David Marler

David Marler

Queensland reporter at No Fibs
David is a full time carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs. More at: https://nofibs.com.au/meeting-david-marler-nofibs-twitter-activist-by-griffithelects
David Marler
- 2 hours ago
David Marler
Head in the clouds. Campbell Newman mounts a crane to count cranes.

Head in the clouds. Campbell Newman mounts a crane to count cranes.


ReachTEL – 52 percent to LNP.
Dr Alex Douglas quits Palmer United Party.
Head in the clouds: Newman evokes Joh’s crane index of populist Premiers past.
The Broncos Mail backs Newman.
Dame Quentin Bryce to lead domestic violence taskforce.
Stop the rollout: How the Newman Government is killing solar.
Tweet of the week – Election season: Journos in high-vis.


The Courier Mail declares the LNP back in favour with a +1pc rise in the two party preferred count.

The Courier Mail declares the LNP back in favour with a +1pc rise in the two party preferred count.

ReachTEL 52 percent to LNP

“The ReachTEL Poll, conducted for The Sunday Mail, revealed the Newman Government’s primary vote had increased 2.3 per cent in recent weeks while Labor’s support remained unchanged.

The slight upswing for the LNP comes in the wake of Premier Campbell Newman’s apology and decision to scrap several contentious decisions, including the requirement for bikies to wear pink jumpsuits in prison and the removal of the bipartisan appointment process for the head of the Crime and Corruption Commission.”

So began The Courier Mail’s report on the latest ReachTEL polling described with headline; “A ReachTEL Poll has indicated the Newman Government’s primary vote has increased 2.3 per cent in recent weeks”. The paper interviewed a few Queenslanders and put their positive opinions on page ten of the August 11 edition of the printed version.

It came on the back of successive poor polling and a by-election in the Brisbane seat of Stafford which saw a 19.1 swing against the government. In reality, the two party preferred polling showed a 1 percent rise in support for the Liberal National Party (LNP) up from 51pc to 52pc. It was neither here nor there and certainly nothing to do with Newman’s much publicised “apology”.

You can view the full @ReachTEL results here, “ReachTEL conducted a survey of 1,883 Queensland residents on the night of 7th August 2014”.


Dr Alex Douglas quits Palmer United Party

Queensland’s leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP) Alex Douglas has quit and is expected to inform the speaker of the house of his official resignation from the party when Queensland Parliament resumes on August 26, 2014.

Shortly after the election, Douglas left the LNP in 2012 when Premier Campbell Newman removed him from the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee after speaking out against the government over a proposed shipping terminal on the Gold Coast. After a time as an independent on the cross-bench, he teamed up with another ex-LNP MP Carl Judge and joined Clive Palmer’s PUP to become its Queensland based leader.

On Tuesday, Douglas fronted the media at his Gold Coast office in the seat of Gaven to confirm his resignation. Citing cronyism, nepotism and the inexperience of candidates pre-selected by party boss Palmer (who he referred to as the “executive”), he listed a conga line of personalities to demonstrate what had gone wrong within the party.

Ten News Qld: Dr Alex Douglas resigns as Qld PUP leader.

Ten News Qld: Dr Alex Douglas resigns as Qld PUP leader.

“The executive pre-selections rapidly progressed with not only his brother-in-law being pre-selected but also his son, his former footballer helper, his PUP senator’s spouse, his electoral officer, his Titanic director,  his two nephews, his close family friend and his son. Goes on. His in-house solicitor, one of his staffer’s husband, his cleaning co-contractor. This was all when PUP had genuine members willing to nominate for these Queensland seats.”

In response Clive Palmer cited Douglas’s family connection by marriage to Katter’s Australian Party founder, Bob Katter as the hidden reason for the resignation.

“But he strongly has suggested in the past…I think he came out publicly and said we are merging at one time, so he has been saying all the time that we should merge with the Katter Party, so I think if he wants to join the Katter Party, he now has the opportunity,” Palmer said in a Fairfax report.

A merger between PUP and KAP has long been touted but Palmer has repeatedly rejected the proposal.

Bob Katter also responded to the events with a “grin on his face”.

“We need a cohesive and coherent and united front to offer the people of Queensland a viable alternative in the forthcoming state elections,” he said.

The resignation leaves Carl Judge as the sole PUP member and its leader. The composition of the Queensland parliament when it resumes will be 73 LNP, 9 ALP, 3 KAP, 3 Independents, and 1 PUP.


Head in the clouds: Newman evokes Joh’s crane index of populist Premiers past

In response to Queensland’s worst unemployment figures in eleven years, Campbell Newman took to the sky in a crane to count cranes. Yep, Premier up a crane.

It’s the old “crane index” as instigated by former National Party Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen. It has also been used by Premiers Beattie and Bligh and involves a Queensland Premier standing in front of the media counting the number of cranes on the skyline over Brisbane to reassure the electorate that everything is great.

However, Newman took it a step further by leaving bemused journalists on the ground and taking to the clouds. Returning to Earth, he refused to answer questions on anything other than jobs, cranes and coal company Adani. After 875 days as Premier, either Newman had finally learnt to shut-up about things that don’t concern him or he’d miraculously transformed into Australia’s most boring leader.

This week, Indian based group Adani was granted approval for a massive 300 kilometre rail line for its coal mining operations. Coal will flow out of the Galilee Basin by train to the port of Abbot Point just off The Great Barrier Reef. Newman heroically called for jobs for the project to be given to Queenslanders.

