October 29, 2017
by Anne Miller
The rumours and waiting are finally over … Queenslanders will go to the polls on November 25.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Acting Governor Chief Justice Catherine Holmes just before 11:00am on Sunday to dissolve Parliament.
She then announced her decision to a media conference held at Darra Bowls Club, which was briefly interrupted by protesters against the Adani mine.
Ms Palaszczuk has stated all along she intended to go the full term before calling an election, unless something extraordinary happened.
The “extraordinary” moment apparently occurred on Friday when Ms Palaszczuk asked the ALP to disendorse Member for Pumicestone Rick Williams over an alleged phone altercation on Wednesday with a small newspaper owner.
Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington told southburnett.com.au she was ready for the campaign.
In fact, she had already started to put some signs up around the electorate.
“My local campaign team have been meeting for the past 12 months. I am very fortunate to have so many hard-working supporters that are willing to help out at each election,” she said.
Asked about a recent ReachTEL poll, commissioned by the unions, which showed a swing towards One Nation in Nanango and a drop of 10 per cent in first preference results for the LNP, Mrs Frecklington said she was not interested in talking about polls.
“I’m just interested in providing a loud and strong voice for the people of Nanango,” she said.
She said the seat had changed considerably since the last election with boundary changes, and she would be making sure that she got around all the new areas to talk to people and introduce herself.
The ALP candidate for Nanango, Ben Rankin, has also been busy with his team getting out and meeting people.
Mr Rankin and his supporters have had stalls at local markets, including a regular stall at Wondai every month.
Speaking on Saturday before the election date was announced, Mr Rankin said he had been getting a positive feeling from people he had spoken to who were keen for a change.
The Wondai ALP branch held a meet’n’greet for local residents at the Cecil Hotel on Saturday afternoon, which also gave people an opportunity to meet Zac Beers, the endorsed candidate for the Federal seat of Flynn who gave LNP candidate Ken O’Dowd a big scare at the last Federal poll.
The Greens announced a candidate for Nanango on Sunday: Environmental scientist John Harbison.
The Sandgate-based hydrologic consultant specialises in groundwater assessment and is a former soil technician and coal chemist.
“We need mining to support our economy, but the benefits must flow to the community and not at the expense of forever losing productive farmland, water resources and unique ecosystems,” Mr Harbison said.
“Aside from the environmental impacts of coal mining generally, the proposed Adani mega-mine is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated,” he said.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate for Nanango is former Canadian Douglas Grant who emigrated to Australia in the late 1980s.
For the past 30 years he has specialised in CCTV design and consultancy and recently installed the 54-camera security system in Murgon streets.
He said he would be contesting the election on economic grounds.“Less support has to be afforded to the population who refuse to work, or refuse to contribute to the community at large. With exception to people who honestly need assistance,” he said.
He said the priority should be to improve the quality of life of farmers, pensioners and veterans.
Nominations for the election close on November 7.
If the ReachTEL polling is correct, preferences could play a big role in deciding who wins Nanango.
Voting for this election is full preferential, ie voters must fill in all the squares to allocate their preferences.
Mr Rankin confirmed that the ALP would place One Nation last on their “How To Vote” cards, a decision that has been repeated many times by Premier Palaszczuk.
Mrs Frecklington said no decision had been made as yet in regards to her preferences.
“We will wait and see who puts their hands up over the next weeks,” she said.
However, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has said there would be “no deal” with One Nation and “no coalition”.
But neither major party has ruled out accepting support from One Nation to form a minority government.
UPDATE October 30: Premier Palaszczuk told reporters on Monday she would not enter into any deal with One Nation even if it meant losing government,
However, One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson said the major parties might not have a choice about dealing with his party.