Queensland election: why Annastacia Palaszczuk’s election victory is bad news if you want a holiday

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Annastacia Palaszczuk has cemented her place as Australia’s most successful female leader thanks to her uncompromising coronavirus border closure.

When she came to power in February 2015, Queensland’s Labor leader was regarded as an accidental premier.

Just three year earlier, she led a team of just seven Labor MPs and was regarded as a temporary, stop-gap leader with the ALP expected to remain in opposition for a generation.

But the Liberal National Party under Campbell Newman soon slashed 14,000 public service jobs, propelling Labor back into power after just one term in the political wilderness. 

Saturday’s Queensland election result has showed that while voters hate service cuts to rein in government debt, they are more than happy to suffer the inconvenience and heartache of border closures during a pandemic.

The resounding victory for Labor also indicates other state elections could sway in the favour of coronavirus-cautious politicians – including Victoria’s Daniel Andrews and Western Australia’s Mark McGowan.  

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured, on Saturday after her victory) cemented her place as Australia's most successful female leader thanks to her uncompromising border closure

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured, on Saturday after her victory) cemented her place as Australia’s most successful female leader thanks to her uncompromising border closure

Ms Palaszczuk now has a political mandate to shut Queensland again should there be another COVID-19 flare up in another part of Australia, and made that very clear when she claimed victory on Saturday night.

‘We stood strong Queensland. We stood together. We stared down our critics,’ she said.

This could be bad news for Australians outside Queensland who want a beach holiday from the Gold Coast to the Whitsundays and Cairns, as the federal government stops most of us from going overseas. 

Those who book a holiday should take out travel insurance in case they are banned from getting to their hotel resort at the last minute, throwing plans into chaos. 

The once-in-a-century crisis has demonstrated voters, in Queensland at least, prioritise health over the economy, with lives considered more important than livelihoods. 

When she came to power in February 2015, Queensland's Labor leader was regarded as an accidental premier. Just three year earlier, she led a team of just seven Labor MPs and was regarded as a temporary, stop-gap leader with the ALP expected to remain in opposition for a generation

When she came to power in February 2015, Queensland’s Labor leader was regarded as an accidental premier. Just three year earlier, she led a team of just seven Labor MPs and was regarded as a temporary, stop-gap leader with the ALP expected to remain in opposition for a generation

With the Halloween election over, Ms Palaszczuk is likely to keep shutting Queensland again whenever a small outbreak flares up against in Sydney or Melbourne, even if exceptions are made for Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks. The premier is pictured with her parents Laurel and her father Henry Palaszczuk, a former Queensland Labor government minister

With the Halloween election over, Ms Palaszczuk is likely to keep shutting Queensland again whenever a small outbreak flares up against in Sydney or Melbourne, even if exceptions are made for Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks. The premier is pictured with her parents Laurel and her father Henry Palaszczuk, a former Queensland Labor government minister

As Queenslanders went to the polls on Saturday, New South Wales recorded just one new locally-acquired coronavirus case.

On Friday, when NSW recorded four new COVID-19 infections, the Queensland premier declared Sydney’s five million-plus residents would be banned from the Sunshine State.

On election eve, Ms Palaszczuk and her deputy Steven Miles deferred to the chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young to argue they were simply following the health advice. 

Having now won four more years in power, under new fixed term rules, Labor was more likely just following the political advice. 

With the Halloween election over, Ms Palaszczuk is likely to keep shutting Queensland again whenever a small outbreak flared up against in Sydney or Melbourne, even if exceptions were made for Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks. 

Queensland on August 1 banned anyone who had been in Sydney from entering the state, just three weeks after the border was reopened to everyone else in Australia except Victorians.

Even in the tourism-dependent Sunshine State, Ms Palaszczuk's strongest support for closing the border, whenever a flare-up occurred, came from coastal areas economically on visitors. This saw the Liberal National Party led by Deb Frecklington (pictured) lose Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and neighbouring Pumicestone

Even in the tourism-dependent Sunshine State, Ms Palaszczuk’s strongest support for closing the border, whenever a flare-up occurred, came from coastal areas economically on visitors. This saw the Liberal National Party led by Deb Frecklington (pictured) lose Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and neighbouring Pumicestone

Labor’s third consecutive election victory means Daniel Andrews in Victoria could also easily win a third straight election in November 2022 if voters forgive him for keeping them locked up for almost three months, with an 8pm to 5am curfew, and a 5km limit on leaving home. 

Even in the tourism-dependent Sunshine State, Ms Palaszczuk’s strongest support for closing the border, whenever a flare-up occurred, came from coastal areas economically dependent on visitors. 

Ms Palaszczuk is also the first Queensland premier to win a third consecutive term since Peter Beattie triumphed in 2004. Ironically Mr Beattie, a former Labor leader once dubbed a 'media tart', was Ms Palaszczuk's fiercest border closure critic, just days before the election.

Ms Palaszczuk is also the first Queensland premier to win a third consecutive term since Peter Beattie triumphed in 2004. Ironically Mr Beattie, a former Labor leader once dubbed a ‘media tart’, was Ms Palaszczuk’s fiercest border closure critic, just days before the election.

Retirees, worried about getting the virus, helped Labor pick up the Sunshine Coast seat of Caloundra, an electorate it has never held before.

Labor had a huge 11 per cent primary vote swing to it in the neighbouring seat of Pumicestone, covering Bribie Island.

The Palaszczuk government stands a strong chance of picking up Hervey Bay near Fraser Island, an electorate it hasn’t held since 2009, and Currumbin on the Gold Coast, a seat it lost in 2004.

Ms Palaszczuk is also the first Queensland premier to win a third consecutive term since Peter Beattie triumphed in 2004.

Ironically Mr Beattie, a former Labor leader once dubbed a ‘media tart’, was Ms Palaszczuk’s fiercest border closure critic, just four days before the election.

The man who ruled Queensland from 1998 to 2007 said that as a lifelong Labor Party member, it ‘pained’ him to see Ms Palaszczuk, an MP in his government, imposing policies that were ‘just killing the economy, killing jobs and the economic devastation will be with us for years’.

The voters simply preferred the health advice to the economic advice. 

Source


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