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One last chance

September 10th, 2010

The decision by Queensland coal companies to drop their bid for the track assets of Queensland Rail hands the state’s Labor party one last chance to hang on to office. There is still time to dump the economically silly and politically suicidal idea of a public float for QR, either because the Premier and Treasurer suddenly announce that circumstances have changed (as they did, going the other way, immediately after the last election) or because the Caucus decides that taking a chance on a new leadership team is preferable to the certain oblivion to which Bligh and Fraser are leading them.

According to this poll report, Labor’s primary vote has fallen to a horrendous 29 per cent. Looking at the dismal performance of Federal Labor in Queensland at the recent election, in which the LNP campaigned against Bligh rather than Gillard, there’s no reason to doubt that this would be translated into reality unless something changes. Certainly, on current policies, I’ll be preferencing the LNP ahead of Labor.

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  1. darren
    September 10th, 2010 at 15:14 | #1

    this state government has had plenty of chances to pull back from the electoral suicide that is privatisation…not the least, the dramatically improved outlook for the state’s finances that was documented in the 10/11 state budget. A stunning $13billion improvement in forecast government revenues.
    That sum goes a long way to addressing the nonsense claims of a $15billion shortfall.
    The state’s political leadership haven’t recognised the implications of that fiscal improvement.
    And today, in an amazing demonstration of promptness by the former-head of the Aust Industry Group, advertorial is running in the Courier-Mail urging the Premier to stay the privatisation course.
    We are watching both a political and policy train wreck happen before our very eyes.

  2. James Haughton
    September 10th, 2010 at 15:58 | #2

    It’s interesting that they didn’t run with the line “we would have bought it, but now can’t afford to because of the mining tax”. IIRC the fact that the coal industry were intending to buy the railway was one point of evidence pointed to by those (including me) who argued that industry hysteria about the tax was (and is) rent-seeking bunkum. Still believe that but it would be interesting to know how a vertical monopoly costs bits of itself.

  3. Jill Rush
    September 11th, 2010 at 01:02 | #3

    Until the problems of privatisation such as sending profits overseas, no spending on maintenance, public funding of replacement infrastructure and inequitable distribution are dealt with then there are good reasons to reject privatisations. It is something like a siren song that politicians nowadays just can’t seem to resist despite the electoral backlash. When so many go onto lucrative private sector positions it does make some kind of sense.

  4. paul walter
    September 11th, 2010 at 01:18 | #4

    What is this hold Fraser has on Bligh?

  5. paul walter
    September 11th, 2010 at 01:24 | #5

    You know , I can’t get over the selfishness of Fraser and Bligh. Their stubborness will cost federal labor also. If ever an example of what the public wants to see Gillard cut herself free from, before she ruins herself also, is this.
    If we are consigned to an Abbott government in short time because of these idiots, I can only hope they are dragged from their offices and strung up over a local lamp post.

  6. Jamie Johnson
    September 11th, 2010 at 08:31 | #6

    QR used to run a branch line here in central Qld transporting raw sugar about 40km to port. The contract came up for renewal and QR priced themselves out of contention. The local Labor member was ho-hum, commercial decision, etc, etc, while putting an extra 3 b-doubles/hour on a major trunk route through small rural communities. In terms of any consideration being given to sustainability, fuel use, road damage (which is considerable and is unlikely to be repaired anytime soon) and general amenity for the community…. zilch.

    This government calls itself Labor, but any ideological affinity to the plight of working people, particularly the local majority of rural workers who are not farm owners, has long gone. Standing for business as practiced is in fact to stand for nothing. I think this is why there is such a visceral and deep-seated dislike for the (not so) new style Bligh Labor. At least with the other side, when push comes to shove and they have to make an ideological choice one can rely on them screwing the workers.

  7. Ikonoclast
    September 11th, 2010 at 09:27 | #7

    The perverse political self-destructiveness and socio-economic destructiveness of Qld Labor is getting to the point that one must seriously wonder about the motives of Bligh and Fraser.

    It might be interesting to see where their golden parachutes land them after they lose the election. Are lucrative coal or mining industry positions in the offing for one or both?

