and Fisher) and 5500 in the eastern Ipswich suburbs of Collingwood Park and Springfield Central (from Oxley). As the areas lost were rural and conservative, Labor’s margin was boosted from 4.5% to 7.0%. The seat further recorded what by Queensland standards was a mild swing of 2.7%, the resulting Labor margin of 4.2% making it their fourth safest seat in the state.
Ipswich had been an area of strength for Labor since the early days of the party’s history owing to its now defunct coal mining industry, but it has more recently been prone to rebellion against the party’s efforts to appeal to new middle-class constituencies. The most famous such occasion occurred when Pauline Hanson won Oxley in 1996, scoring 48.6% of the primary vote as an independent after the Liberals disendorsed her for advocating the abolition of government assistance for Aborigines. The creation of Blair in the next redistribution did Hanson a poor turn, dividing her home turf between two electorates. Rather than recontest Oxley or (more sensibly) run for the Senate, Hanson chanced her arm at the new seat, but the major parties’ decision to direct preferences to each other may have sealed her doom. Hanson led the primary vote count with 36.0% against 25.3% for Labor and 21.7% for Liberal, but Liberal candidate Cameron Thompson pulled ahead of Labor on minor party preferences and defeated Hanson by 3.3% on Labor preferences.
Thompson went on to absorb most of the disappearing One Nation vote in 2001, more than doubling his primary vote without improving his two-party margin over Labor. A redistribution ahead of the 2004 election clipped this by 1.8%, but he went on to handsomely consolidate his position with a 4.5% swing. In 2007 the Liberals targeted Blair as part of its firewall strategy, a key element of which was a risky decision to fund a $2.3 billion Ipswich Motorway bypass at Goodna in the neighbouring electorate of Ryan. This proved of little use, with Labor picking up a decisive swing of 10.2% which typified the shift of blue-collar voters back to Labor on the back of WorkChoices.
Labor’s winning candidate was Shayne Neumann, a family lawyer and partner in the Brisbane firm Neumann & Turnour and member of the state party’s Labor Unity/Old Guard faction. His LNP opponent at the coming election will be Teresa Harding, who is director of the F-111 Disposal and Aerial Targets Office at the RAAF Base Amberley.
2,255 comments on “Seat of the week: Blair”
[Success is the ability to rise above principle.” Gerald Barzan]
Well yes. That’s a lovely apologia for tortious or criminal conduct. Luckily, Barzan is offering comedy relief rather than a life lesson. He also said:
[What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed?]
[Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle.]
This doesn’t help much here. Again, one suspects Lord Melbourne was being satirical because hardly anyone declares themself to be free from strong principle. Strong principles define who we are and whom we can look to for support in achieving worthy things. Without them you are almost certain to do very foolish things. If Lord Melbourne had been serious, he’d have advocated putting children — who rarely grasp the concept of strong principle and are certainly suggestible, in charge of the country’s affairs. While people moved by strong principle can err, and do foolish things — this is mostly a reflection of the coherence of the principle or else a failure of application in the context of facts on the ground. Those without principles are mere intellectual flotsam and at the mercy of the contention between others.
[“Important principles may and must be flexible.” Abraham Lincoln]
A properly specified principle does not need any more flexibility than it implicit in its specification. Principles are broad, providing a framework within which to decide on system design choices. They predispose one set of options, and exclude others.
If that’s all Lincoln meant, then he’s not arguing with me. If he’s saying that all principles are negotiable, then he has the position of Groucho Marx, who declared that people didn’t like his principles, he had others. The irony from this Marx Brother is intentional — dispensible principles are not principles at all, but mere cant.
Since you went to the trouble of searching “Brainyquote” …
[A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Dwight D Eisenhower]
Isn’t this fun?
[As per usual for a Green you are attempting to smear the motives of supporters of the ALP, as opposed to addressing the deficiencies of The Greens position.]
Relative to the positions of the other parties, there are no deficiencies in the Greens position on asylum seeking. We seek a humane and non-punitive solution.
[keep on mouthing Green banalities, especially about the Asylum Seeker issue. ]
We didn’t invent the terms “people smugglers’ business model” or “cashed up asylum shoppers” or “queue jumpers” or engage in a mewling pretense that asylum seekers were doing people out of their welfare.
