Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland election – all about climate, coal, and minority parties

‘Queensland paradox’ pushes coal and climate to centre stage of election campaign, Guardian,   Ben Smee @BenSmee, Sat 10 Oct 2020 
As Labor and the LNP try to woo regional and metro voters with at-times contradictory messages, minor parties thrive

On Sunday in Clermont – in the dusty heart of Queensland – the coal fanatic Liberal National party senator Matt Canavan and the mining magnate Clive Palmer will hold a rally, mocking the convoy of climate protesters who made a somewhat unwelcome voyage north last year.

Three days earlier, almost 1,000km away in Brisbane’s trendy western suburbs, the Greens announced state election plans to provide free school meals, funded by a $55bn increase to mining royalties.

Somewhere in between lies what the University of Queensland political scientist Glenn Kefford calls “the Queensland paradox” – the challenge for major parties to woo voters in both Toowong and Townsville with different, sometimes contradictory, messages.

“The state might appear a certain way to outsiders but it’s really interesting and diverse,” Kefford says.

……… complexity has been writ large since the writs were issued this week: a series of events has widened a philosophical rift within the LNP; prompted some of Australia’s largest resources companies to quit their statewide lobby group; and placed the Greens at the centre of the election narrative.

As Labor and the LNP attempt to “walk both sides of the street”, divisive issues including coalmining and climate change have again been pushed to the forefront of the campaign………

Avoiding the third rail

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Queensland, coal, climate and the election without mentioning the third rail of that debate: Adani.

On the eve of the election, Labor sought to neutralise a potential campaign problem by signing a long-delayed royalties deal for Adani’s under-construction Carmichael coalmine.

Polling released this week shows Labor extending its dominance over the LNP in greater Brisbane. The party also hopes to pick up seats on the Gold Coast and the southern Sunshine Coast.

Of most concern to Labor strategists are the party’s regional seats, including the working-class regional cities of Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone, where voters swung fiercely towards the Coalition at the 2019 federal election.

The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, began her hi-vis “jobs, jobs and more jobs” campaign by hopping across north Queensland, pushing a pro-mining message.

Kefford said Labor appeared to be attempting to address failures from last year’s federal election campaign in north and central Queensland by running messaging tailored to suit local campaigns in regional areas……….

‘Frankenstein majority’

Queensland politics has become known for its embrace of minor parties,………

“There’s a good chance of [a hung parliament], there’s no doubt,” Kefford said. “The major parties, they have to rationalise what they’re doing and be strategic about their messaging. They can’t be everything to everyone.”

October 12, 2020 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland

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