ReachTEL poll for Ashgove – TPP 53 percent to Labor
On the back of a devastating 18.6pc swing against the government in the by-election in adjacent seat of Stafford, 47.5 percent of voters prefer Labor’s Kate Jones to represent the seat. Jones lost the seat to Newman at the 2012 general election.
With a recent addition to the family, Jones has not confirmed or denied she will stand for the seat again in 2015.
Queensland opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has repeatedly stated in media interviews that Jones’ decision to return would be a matter for her and her family.
On a two party preferred (TPP) basis, the poll showed a 53pc advantage to Labor. On two candidate preferred (TCP) terms, Jones is ahead by 56pc.
Dr Chris Davis defects to Labor
Former LNP MP for the seat of Stafford Dr Chris Davis has quit the party and defected to Labor.
Earlier in the week, he’d called for an early general election on the back of the 18.6pc swing against the Newman Government in the Stafford by-election.
On Friday night, on @730Qld Davis informed host Matt Wordsworth that he had resigned from the LNP. When pressed further, he expressed a desire to continue to represent Queenslanders and didn’t rule out a run for Labor against Premier Campbell Newman in his seat of Ashgrove.
“I have an affinity with the people of Ashgrove having been the adjacent electorate,” he said.
However, Queensland opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk ruled out Dr Davis as a candidate for Ashgrove saying that he would need to apply to join the party before any candidacy was considered.
On Sunday ABC reported that Dr Davis had submitted a membership application to the Labor Party.
On Monday, for some inexplicable reason, the Newman cabinet chose not to tell the media that it would be meeting at John-Paul College instead of at its’ usual residence at the executive building in Brisbane city.
Apart from the inconvenience of the media having to scramble out to the Daisy Hill site, it was a bad look for the government suggesting they were trying to hide after the 18.6pc swing against them in the Stafford by-election two days prior.
In contrast, on Saturday night as Premier Campbell Newman conceded defeat in Stafford he pledged to listen more and be open with the community. A pledge the electorate had heard months earlier after the Redcliffe by-election defeat.
On the school oval, surrounded by all nineteen ministers Newman issued an apology to Queensland and called for voters to draw “a line in the sand” on mistakes of the past.
“I just want to say I am sorry today if we have done things that have upset people. We will be doing a lot better in the future to try and explain our decisions and take Queenslanders with us,” he said.
“Yes, we made some mistakes which we acknowledge today and I’m apologising for it and we’re moving on. Thanks very much.”
He also announced the mandatory requirement for prisoners in solitary confinement to wear pink jumpsuits would be repealed. However, on Friday night, in an interview with @730Qld, he was unable to confirm if any people were currently held on remand wearing pink.
Newman also announced that the bi-partisan support for the head of the Crime and Corruption Commission would be restored. In recent legislation, Newman had made sure only the government could appoint the chair. At the time, the decision had drawn the ire of corruption fighter, Tony Fitzgerald QC.
In another about face, Newman agreed to restore the Queensland budget estimate schedule to its original seven day event. Both Newman and Treasurer Tim Nicholls had talked themselves hoarse in the recent budget estimate hearings after an insane two day schedule had been implemented.
However, Newman was not backing down on the proposal to sell the states assets saying they were a ‘realist’ solution to building new ones, delivering a surplus budget and preventing the government from ever borrowing again.
Leaving behind finances, it was off to the judiciary to “mend some fences”. Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie met in the judiciary building with judges whom Newman had previously described as living in “ivory towers”.
“Certainly those sorts of comments were discussed today but today I conveyed my respect for the processes of the law and our courts in Queensland,” he told the media standing before an “ivory tower”.
— Amber Austin-Wright (@AmberAW) July 21, 2014
Tony Fitzgerald QC on Newman’s ‘blitzkrieg’
From members of his own party to the judiciary, Newman’s combative approach had not gone unnoticed by Corruption fighter, Tony Fitzgerald QC. Most recently he’d described the Newman Government has having a “disdain for democracy”.
This week he poured further condemnation on Newman’s faux apology and in a statement described his attacks as, “blitzkrieg on the institutions which protect citizens and inhibit government excess.”
He accused the Premier of insincerity in this week’s apology to Queensland.
