Politi­cians wak­ing up

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

FOR once the spot­light is on the re­gions and it has noth­ing to do with a weather event – at least not yet any­way.

Premier Palaszczuk re­turned from hol­i­day on Mon­day and went straight out bush, with TV cam­eras in tow, to show some love to the ru­ral heart­land.

Noth­ing to do with wide­spread talk about an early elec­tion, but “all about jobs” of course.

Queens­land is the key bat­tle­ground at the fed­eral level too. Hence the Prime Min­is­ter was in south­ern Queens­land on Mon­day.

Bill Shorten is com­ing up this week. Pauline Han­son, of course, is busy do­ing the rounds of the state with other One Na­tion can­di­dates.

The po­lit­i­cal class, and the me­dia, has noted what hap­pened with Brexit and the rise of Don­ald Trump and hear sim­i­lar rum­bling in Aus­tralia.

Re­gional house prices, ac­cord­ing to the Hous­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, have missed out on the growth that the cities have en­joyed. The HIA this week called for mea­sures to stim­u­late the re­gional mar­ket.

Em­ploy­ment num­bers also show the weak­ness in the re­gional economies. Nearly half of all jobs growth in the past decade was in the cap­i­tal cities.

Last year, Queens­land lost 30,000 jobs, in­clud­ing around 10,000 jobs in Townsville.

The po­tent out­come of such fac­tors is that data show that the fur­ther a voter is from the GPO in their home cap­i­tal city, the more likely they are to vote for a party other than the ALP, the LNP or the Greens.

It’s quite stag­ger­ing – be­yond 20 km from the GPO, vot­ers are mea­sur­ably get­ting more and more narky.

Since the state gov­ern­ment came to power in 2015 it has or­dered 120 re­views, in­quiries and task­forces and boosted the num­ber of pub­lic ser­vants – hardly the sort of thing that will pla­cate the grow­ing un­rest in the re­gions.

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