Yesterday I went to the first Rural Press Club meeting for the year. It was a special January meeting that was called after Premier Campbell Newman called a snap election to be held tomorrow (Saturday, 30th Jan).
It was a very interesting meeting and I Tweeted about some of my key takeouts which can be seen throughout.
— Annabelle Amos (@annabelleamos) January 28, 2015
The first of these is that there’s a high chance the seats of Toowoomba North and Condamine will retain their seats with the LNP. The seat of Toowoomba North has always been hotly contested. It is currently held by the LNP’s Trevor Watts; however, it was only won from the popular Kerry Shine back in the 2012 election.
Political scientist, Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University says although Kerry Shine is quite popular, Trevor Watts and the LNP is expected to keep its seat. Another interesting point I took out was that the Lockyer Valley seat has a large number of candidates. But the standouts in hot competition are Ian Rickuss from the LNP, and Pauline Hanson from the One Nation Party. Pauline Hanson has always been a controversial figure in the political world; however, it seems only time will tell just how popular Ms Hanson actually is. You can watch this story about her running for parliament on the WIN News Facebook page: Post by WIN News Toowoomba.
— Robin McConchie (@robinmcconchie) January 28, 2015
Another takeout is that agriculture has not been huge on and agenda for any of the political parties. The Labor Party said they want to reintroduce archaic vegetations laws, and Charles Burke from AgForce says that’s very alarming for the people they represent.
Agriculture hasn’t been on the LNP’s agenda either, with its primary concern being Campbell Newman’s future within the party. A lot of the campaign focus has been on metropolitan areas and spending money on things in the city. But Dr Williams says it’s the regional vote that will get the LNP across the line, in key seats like The Lockyer Valley and Condamine.
Finally, the most interesting point was that current health minister Lawrence Springborg is the most likely person to take over as premier is Mr Newman is not selected for the seat of Ashgrove.
Mr Springborg has previously dismissed rumours that he is set to take the top stop; however, Mr Williams believes that the new support from Santo Santoro means Springborg is the most likely candidate.
It’s interesting times ahead, but the election is tomorrow and it’s important that people enrol to have their say in who will be leading the state for the next three years.
– Annabelle Amos
(Any opinions expressed here are my own views, and not those of my employer).