Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government in Queensland is not the worst in Australia – it’s not as offensively far-leftist like the Andrews government in Victoria or as dumb as the carbonophobic Weatherill government in South Australia – but it’s giving the worst a run for their (or, rather, our) money. For most of her term in office, Palaszczuk remained a political favourite in Queensland, as one of my friends said, by being dumb but relatively inoffensive, coasting to another victory but not doing very much at all and thus not pissing too many voters off. The wheels only started falling off the government wagon over the past few months; Labor can play dumb very well, but the leopard doesn’t change its red spots and sooner or later the truth outs yet again that it’s not merely ineffectual but positively dangerous for the state they (mis)manage and its people.
I have no illusions that I’m preaching to the converted here; I don’t imagine the Queensland readers of this blog will be voting for Annastacia. But everyone might have different reasons for disliking the current government and voting against them on Saturday – so if you indulge me, here are mine:
1.The debt – some $81 billion of it to be exact. Or over $17,000 for every man, woman and child in Queensland. In a resource-rich state, which for most of the past quarter of a century has enjoyed pretty good economic conditions – no thanks to Labor; they would have been arguably much better if they have not been in power for the vast majority of that time.
2. The taxes – because Labor is clearly not satisfied with the money – our money – it’s pissing against the wall already, they want even more. Not just the 10 per cent increase in car registration, which hits pretty much everyone, but a raft of new taxes against “the rich” announced today, including on large land holdings, luxury cars, property purchases by foreign buyers, and online gambling.
3. The power – wholesale prices up by 70 per cent. While promising a carbon-neutral Queensland by 2050 and 50 per cent renewable by 2030, which will force power station closures. How about less pretending to be saving the world and more attention the quality of life and the business conditions in the state?
4. The economy – could we please have a Minister for State Development who is not actually anti-development? Jackie Trad is a leftie, but she’s also scared of the even more anti-development Greens in her seat, and so for the duration of the term she has been sacrificing thousands of new jobs throughout the state to protect her own. Not good enough.
5. The public service – the only booming industry in Queensland, adding 15,000 full time positions under Palaszczuk, with the public service wages growing by 6.7 per cent versus 0.5 per cent for the private sector. While Queensland unemployment is above the national average, the public sector is growing the fastest in Australia. These are not the sorts of jobs that we want to create.
6. The lock-out laws – as well as the “scanner” laws, which are destroying nightlife in Queensland, without much impact on the alcohol-fueled (in reality, drugs and steroids-fueled) violence they are meant to tackle. Funnily, just like in New South Wales, the Treasury Casino is exempt from the laws, as will be the new CBD casino.
7. Just because – they are a team of second-raters who didn’t expect to get in in 2015 and it shows.