“The government’s proposal to reverse some of its errors is welcome. However, its politically-motivated expressions of regret for its behaviour can’t possibly be regarded as sincere. It has made no changes to the Ministry or explained why it acted as it did or why it persisted in its objectionable conduct for so long,” he wrote.
He was also highly highly critical of the Newman and Bleijie meeting with the Queensland judiciary.
“Instead of explaining, the Premier has staged a “reconciliation” with the lower levels of the judiciary, misrepresented the position of the Supreme Court judges and unilaterally “drawn a line in the sand. His delusion that he’ll decide what may be discussed and when echoes his earlier suggestions that the public should be, and perhaps that a better informed public would be, grateful to his government. For the moment, at least, it’s transparently clear that the government doesn’t really regret its actions or intend to change its behaviour,” he said.
He also warned of a damaging political cohort of government and judiciary members and named A-G Jarrod Bleijie, Ryan Haddrick, Aaron Simpson and Chief Justice Tim Carmody.
“Shortly after the election, the Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie, a junior, inexperienced solicitor, appointed a junior, inexperienced barrister, Ryan Haddrick, as his interim Chief of Staff. Haddrick, who had previously worked in the offices of Commonwealth Liberal Party Ministers and a former Queensland LNP opposition leader, had been admitted as a barrister in 2010. At the time of the election, he was a member of a small group of barristers which also included Aaron Simpson, the husband of a media adviser to Bleijie, and Tim Carmody SC, a competent but unremarkable senior counsel in the limited fields in which he practised, who had briefly been a Family Court judge.”
The full statement can be read here, “Tony Fitzgerald slams Newman’s ‘politically motivated’ apology”.
Could the Newman Government really fall to a Palaslide?
Daughter of a Beattie Government minister, could Queensland opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk really pull off the impossible and bring Queensland Labor back from the dead by enacting a “Palaslide”?
Membership in the Labor party has doubled since the massacre of 2012, up from 4,ooo members to 8,000. How much can be attributed to the “Campbell Newman factor” and how much credit can be given to Palaszczuk herself?
Already written off for Premier in 2015 by large sections of the media, after two punishing blows to Newman in the Redcliffe and Stafford by-elections this year, if Palaszczuk were to restore Labor to government in 2015 it would be one of the greatest comebacks in Australian political history.
Not the most charismatic of politicians but an excellent parliamentarian she has exposed the Newman Government at multiple estimates hearings.
In a feature article for QWeekend, Palaszczuk talks about family, loss of a baby and her aspirations to lead Queensland.
If the nastiness witnessed from the LNP during the Stafford by-election is anything to go by, she’ll have a battle ahead. Yet, with the greatest possible respect, Queenslanders love an underdog.
Stay tuned to #qldpol.
Newman cuts respite services to disabled children.
In Queensland, under the Bjelke-Petersen government people with disabilities did not exist. In the decades since, successive Queensland Governments sought to improve the standards their standards of living.
Now it seems the Newman Government is determined to return Queenslanders and their families to second class citizen status.
This week a mortal cut was delivered to the respite services at Xavier Children’s Support Network. The organisation cares for the most severe of disabled children in the Brisbane metropolitan area, some with only a short time to live.
In a letter sent from the disability service provider (DSP) this week, funding has been removed from respite services in lieu of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
However, Queensland remains the only state or territory inactive on the NDIS, despite a national rise in the Medicare levy to cover costs for the scheme.
Th government has once again demonstrated is dictatorial approach to Queenslanders. Without consultation, from behind closed doors, it is determining what will or will not be provided under the scheme.
A copy of the letter sent to the 192 families effected follows.
Gold Coast trams officially live
A somewhat unjust scenario played out in the political spectrum this week. LNP members were on hand for the official start of the Gold Coast’s tram system which was initiated by the former Queensland Government under Anna Bligh.
The project cost $1.2 billion and began in August 2010. Many complaints were made by shop retailers who had roads and footpaths dug up in front of their stores during the construction phase.
However, patrons were up before sunrise to be the first to travel on the maiden voyage. One passenger described it as “absolutely fabulous’.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate described the trams as, “significant infrastructure and it’s smoother than what it looks.”
Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson said, “this is an historic day.”
Tweet of the week – Good advice on use of the term “backflips”
political ‘backflips’ leave you facing the same way you started from. ábout face’, ‘backdown’ anything but a backflip. @NewsTalk4BC
— Patrick Condren (@PatrickCondren) July 20, 2014