ARE WE CONVINCED BY THE HYPE OR JUST HAPPY FOR THE FUNDING? WITHOUT THE WENTWORTH LOSS, WOULD THIS MERCY MISSION HAVE OCCURRED? Let’s check fine print
Hoo- bloody- ray, looks like our hard- to- shake “Brownsville” tag might finally come loose.
The ScoMo bus, its poor lonely driver and the jet that the Canberra contingent actually travelled on have come and gone.
And Townsville’s the winner with the LNP agreeing to chuck in the cash to secure the vital stage two of our water supply. Not only that, but to fund Stage 1 of Bob Katter’s pet project, Hells Gates Dam.
Of course it’s possible none of this would have happened if the Wentworth by- election hadn’t sent a pretty clear message back to the LNP pollsters in Canberra that a majority of people weren’t that into their people.
So this is like one of those apologetic phone calls a drunk dialler makes the morning after the night before.
But instead of a: “Yep, OK we’ll cough up” we got the ScoMo Roadshow, an early election campaign move involving pubs, beers, baseball caps and lots of other “regular guy” stuff in an attempt to woo voters.
After the Big Announcement Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who had some of us saying “Who’s that guy again?” ( much like this week’s Bachelorette evictee, Daniel) put out a press release. This, to cynics such as myself, looked less than reassuring.
“The Liberal and Nationals’ Government will invest up to $ 200 million to secure Townsville’s long- term water supply. We are backing Queenslanders.”
First off all, please note the “up to” $ 200 million. This reminds me of many a sale item I have gleefully pounced on until reaching the checkout only to be told: “Sorry, it says ‘ up to’ 50 per cent off, this is actually 5 per cent off, do you still want it?”
So we need to watch out for those kinds of shenanigans, since our budget is already down to $ 195 million after we include the business plan, estimated to cost $ 5 million for around a month’s work.
The second line “We are backing Queenslanders”, is like saying “We are backing Winx” after she’s already won 28 starts.
Let’s make no mistake here, this is the first sign of “backing” we’ve seen since the stadium funding arm- twist that happened before the last election, each of these generous re- gifts of our own taxpayer- funded funds has only occurred as damage control.
And while the “Guns and God” leanings of the Katter Australia Party mightn’t be to everyone’s taste, Bob Katter’s bartering position is formidable.
Using Hells Gates as the trade- off for supporting the LNP after their Wentworth byelection defeat was like Thursto requesting a stadium after the Cowboys Premiership win. BAM! Would we have funding if the LNP had retained Wentworth or if the seat of Herbert was as safe as it once was?
Doubtful. But if its results we care about rather than the begging and pleading for basics, then yes, it’s a victory of sorts.
Throughout this entire water crisis the LNP have dragged their heels, now they’re over a barrel yet playing “saviour” by funding what is essentially an essential service.
So next time they need Bob’s backing, could he maybe mention “Lagoon”?