Beattie Surprise: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 3 September 2013 We are in the dying days of the 2013 election campaign, a campaign that has boasted a handful of idiot policy announcements but in five weeks just one true surprise – Peter Beattie. It was a laugh out loud moment for the nation when the former Queensland Premier (1998-2007) appeared on the Forde stage with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to proclaim his bid for a seat in the 44th Australian parliament. In the vivid landscape of my imagination, at that moment only sitting member Bert van Manen was not amused*. The election winds had shifted, the battlefield for Forde changed.  What had appeared to be […]

Bob n Beattie BBQ: @stephaniedale22 reports

[clear] By Stephanie Dale 1 September 2013 There’s been a curious absence of fight in Peter Beattie during the last couple of weeks on the 2013 campaign trail – but today that changed, with the former Queensland Premier charging out of the corner into the Forde ring, following Labor’s campaign launch in Brisbane. Fiiiiiinally, Beattie had something he could stick his teeth into – jobs’ initiatives announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd an hour earlier. And he had Australian political royalty to escort to a barbecue organised by the party faithful in Beenleigh – the nation’s most popular living former prime minister, Bob Hawke. Two hundred people in red t-shirts crushed […]

Katter’s man in Forde: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 28 August 2013 Paul Hunter is a hard political nut to crack. I put it down to the fact he’s a disciplined man, an army man, a focussed-on-the-upcoming-election man. We meet outside the pre-polling booth in Beenleigh’s George Street, where Hunter splits his time between me and the pre-pollsters wandering in to cast an early vote. I find it remarkable that not once in 40 minutes is he distracted enough by our conversation to miss an opportunity to introduce himself to a potential voter. Unlike other newbie Forde candidates, Hunter’s not chatty about his own life, not past, present or future – unless the conversation relates to jobs, […]

Former MSM journo @stephaniedale22 on the barren pollie-journo election dance

By Stephanie Dale 27 August 2013 OMG it’s a media alert! Quick! Jump! A media alert from the ALP! In my inbox! Logan GP Super Clinic, now! I stare at it, wondering for the umpteenth time why the major parties give local media no more than an hour’s notice on these events – even though I know full well it’s to avoid a hijacking by local activists and/or lunatics and/or mavericks from the opposing team. And I know full well why they don’t trust the media with the information. Because sideswiping the event by alerting any or all of the above is much more entertaining for readers/viewers/listeners and than a standard […]

Election13 youngest candidate is in Forde: @stephaniedale22 interview

By Stephanie Dale 26 August 2013 It’s Saturday afternoon in Beenleigh and I’m on my way to meet Joshua Sloss, the only independent standing for the seat of Forde in the upcoming election. This past week I’ve been on a Zarraffa’s Coffee crawl – three out of four of my candidates’ interviews so far have been held in various Zarraffa’s around the region. Sloss and I have arranged to meet at Beenleigh Marketplace, the local mall. On the way I drive past the offices of the two big party candidates: sitting member Bert van Manen’s office, impossible to miss with its flags dripping from the building – the Australian flag, the […]

Beattie campaign launch: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 25 August 2013 Here is what’s impressive about Peter Beattie’s bid for a seat in the House of Representatives of the 44th Australian parliament: the humility of a man once at the top of his tree being willing to till the soil all over again to build a vision for his life anew. Laugh if you will. At me if you like. But I’m in the federal electorate of Forde, chances are you’re not. The man is 60. He left his previous career as Queensland Premier pretty much at the top of his game. He could step sideways into just about any job he chose. He could command […]

Jan Pukallus on poetry, free trade and politics: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale 23 August 2013 For 12 years, Jan Pukallus has been running for election in Queensland – and today was a moment of celebration for the veteran campaigner: it was the first time she’d been invited for a sit-down interview by a journalist. Pukallus is the Citizen Electoral Council’s (CEC) candidate for Forde, the electorate that was catapulted into the national spotlight a fortnight ago when former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced he was taking a shot at the seat. At a candidates’ forum earlier in the week, I was struck by Pukallus’s grassroots poise on stage. It can’t be easy, I thought, to be a fringe candidate up […]

The foreign minister and the Beenleigh chocolate shop: @StephanieDale22 reports Forde

By Stephanie Dale 22 August 2013 Now what on earth is the Australian foreign minister doing in a chocolate shop in Beenleigh? Not even his adviser could tell me, fresh off the bus for the convergence of two former state premiers on her third flying electorate visit in one day. Foreign Minister Bob Carr spent morning teatime in the seat of Moreton, lunchtime in Rankin and afternoon teatime in a shop called Poppy’s Chocolates in Forde. The adviser said the visit to Beenleigh had something to do with the Commonwealth Games. I pushed harder, not enjoying her discomfort as she rifled through her notes for a reason. “Perhaps it’s about how […]