Last Cox blast off target
NOW that the headline writers have had their fun, let’s consider the ramifications for North Queensland of Matt Canavan’s Mumma Mia moment.
At the very least, Senator Canavan has been sloppy.
It is too early to say if it is any more than that.
The High Court will be the judge of this matter.
But irrespective of your political leanings, it would be hard to argue Senator Canavan is not a crucial asset for our region — probably our most valuable political weapon.
Senator Canavan eloquently and consistently put the case for greater investment in Northern Australia and most often for North Queensland.
He has championed cheap and affordable energy for our region, a greater share of the infrastructure funding pie and, most notably, fought hard for the Adani coal mine project.
Yes, as a Rockhampton- based senator he was perhaps not a great ally for Townsville in its battle with the beef capital for Adani’s FIFO hub. But he provided the loudest and most powerful voice for our region inside Federal Cabinet. It wasn’t so long ago he copped flak from his colleagues for suggesting North Queensland become a separate state.
He may have lost that battle — for now — but it illustrated a politician confident enough in his convictions and blessed with the ability to make a case for them. That’s an all too rare quality among our elected representatives.
Contrast Senator Canavan’s tireless campaigning for the North with his state equivalent in the Palaszczuk Government — Coralie O’Rourke.
Ms O’Rourke has three ministerial hats — Disability Services, Seniors and “Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland’’.
It is in the last role that Ms O’Rourke has bitterly disappointed people in this region — many of whom voted her into a shock win against David Crisifulli in 2015.
And last night we witnessed another bumbling performance that reminded us how out of touch — and out of depth — she is for this role.
When Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps pressed Ms O’Rourke on vital issues to our region — energy and crime — she betrayed an embarrassing ignorance. She could not answer the most basic questions about power prices and law and order.
It was a sad reminder that, minus Senator Canavan, we now have too few political voices in our corner. ALLOW me to comment on Burdekin’s MP Dale Last’s letter ( TB, 22/ 7), a response to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Sam Cox’s letter of July 21.
Mr Last’s personal animus is obvious, taking particular aim at former LNP member Sam Cox’s candid, colourful description of LNP leader, Tim Nicholls, describing Ascot Tim as a city- centric/ Brisvegas lad who doesn’t get nor understand the utter frustration with the systemic economic alienation and neglect doled out to the north of Noosa voters as they look on with dismay at the largesse that continues to be delivered to those who reside south of the Pine River by past and present ALP and LNP governments.
It actually was this correspondent who approached Tim Nicholls briefly on his latest fly- in, imploring him on what we need in the North, i. e. an ultra- supercritical HELE coal- fired power station and long term water security by completing stage 2 of Burdekin Falls Dam creating oodles of water storage, and with a hand up, not hand out Northerners would paddle the canoe from that point.
At all times, Mr Nicholls was courteous, genial and engaging but I was flummoxed by his comment, unwittingly defensive, when he said he could not stop the flow of people moving south.
Excuse me! With the greatest respect, it is the cardinal maxim of any government to create the environment for investment to drive the real sustainable jobs of to- morrow ... if not, how can any government justify its existence?
This year I phoned Dale Last re water security over his comments published in the Bulletin that he supported the Burdekin Dam wall elevation by 2m ... ludicrous. Mr Last was one of few politicians who returned left messages – for that he is to be commended.
However, his over- the- top personal response to Mr Cox’s letter countersigned as the MP for Burdekin is beyond the pale and underwrites the disconnect between voterland and our MPs where policy is gazumped by nasty personal political attacks and the issues play second fiddle.
To say Sam Cox was punted by the LNP hierarchy as unsuitable may be another yawning blunder, Mr Last. At the last state election, the disastrous southeast Queensland centrist campaign under the direction of LNP’s Bruce McIver and acolytes delivered Queensland the most abysmal Palaszczuk/ Green Government in living memory where Mr Cox and others were led to their political deaths.
PHON’s Sam Cox supports both a HELE coal- fired power station and raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam wall 14m; LNP’S Dale Last a Hele coal- fired plant but only a 2m wall elevation. The Greens/ Palaszczuk Labor implacably oppose both.
Burdekin voters – own consequence with your vote. PETER J. SMITH,