IT’S time for the Queensland LNP to assert its authority and urge the Prime Minister to give more Queenslanders seats in federal Cabinet.
Yet we ended up with only 20 per cent of the seats in Cabinet.
The Coalition was trounced in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and struggled in Western Australia.
Those states only managed to win 55 seats to Labor’s 61.
Add another five or six left-leaning independents and Greens to that Labor result and the true extent of this debacle becomes clear. Simple maths shows the LNP haul of 23 seats in Queensland catapulted ScoMo to victory.
It was a similar story in the last two elections.
So my first question is: if Queensland returned 40 per cent of the seats and again only got about 20 per cent of the positions in Cabinet for the third time in a row, someone in the Queensland LNP is asleep at the wheel. The case for a greater say in Cabinet is undeniable.
Another question has to be asked: What happened in Queensland that was so markedly different from the rest of Australia?
PM Scott Morrison came across as a genuine and convincing person, which was refreshing after three years of Labor Lite under Malcolm Turnbull.
Queenslanders have great political nous and they felt Turnbull’s stance on just about everything was “wishy washy”.
Whatever you think of Bill Shorten’s renewables target of 50 per cent, ScoMo’s 26 per cent was either only half as good or only half as bad.
But fortunately for ScoMo his campaign was hijacked in Queensland by the Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and the Member for Dawson George Christensen who did not follow the official Canberra line.
Then came senators Amanda Stoker and James McGrath who campaigned on the issues of power and local jobs.
The Palaszczuk Government Adani mine approval fiasco was the proxy for this and enabled them to mask the fact that the federal Coalition Government had been largely useless on this issue. Canavan had to publicly threaten his fellow Cabinet minister for the environment to stop prevaricating.
Low-cost coal-fired power and the associated “real jobs” campaign drove the Queensland revolt against Labor. But you can’t argue that the Queensland LNP drove a quite different election agenda to that run elsewhere.
It was Queensland that won it for ScoMo. So where is the acknowledgment for this? Where is the reward?
ScoMo may have to be forced to add Queenslanders to the federal Cabinet if he wont do so willingly.
Some background: When the National Party and the Liberals amalgamated in Queensland 11 years ago they adopted a constitution which particularly empowers the members. The politicians don’t and can’t control the party. The fee paying party members do. The other thing is that the Queensland LNP is a division of the federal Liberal Party but is only affiliated with the federal National Party. So this means that well known Queensland Nationals such as Pitt, Christensen and Canavan are actually members of the Liberal Party.
Although they all wear the badge as a National with pride, it is just a convenience governed by tradition. However this structure gives the Queensland LNP great flexibility and power.
I suggest they use it. ScoMo needs the Qld LNP to stay in power.
Graeme Haycroft is a former policy committee chairman of the LNP and the founder of the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland.
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