What makes the North tick

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

They might be called One Na­tion but Pauline Han­son’s po­lit­i­cal party has di­vided Queens­land, and the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties only have them­selves to blame.

North Queens­land has al­ways been fron­tier ter­ri­tory, mav­er­ick thinkers who are deeply cyn­i­cal of Canberra and Bris­bane. They see “south­ern­ers’’ as the en­emy. They fer­vently be­lieve they don’t get a fair go from de­ci­sion-mak­ers in the south­east, or in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal.

Talk of se­ces­sion from the south­east corner has been around for more than a cen­tury. They are stir­rers and they love the fact that Sen­a­tor Han­son is go­ing to “shake things up’’ at the state elec­tion.

Today’s snap­shot of the One Na­tion voter is a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into what makes them tick. And make no mis­take about the im­pact One Na­tion vot­ers will have in 13 days. Not only will Pauline Han­son’s party win seats, her fol­low­ers’ sec­ond pref­er­ences will shape the out­come of the elec­tion.

If, as our ReachTEL poll shows today, three-quar­ters of One Na­tion vot­ers give their sec­ond pref­er­ence to Tim Ni­cholls, the LNP can start out­fit­ting 1 Wil­liam Street. If the pref­er­enc­ing is closer to 60 per cent to the LNP, which Galaxy polls sug­gest, Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk may well fall over the line.

For One Na­tion sup­port­ers, life is pretty sim­ple, although they have se­ri­ous con­cerns about jobs, law and or­der and im­mi­gra­tion. They back Don­ald Trump, love rugby league, and still sit down at night to watch the tele­vi­sion news.

They’ll vote for Sen­a­tor Han­son’s party be­liev­ing it will shake things up, and be­cause they think the ma­jor par­ties don’t rep­re­sent them prop­erly.

They are mostly con­ser­va­tives at heart and they de­spise the union move­ment. In­ter­est­ingly, man­ag­ing im­mi­gra­tion, de­spite be­ing a Com­mon­wealth is­sue, was over­whelm­ingly their ma­jor con­cern at 34.4 per cent, followed by crime (17 per cent) and job cre­ation (16.8 per cent).

Just as Trump swept to power on the back of mid­dle Amer­ica – with the “elites’’ on the east and west coast los­ing their mojo – the same phe­nom­e­non is at play in Queens­land.

Those vot­ers pre­dom­i­nantly north of Noosa will be king­mak­ers. Who­ever gets elected on Novem­ber 25 must pay more than lip ser­vice to the debt prob­lem. This at­ti­tude that it’s some­one else’s prob­lem is not good enough.

Fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity goes with the ter­ri­tory of lead­ing Queens­land, and right now, putting tough eco­nomic de­ci­sions on hold is send­ing the state into a thun­der­ing fis­cal abyss.

The in­ter­est rate alone on our debt is surg­ing past the $3 bil­lion a year mark. Imag­ine how many hos­pi­tals and schools could be built with that amount.

Queens­lan­ders must be pre­pared to ac­cept eco­nomic belt-tight­en­ing. The state’s fu­ture de­pends on it, and coura­geous lead­er­ship is at the fore­front of that think­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.