by Jim O’Toole, Townsville bureau
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is reeling after the Labor Party lost every federal seat north of Brisbane at last week’s election. Fed-up voters elected only one ALP senator for Queensland.
In a fleeting visit to Cairns on Friday to shore up its four state ALP MP’s, the Premier allocated just 15 minutes for each one to air their grievances.
Pundits claim stalling on the Adani mine approvals and scaremongering over fictitious ‘climate’ change’ by the Labor Party turned voters away in droves from their federal candidates.
Even the hard-nosed, anti-coal mining Deputy Premier Jackie Trad joined with the Premier’s change of heart and discovered on Monday morning after the election that coal was all right after all.
These two hypocrites will battle to hold seats north of Brisbane at the next state election and rightly so as every city and all regions north of the Sunshine Coast, except the coal mining depot of Mackay are experiencing severe economic downturns.
Katters Australian Party warned during the federal campaign that every Labor- held state seat north of Rockhampton would be contested by its candidates, with some already campaigning in the regions.
Bob Katter’s spectacular result in the sprawling electorate of Kennedy left the LNP and ALP candidates speechless after he increased his margin by 2.5 points to 65 per cent easily retaining the vast cane, cattle, mining and tourism region.
Although recording substantial results without spectacular numbers were KAP’s five other federal candidates who were bypassed by panicked voters in an effort to keep out the Labor Party.
Party polling officials in the hotly contested, marginal seat of Leichardt which extends to the PNG border some 1500 klms to the north of Cairns, were warned by Voting Australia to be on the lookout for voting fraud.
In the last federal election 18,000 voters across the nation were found by the Australian Electoral Commission to have recorded more than one vote.
No action was taken by the AEC against this fraud.
Just a small percentage of these dud votes would have enabled Liberal Party candidate and incumbent member Warren Entsch to get across the line.
In spite of numerous requests from voters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison prior to the election to ensure the AEC implemented the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for compulsory identification, the AEC confirmed no ID requirements were enforced at polling booths.