Galaxy poll: TPP 50-50, Labor leads on primary vote
On Friday, The Courier Mail ran with a confident Premier Campbell Newman striding toward the camera and the headline, “Nod For New Man”. The latest Galaxy poll it commissioned showed his preferred premier percentile had risen 5 points to 47 percent. In contrast, Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk fell 4 points to 37 percent.
However, it’s the party polling that appears to be dragging the Liberal National Party chain. Labor now leads in the primary vote up 2 points to 38pc as the LNP fell 2 points to 37pc. The Greens also benefited with a rise of 2 points to 9pc and the Palmer United Party support dropped off by 5 points to 7pc.
On a two-party preferred basis, it’s now 50-50 with the LNP falling 2 points and Labor gaining 2.In a radio interview with @4BC, Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University said the poll suggested that voters were “coming home to Labor”.
“I think they are coming home to Labor rather than circulating to the minor parties because, you know, you have a look at the Katter Party and the Palmer Party, for example their vote is also down (inaudible) in recent months so this is good news for Labor, not so awful news for Campbell Newman given his chances of getting Ashgrove back are slightly better today but certainly bad news, as you said, for all those first time LNP backbenchers,” he said.
Labor has always maintained that they would require a primary vote of 40pc to win government. The LNP also has the advantage of having multiple MPs across existing seats from which to launch their campaigns from.
Wayne Goss farewelled at public memorial
A public memorial was held for former Premier Wayne Goss on Friday, “in the Gallery of Modern Art, the house that Wayne built, the state that Wayne built,” as described by 9 News Brisbane’s Shane Doherty in the opening of his nightly news report.
Goss planned the memorial himself, choosing the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones” and another from a skit he’d personally lip-synced for the Roy & HG show to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.
The service was attended by Premier Campbell Newman, former Queensland Premiers Anna Bligh and Peter Beattie, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Treasurer and Goss campaign manager Wayne Swan and Tony Fizgerald QC, whose famous corruption report Goss implemented upon taking office.
Railway to nowhere – Adani’s taxpayer funded infrastructure
Out of the blue, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney announced the Queensland Government had committed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to help build a railway for Indian coal mining company Adani. The line will extend from Abbot Point coal port to the yet to be constructed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin. It will also be utilised by GVK Hancock and Clive Palmer for their separate coal mine projects in the Galilee basin.
Abbot Point has been highly controversial for the plan to dredge the port to allow larger coal ships to dock. Costs were being kept lower by planning to dump the spoil at sea near The Great Barrier Reef. However, Seeney surprised everyone in October, 2014 by changing the location to on-shore. This would allow the extention of the area of wetland around the port. The catch was, taxpayers would now have to buy the spoil from Adani as the original contract to them contained the cheaper sea dump option.
As the debate continues to rage over if the port should be dredged at all, it was revealed during the week that the Newman Government had paid Bowen based fishermen to appear in pro-dredging advertisements for the Abbot Point development.
Also this week, Seeney explained to @612Brisbane that the part funding of the railway by tax payers was to underwrite the common user infrastructure to create the estimated 27,000 jobs.
“That’s the infrastructure that’s used by a range of different proponents and to fund, for the proponents to fund common infrastructure, they all have to be aligned in terms of timing and that’s very difficult to put together in the commercial world. So for the state government there is a roll for us to play to facilitate the provision of that common user infrastructure that will enable all of those projects to proceed at their own timing and provide the jobs that Queenslanders badly need,” he said.
However, the Indian stock exchange (Bombay Stock Exchange – BSE) was taken by surprise when the deal appeared in the Indian newspaper, Hindustan Times that claimed that, “Adani ties up $1-bn SBI loan for Oz coal venture”. The article also claimed that the State Bank of India had agreed to lend Adani up to $1 billion for the Queensland project. As the company is obliged to inform the BSE of any announcements, it issued a notice to Adani. To clarify the agreement between the bank and itself, Adani was forced to admit that only a memorandum of understanding (MOU) had been signed and the bank was still considering their application.
With the decline of the coal industry, many Australian commentators questioned the economics of the deal. Business Spectator wrote, “Newman gambles taxpayers’ money on coal”. Michael West from Fairfax also doubted the coal project’s worth even with taxpayer funded investment, “Wise investment or fossil fools? Queensland backs coal as G20 moves the game on”. Mike Seecombe also took a look at the deal in his column for The Saturday Paper, “Newman government courts Adani on Galilee Basin coal deal’.from
“We want to enable the infrastructure to be built and we want to be owners of the infrastructure for as short a period of time as possible. So we see our role, as the state government, to make sure this infrastructure is provided – sooner, rather than later – and for us than to move the ownership back to the private sector, just as we have done in the Bowen Basin over a long period of time,” he said.
The Newman Government has long championed the continuation of coal mining in Queensland and refuses to be drawn on renewable energy alternatives.
No inquiry into cash for sand
The Crime and Corruption Commission has informed the Stradbroke Island indigenous Quandamooka people that it will not be inquiring into the $91,000 worth of pro-sandmining advertisements made during the 2012 election campaign in the seat of Ashgrove. Miner Sibelco sent 98,000 letters to residents as Campbell Newman campaigned to wrest the seat from the then Environment Minister, Kate Jones. In the lead up to the election, Premier Anna Bligh had pledged to end sand mining on the island by 2019.
However, legislation changes by the Newman Government now allow for Sibelco to apply to extend their mining lease from 2019 to 2035. Labor also raised a complaint with the CCC over allegations that the Sibelco had instructed Mining Minister Andrew Cripps on how best to word the legislation changes to suit them. However, this was also dismissed by the CCC in August, 2014.
Sibelco is yet to apply for the mining extension.
UMC vows new VLAD challenge
United Motorcycle Council (UMC) has vowed to mount a new challenge in the High Court to the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws after the initial challenge was disallowed by the bench last week. The plaintiff, Stefan Kuczborski, was judged to have no standing in the matter as he had not been charged under the laws.
UMC spokesman Mike Kosenko said this time a plaintiff who has been charged with the VLAD laws will take up the fight.
“There are already a lot of people who have been charged [under VLAD] – and we are going through the best candidates. It won’t be just one, there will be a couple. It will probably be a female and some people who aren’t even associated with bike clubs [who form the basis of the next challenge],” he said.
Most likely the female mentioned would be librarian Sally Kuether who became the first woman imprisoned under VLAD after meeting two men at a pub, alleged to be outlaw bikies.