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Issue #1541      28 March 2012

Queensland Elections 2012

Contempt for the people wipes Labor

All reports have by now indicated the absolute slaughter of the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor party in the state elections. The elections have resulted in a massive loss of parliamentary seats by that party, retention being as low as seven seats. This could get worse as the outgoing premier has resigned the seat that she just won in South Brisbane.

Queensland’s new premier Campbell Newman.

The Labor Party has been on the nose since they announced the privatisation of state owned Queensland Rail, the ports, motorways and the state forests. The government has been a strong supporter of the mining industry and much of the revenue from mining has been spent on infrastructure works.

The railways have been central to regional Queensland in both jobs and community support. The environment and fracking for natural gas has also featured in the elections. The government has been seen as taking the side of the corporations and of having no regard for the people. The arrogance of proceeding with the sale of these assets despite massive opposition by the people convinced the public to vote out those they hated the most.

Mining has become a negative in many ways in rural Queensland with the impact on the economy of dislocating communities, making their lives harder and failures in many other areas. Incompetence was a key feature with the failure to be able to instil a payroll system and the theft by an individual from the Health Department of $14 million.

The display of Labor in attacking the leader of the Liberals Campbell Newman in a personal way may have had a minor influence, but it was the continued vicious political attacks on Kevin Rudd federally that set the ground. That we are getting nothing from the mining industry and spending much to support it is causing a public rethink on Labor nationally.

There was the role of the trade unions who opposed asset sales but then went neutral on the elections, leaving the field open to the Liberal National Party to inflict a massive defeat. They made no attempt to support an alternative and this led to the Greens remaining static and for the Katter-led Australia Party to take that ground on issues associated with the mining industry and farming as well as the sale of state assets.

The working class and progressive people betrayed by Labor are vulnerable to the urgings of the extreme right and many of the attacks by the Liberal National Party (LNP) on the people will no doubt enhance Bob Katter’s position, as he has stated, during the next period.

Such reforms as Wild Rivers, tree clearing and guarantees on the employment prospects are now vulnerable as mining billionaire Clive Palmer’s Liberals will be lobbying the Newman government to give them more “reforms”. The LNP government may hold off on some extreme measures until the Abbott federal liberals can secure their position.  

Next article – Massive job cuts, state asset sell-offs in NSW

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