Politicians waking up
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.