“We hope that Adani, and it is their commercial decision, we hope that they choose to commence their commercial project before the end of the year, for example, with the building of the construction camp, to get these things going,” he said.
“We know from our conversations with them that, that is what they are doing. I also want to point out as well and say the government has put a line in the sand and said we don’t support 100 per cent FIFO in terms of the long-term operations of these things and there will be a good mix of people on the ground and people based in other parts of the state.”
As the Adani advertisements begin to hit Queensland TV promising 10,000 jobs, there remains no real guarantee that any of these will be granted to Queenslanders in preference over any other nationality.


Ten News Qld: Tony Abbott pleges $5 millions to the Brisbane Broncos & Campbell Newman gifts land worth $2 million.

Ten News Qld: Tony Abbott pleges $5 millions to the Brisbane Broncos & Campbell Newman gifts land worth $2 million.

The Bronco Mail backs Newman

Revelations this week that the Brisbane Broncos have donated cash sums of $3000 and $1200 to the Liberal National Party (LNP). In a regular column, Fairfax writer and rugby league commentator Roy Masters asked for a “please explain?”

“The Broncos have violated a long-standing Australian tradition of football clubs being apolitical by making two donations to the Liberal/National Party,” he wrote.

“Under “Disclosure Return – Donor to Registered Political Party”, the Electoral Commission Queensland lists a donation of $3000 to the Liberal National Party on May 31 last year and $1200 to the lord mayor’s office in February, 2012.”

Prior to the 2013 Federal election, the then Federal opposition leader Tony Abbott pledged $5 million to the Brisbane Broncos to expand its training facilities. Standing shoulder to shoulder, Premier Campbell Newman donated public land worth $2 million from nearby Ithaca TAFE for the expansion. Overall, the project will cost $21 million in redevelopment.

Labor also pledged money to the club. Fairfax contributing editor & finance journalist Michael Pascoe revealed how the pork barreling was in order to secure favour from The Courier Mail.

An extract from the Broncos 2013 annual financial statements & report.

An extract from the Broncos 2013 annual financial statements & report.

“The alternative name for Murdoch’s Courier Mail is The Bronco Mail,” he told viewers.

“If the Liberal Party buffoons win the election they are forcing you and me (sic) to give the Broncos $5 million. If the Labor Party clowns win, we have to hand over $3 million.”

Indeed post election, Federal LNP MP for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro gleefully announced the $5 million cash drop to the Broncos in an online statement. Listed amongst several other local sporting groups, the deal was passed off as “Brisbane community groups receive federal funding boost”.

From the “Broncos 2013 annual financial statements & report”, as at December 31, 2013, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (which owns The Courier Mail) continues to own 68.87pc of the club. The report also confirms that Broncos Chairman Dennis Michael Watt is a “News Corporation employee” and is the “former general manager of Queensland Newspapers publishing The Courier Mail“.

In its operating results for the year, the Broncos stated;

“The Group recorded a 5.5{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} decrease in profits after tax for the 31 December 2013 financial year to $2,032,000 (2012: $2,150,000). Profits before tax for the 2013 and 2012 financial years were $3,005,000 and $3,174,000 respectively.”

Under recent changes to electoral donation laws instigated by the Newman Government amounts of up to $12,400 no longer have to be declared. While the electorate may never know if further donations have been made from the Broncos to the LNP, it will come as no surprise to Queenslanders to hear The Bronco Mail continue to cheer on Campbell Newman and the LNP.


ABC News Qld: Dame Quentin Bryce will lead a taskforce to curb domestic violence in Queensland.

ABC News Qld: Dame Quentin Bryce will lead a taskforce to curb domestic violence in Queensland.

Dame Quentin Bryce to lead domestic violence taskforce

Premier Campbell Newman announced former Australian Governor-General and former Queensland Governor Dame Quentin Bryce will lead a taskforce to curb domestic violence. On average 175 acts of domestic violence are reported in Queensland daily.

One of Queensland’s most successful female leaders, Dame Bryce described violence against women as “insidious”.

“It’s pervasive, it’s insidious and it’s got to be stopped. Violence against women is one of the gravest human rights challenges of our time,” she said.

“The data, the facts and figures tell us that there’s been a significant increase in the last ten years in domestic and family violence in our state.”

Queensland opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed bipartisan support for the taskforce but had been surprised by the announcement, finding out through media reports. Last week the Newman Government announced a fall in Queensland’s crime rate but had excluded domestic violence from the figures and included only “the crimes that matter” from the report.

A quick announcement and lack of consultation with opposition tends to suggest a possible knee-jerk reaction by the government. However, all of Queensland will no doubt give the greatest possible support to Dame Bryce in her task.


Stop the rollout: How the Newman Government is killing solar

Online renewable energy website, RenewEconomy, has reported on the instigation of the $500-a-day service charge for Queensland businesses that use solar energy. Director of installation company, Country Solar, Steve Madson, explained how the charge kills the possibility of reducing overall power bills.

“The changes are clever in their design,” Madson told RenewEconomy. “They do not actually result in an increase in total electricity costs, and in some cases they actually cause a fall. But they kill the possibility of reducing the bills by installing solar.”

“How can they charge $500 a day to read the meter, that is what the daily service charge is after all.”

In May, the Newman Government abandoned households who received an 8c feed-in tariff from energy they supplied to the power grid from home installation.

In June, Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls declared before parliament that solar home owners were  “champagne sippers” and were part of the “latte set”.

Federal member for the seat of Morton Graham Perrett called for an investigation into the charge as the state’s coal fired power stations were owned by the Queensland Government and as a result were in direct competition with the solar industry.


Tweet of the week – Election season: Journos in high-vis.