A: Give the leader’s job to this bloke
I’m reluctant to buy in so heavily on the Queensland election. For two reasons:
1) It’s no big deal who wins this unless you’re a Queenslander, and even then …
2) It’s Iain’s blog and I don’t want to upset him … too much.
Nonetheless, I think it really needs to be said: The appointment of an untested parliamentary outsider like Campbell Newman as opposition leader may yet backfire on the hybrid Queensland conservative party, that bears the oxymoron name of ‘The Liberal National Party’ (LNP).
Like, what were they thinking, and don’t they know that city councillors are often up to their necks in graft and corruption? Especially when it concerns giving dubious approvals to developers of high-rise buildings in heritage listed areas. And especially when it comes out that the developer gave a series of donations to Newman’s election fund via a string of related companies just weeks before the controversial approval was given … by a Brisbane City Council controlled by Liberal Party members including Newman, who was the mayor!
Does anyone hear alarm bells ringing? And is anyone reminded of the ‘brown paper bag’ days of Joh Bjelke Petersen, the last conservative Queensland Premier who, um, enjoyed a good relationship with certain (white-shoed) developers too?
Newman’s ‘excuse’ is that the approval was recommended by ‘independent’ town planners, so there’s nothing untoward in the councillors rubber-stamping what the planning staff put before them. Yeah, right. So the staff were beyond reproach too?
The fact is that councillors and staff usually meet in briefing sessions BEFORE any recommendations are made and BEFORE they are formally put up at a council meeting. It’s often the case that if a council makes it clear to their planners at these private meetings that they’re in favour (gung-ho in favour) of approval then the staff usually, um, adjust their thinking. After all, they value their jobs. No stand over tactics from Campbell though? No, he’s a saint.
And now it’s come out that Newman’s mayoral re-election fund manager (a mate, no doubt) received a 37 per cent cut of all donations over a two-year period. Wow, that’s generous:
Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman is still being dogged by questions about his re-election fund when he was Brisbane’s mayor.
The Australian newspaper is reporting the man who ran Mr Newman’s mayoral re-election fund received a 37 per cent cut of all donations over a two-year period.
The paper says donors were not aware his commission was so high.
Mr Newman was in the Brisbane seat of Mt Coot-tha this morning to announce increased teacher aide hours for 600 prep classes.
However, he refused to answer questions about the fund and threatened to end the media conference when he faced continued questions about his family’s financial interests.
“I’m going to wind this up if people don’t have questions about education,” he said.
He says the matters are all on the public record.
The LNP might still get out of this with a win. They’re well in front in the polls and Labor has had a pretty good innings up there since Joh’s demise. And, let’s face it, they just hate Gillard so much and now, after the second knifing of their favourite son Kevin Rudd, Queenslanders are probably going to vote along federal lines even more so than usual.
But … Newman might not be the Premier, as he still has to take a seat off a sitting ALP member with an 8% majority and maybe, just maybe, the people in that seat will think again.
I mean … would you buy a used car from this man?