I find it telling that attachment to human dignity is cast as “ideological” or a “banality”; that principles are articles of low trade in the search for “relevance”. You know as well as I do that if the ALP was pushing our line, your fellow travellers would be arguing much as I have against the Liberals. It’s a tribal thing.
Fran Barlow replied to my comments thus:
Sorry, Fran, but a mouthful of obscurantist blather about ‘tortious or criminal conduct’ is no answer to the assertion contained in the quote, and which should be applied to The Greens’ ‘principles’ that ‘principles’ are one thing, however success is attained when you are able to modify your principled position in order to achieve a successful and pragmatic outcome relative to those ‘principles’. Frankly, Fran, if you are choosing to ignore the assertion offered in the quote by Barzan and seek to dismiss it as ‘comedy relief rather than a life lesson’, then that merely personifies the po-faced position that you have taken and the rigid inflexibility of the ‘No Correspondence will be entered into’ position of The Greens because, apparently, just like Tony Abbott, they have all the answers, and experts in the field never do.
To then quote this:
Well, that’s just an inane response of the utmost puerility and irrelevant to the discussion.
Nice of you to presuppose Lord Melbourne’s motivations in saying that. Of course it suits your subsequent argument to do so. However I believe he was making a perceptive comment linking people of strong principle and foolish actions.
Sorry, but for anyone living in the real world, where compromise and consideration of other points of view is the norm, our principles provide a basis from which to work with others to achieve satisfying outcomes.
Or, you can take your bat and ball and go home. Which appears to be The Greens default position when they can’t get something all their own way.
With them The Greens are doing foolish things such as ignoring deaths at sea of asylum seekers on the way to Australia and the Mental Health problems of asylum seeker families grieving for those people from their family who have drowned. But what do The Greens care? All the members of their families are alive on dry land.
Spurious, Fran. I thought you were capable of a better rebuttal than that.
Which statement encapsulates the incoherence of The Greens’ principles wrt the Asylum Seeker issue as their ‘principle’ fails with the application of the facts on the ground. That is, the strong principle to force the Australian government to adopt ‘Onshore Processing’ of Asylum Seekers arriving by boat runs hard up against the facts that these same people thus die at sea on the way here, pulled by that lure.
Don’t look at me. I have a principle about the sanctity of life. It seems to me that that is one principle The Greens do not have.
The Greens’ principles are narrow and inflexible which appear to predispose one set of options only to the exclusion of all others. Practice what you preach, Fran.
Ignoring the fact Lincoln said ‘important principles’ and not ‘all principles’ immediately devalues and negates the rest of your premise and provides absolutely no link to your snark wrt Groucho Marx as a result.
Sigh. No wonder the vast majority of Australians don’t take The Greens seriously if you are one of their best and brightest.
Please explain, minus snark if at all possible, which privileges Australians are placing above the principle of the sanctity of life of asylum seekers? We in the Labor Party want them to come here, we don’t want them to die on the way here.
Or, is the fun you think you are having a result of the smug knowledge that you are accusing a Labor supporter of placing privilege above principle, as some form of condemnation, in order to misdirect the argument from the fact that it is The Greens who are putting principle above the right to life for asylum seekers? Ha ha, not.
Now you’re really making me laugh, because, if I don’t laugh at your inability to see the inhumanity of a ‘solution’ whose deficiencies allow for, what was it you said, a 5% allowable loss of life at sea wrt boat-borne asylum Seekers? Then I cry at the inhumanity of it.
And if you think there are no deficiencies in such a policy by The Greens, then you have completely lost your legitimacy to comment on any other party’s policy and the deficiencies or inhumanity of them.
Actually, the only one of those terms the Labor Party did come up with was ‘People Smugglers’ Business Model’. Which is a statement of simple fact.
Go spit and hiss in the Coalition’s direction about the other ones.
Human dignity that you allow them to possess IF they make it to Australia alive. Which IS banal.
No, I just think that your principles need to be reality-based, and, if important, as the quote I showed explained, flexible. So that you might actually end up achieving the essence of that thing whose principle you seek to espouse so loudly and so long. A practical outcome within the context of the real world. Not the airy fairy world you and the Wee Greens inhabit.
Thank you Ms Gillard and the Labor Government.
You took the killers (5 million deaths a year) front on and not even the legal industry could save them this time.
The next step is for the tax reform in which the ‘industry’ is taxed, not on profits, but to reflect health costs of the industry.