POLLIES OFF THE RAILS

IF THE GOV­ERN­MENT IS GO­ING TO TAKE POLLS TO CHANGE THE NAMES OF FA­CIL­I­TIES AND IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE, Q RAIL SHOULD BE NEXT

Life & Style Weekend - - TUGBOAT TALES - WORDS: ASH­LEY ROBIN­SON

Have you ever been sub­jected to one of those po­lit­i­cal phone polls – you know, where an au­to­mated voice is on the other end of the line ask­ing who you would vote for and if you were not happy, just about happy, happy or re­ally happy or ec­static with your sit­ting mem­ber, the cur­rent gov­ern­ment or the op­po­si­tion? Sorry for the long-winded ques­tion but that’s what pol­i­tics is. We all have, of course, been on the re­ceiv­ing end. But a few years ago, be­fore a state elec­tion, I started get­ting calls from friends ask­ing if I was run­ning for pol­i­tics be­cause they had been sub­jected to a phone poll that was ask­ing would they vote for the sit­ting mem­ber or Ash­ley Robin­son? At first, I thought my leg was get­ting pulled but af­ter about a dozen peo­ple asked me the same ques­tion, I started to be­lieve them. Firstly, I was an­noyed that no one had asked my approval to do so. Then I started think­ing that maybe I had a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer com­ing. But it ap­peared that they must have a had “not over my dead body would I vote for him” op­tion as I never got a call to suit up for state pol­i­tics. Af­ter the ini­tial dis­ap­point­ment, I de­cided that some­one should be ac­count­able for us­ing me as an op­tion on an opin­ion poll but no one owned up to it when I in­quired, which was dis­ap­point­ing. A lit­tle bit like now with the de­ba­cle over the chang­ing of the name of the Lady Ci­lento Hos­pi­tal. The cur­rent gov­ern­ment has de­cided that the name makes it sound ex­pen­sive and a pri­vate health fa­cil­ity, so it ran a poll of Queens­lan­ders and de­cided to change the name to a more pub­lic style which the poll­sters agreed to. It sounds about as dodgy as the Ash­ley Robin­son poll and, in my view, about as wrong. I can find one pos­i­tive in there, though: the Pre­mier has dug her heels in and is stick­ing by the name change, which is one of the first real de­ci­sions they have made in gov­ern­ment. It is just a pity it is the wrong one. Imag­ine the cost of chang­ing signs, uni­forms, sta­tion­ary and every­thing else to make it more pub­lic. But even sad­der is what it does to the mem­ory of Lady Ci­lento and her fam­ily and the legacy they thought they left for eter­nity. If this be­comes habit-form­ing for the Gov­ern­ment, the mem­bers might think chang­ing names will fix long-stand­ing problems. Q Rail would be next. Change the name to Forest Gump Rail, as life is like a box of choco­lates – you never know what you are go­ing to get. A bit closer to home: the Nick­lin Way, when I think of the thou­sand red lights on the way to work. So maybe they change the name to An­nette Sym Way, and all of a sud­den it’s healthy, it’s happy, pos­i­tive and one may lose weight on the jour­ney. That’s fixed that if you think like the cur­rent bunch of politi­cians. I would rather think about Sir Fran­cis Nick­lin and Lady Ci­lento and what they did for Queens­land.

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