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Article - Turnbull Out of Touch with What Matters to Queenslanders

August 02, 2018

WAYNE SWAN MP
MEMBER FOR LILLEY

TURNBULL OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT MATTERS TO QUEENSLANDERS

It’s no secret how critical Queensland will be in determining the outcome of the next Federal Election.

Labor is vying to win eight seats off the LNP that have a margin of 4 per cent or under. 

Some commentators have taken the 4 per cent swing received by Labor in Longman over the weekend and applied it to these seats, suggesting a romping landslide is on the cards for us.

As someone with over four decades of Queensland elections under my belt, I don’t necessarily share this view.

It is clear though that Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP have major issues here in Queensland for a number of reasons.

Firstly, looking at last year’s state election and the Longman by-election, it is now not uncommon for the LNP primary vote to be languishing in the 20s.

Secondly, the recent alliance struck between Turnbull and Pauline Hanson in Longman saw the majority of the LNP’s primary decline transfer to One Nation.     

Thirdly, the LNP’s biggest problem here in Queensland is, of course, Malcolm Turnbull.

I know this is a big call, but I do think Turnbull is fast becoming Queensland’s next Campbell Newman.

Think about it. Like Newman, he’s taken the scalpel to Queensland’s hospital funding by $160 million. Like Newman, he arrogantly lectures and points the finger at everyone else other than himself.

He screeches that his cuts to Queensland hospitals are not real when their $160 million cuts are there in black and white for all to see. 

The fact that Turnbull is so out of touch with Queensland shouldn’t be a surprise when you remember that he is a Sydney mega-millionaire investment banker who lives in a pink mansion on the harbour.

Fundamentally, Turnbull is not someone who gets Queensland. You barely see him up here. He never visits regional Queensland. There are more sightings of Migaloo the whale in Queensland than there are of the Prime Minister.

In contrast, it feels like Bill Shorten is up here nearly every other week.

In the first half of this year alone, Bill Shorten has held large public townhall meetings in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rocky, Gladstone and in Brisbane.

These meetings have allowed Shorten to talk to thousands of everyday Queenslanders and hear firsthand about the issues affecting them. Issues like insecure work, unfair labour hire practices, cuts to penalty rates, the high cost of regional airfares, affordable and quality healthcare and more.

Shorten is fair dinkum and if the Longman by-election proved one thing, it’s that he’s got the policies that cater to the bread and butter issues affecting working- and middle-class Australians. 

This piece was originally published in The Courier Mail on Thursday, 2 August 2018.

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Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra

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