  8. Ikonoclast
    September 11th, 2010 at 09:29 | #8

    PS. I could never vote for LNP as I remember the Joh days too well. For me it will be Green or informal.

  9. Alice
    September 11th, 2010 at 20:33 | #9

    @Ikonoclast
    Of course they are Ikono. Even Garnaut took a position with Lihir Gold for the last few years on 300K plus for doing nothing much except acting as a director/mouthpiece for their “sustainable production methods”. All the while Lihir is dimping its tailings into the ocean – a practice banned in many countries.
    Ewww I hate this stuff but it happens all too often doesnt it? Plus I dont like Bligh’s face in all honesty (Can I be so honest) – there is not a skerrick of genuine emotion on it. Sometimes the last vestige of a woman’s femininity can only be seen in her hairstyle. Workplace battles? I bet she has won a few.
    Bit like the Cockroach. ..You wouldnt want to slip between her and her chair accidentally.

  10. peterm
    September 13th, 2010 at 09:55 | #10

    I suspect the problem is the executive level of the Qld Public Service. There is probably some very sub-standard advice coming from people who see their next Career step into a merchant wanking advisor’s role.

  11. Alice
    September 13th, 2010 at 10:12 | #11

    I see a strong case for Greens first and deliberate lnp second ie dont let your preferences flow to state labor govts in either QLD or NSW. If the rampant (and self interested and IMHO corrupt) privatisation agenda continues against overwhelming public dissatisfaction with it then let the greens keep growing until both majors wake up. Its crystal clear that QLD Labor are acting in a way that is against what the majority of voters want and expect from Labor state govts. That was all too apparent at the recent fed election. Same suggestion for NSW Labor.
    Sorry Mosh – I know you wont like my suggestions but if anyone has a better one let me know.

  12. Shayne
    September 13th, 2010 at 12:13 | #12

    the 3 Amigo’s (Bligh, Fraser and Lucas) have shown that they really don’t care what Queensland’s think, the ALP will be looking from the opposition bench’s for years after the betrayal of labor policy and principles they have undertaken with the support of the right wing of the party. Voters can’t tell the difference anymore, both parties seem to pander to the big end of town, something they expect from the LNP but to the working class, Labor has all but deserted it and this is the straw that broke the back of the majority of true believers after years of betrayals. The spin over the need for the Asset Sales is sickening, upgrades to Mackay Hospital was to be paid for out of the sale of its Airport, now it sold it’s to come out of the Asset sales depending on what day of the week you listen to the Amigo’s. (Facts and Myths)

    Fraser keep pushing the fact that the LNP is not to be trusted, they don’t get it we can nor will trust the ALP after this.

    Time to cut out the cancer and take the party back to were it belongs.

  13. SJ
    September 13th, 2010 at 21:56 | #13

    Might I just point to this prescient observation on my part, regarding NSW electricity privatisation:

    WTF? On ABC Stateline a few minutes ago, Quentin asked Rees about the privatisation.

    Rees repeated what he’d said earlier, “Parliament and the people have already spoken on that issue”, which I would have interpreted as meaning that the issue was dead.

    But then he added “Retail privatisation will go ahead”.

    Maybe Rees misspoke. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    On the other hand, maybe Rees didn’t quite understand last week’s polital death warrant comment from John Robertson. If so, it could be a very short lived premiership for Rees.

    On the third hand, maybe Unions NSW have given a nod and a wink to Rees on the privatisation, in which case they’ve signed Labor’s death warrant themselves.

  14. SJ
    September 13th, 2010 at 22:01 | #14

    I’d add that there’s going to be a huge line of dumbass NSW politicians trying to line up for jobs at Mac Bank. It might not be so easy this time around.

  15. Alice
    September 14th, 2010 at 08:31 | #15

    @SJ
    SJ – something doesnt smell right at Mac. Are they hiding something? Nicholas Moore, poor thing, is watching tranche after tranche of his options expire unexercised lately. As for the line of ex politicians seeking retirement work – Mac should put them on a plane, while it still owns the airport (?) and send them to one of Mac’s multiple Cayman island holiday spots.

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