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Seat of the week: Wright

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a review of a safe-ish conservative seat in south-eastern Queensland.

Wright was created at the 2010 election as the latest new seat to be gained by Queensland as part of its ongoing population boom, taking on territory from the Gold Coast electorates of McPherson, Moncrieff and Fadden together with rural areas out to the New South Wales border, which had previously been in Forde and to a smaller extent Rankin. The Gold Coast area had historically been covered by Moreton and later by McPherson and Moncrieff, which were respectively created with the enlargements of parliament in 1949 and 1984, while the north-western areas were covered by Darling Downs and its successor Groom after 1984.

The electorate is lacking a clear centre, combining the inland edge of the Gold Coast and Brisbane’s southern hinterland, Warrego Highway towns to the east of Toowoomba, and rural territory in between. All of its component areas have traditionally been solid for the conservatives, but double-digit swings in Forde and Blair at the 2007 election gave the seat a relatively modest notional Liberal/Nationals margin of 4.8% going into the 2010 election. This has since been boosted by successive swings of 6.4% and 1.7% at the 2010 and 2013 elections.

Wright has been held since its inception by Scott Buchholz, who had previously been chief-of-staff to Barnaby Joyce. Although his background was with the Nationals, the seat had been reserved for the Liberals under the terms of Liberal National Party merger and he sits in the Liberal party room in Canberra. The LNP’s original choice for the seat had been Hajnal Ban, a Logan City councillor who ran for the Nationals in for Forde at the 2007 election. However, Ban was dumped for failing to disclose Civil and Administrative Tribunal action against her over her use of power-of-attorney over the finances of an elderly former council colleague, for which a conviction was recorded against her in 2012. An unsuccessful contender at both preselections was Cameron Thompson, who held Blair for the Liberals from 1998 until his defeat in 2007. Buchholz attained the position of government whip following the election of the Abbott government in September 2013.

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  • 51
    frednk
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Some helpfull advice for Sean and unfortunatly our prime minister:

    http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/5-easy-tips-for-denying-scientific-consensus?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+%28Big+Think+Main%29

  • 52
    confessions
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    GG:

    Prior deserved to be dropped. He was shocking in Perth.

  • 53
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Piece by Hugh White from a couple of days ago, for anyone who may have missed it.

    China will inflict pain if Abbott blunders on

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/china-will-inflict-pain-if-abbott-blunders-on-20131223-2zueu.html#comments

  • 54
    lizzie
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    victoria

    I was thinking of posting that link. It’s a “good”, i.e. critical, piece on Abbott’s lack of diplomacy and strategic ability.

  • 55
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Hugh White is a notorious China-appeaser and his criticisms must be seen in that light. There are times when it’s necessary to offend dictators.

    One point about Cosgrove, however, is that Indonesia might see the appointment of the officer who led the liberation of East Timor as GG as a slight directed at them. I don’t think that should be a reason not to appoint him, but it could be another wrinkle in the relationship.

  • 56
    briefly
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    53
    victoria

    Piece by Hugh White from a couple of days ago, for anyone who may have missed it.

    Abbott has already inspired serious harm to our national interests in both Indonesia and China. He is a sovereign risk.

  • 57
    bemused
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Psephos@55

    Hugh White is a notorious China-appeaser and his criticisms must be seen in that light.

    So your preference is for gratuitous China offenders such as Abbott?

  • 58
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    So your preference is for gratuitous China offenders such as Abbott?

    The central problem of Australian foreign policy is balancing our economic interests, which require a working relationship with China, with our strategic interests, as part of the western alliance with duties to our friends and allies the US, Japan and South Korea. In maintaining that balance, each circumstance must be judged on its merits. In a situation where China is making a blatant attempt to establish military and political hegemony over the East China Sea, Australia had a duty to make it clear that we supported our allies. I didn’t see anything Bishop said as “gratuitous offence.” It was a measured statement that conformed to our national interest.

  • 59
    Centre
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Hope all the Bludgers had a good xmas day yesterday, now back to business :)

    So Cosgrove is going to be the next GG?

    Well I suppose he deserves credit for finding all of those WMDs in Iraq. Oh wait, there weren’t any, but they all new that in the first place anyway!

    Cosgrove, Howard and the Liberals must be so proud of all the chaos and deaths that resulted in Iraq.

    Well done, good Christians the lot of them, JC wouldn’t blow his nose on them, waste of good mucus!

  • 60
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    There are also some excellent comments in response to the Hugh White piece.

    For eg

    Which ever direction you look, Abbott is sliding. He simply cannot understand that running a government is not the same as a boxing match, where you duck and weave, feint and block, then punch and finally grovel.
    I suspect that, by now, all our neighbours are unsurprised by "Abbott-speak". The realise that a liar has fooled the Australian public, and his only competence is lying, and certainly not engaging with neighbours. They will wait him out, and occasionally slap him down, just for fun.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/china-will-inflict-pain-if-abbott-blunders-on-20131223-2zueu.html#ixzz2oXBAvX24

  • 61
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    And this

    A very astute set of observations. Abbott has demonstrated a distinct lack of nuance in every facet of his leadership, from his first days as Opposition leader through to now as Prime Minister, Abbott has combined populism with sloganism and mixed it thoroughly with absolutism, albeit absolutism subject to frequent backflipism.
    Unfortunately, Abbott's drone like fixation with oppositionism, negativism and his own brand of nationalism is flawed in many ways as is increasingly becoming apparent. He, and his government, are bent on continuing the divisive politics of opposition and an overarching negativity pervades.
    The unanswered question remains to be, what he and his government actually stand for. What do they believe and what do they wish to achieve, not in terms of what they want to dismantle or wind back but what they with to create and nurture. As it stands it seems to be the answer is nothing more than about 'business' and 'taxes', and even with these it is business Vs employee, less tax, less government,mess services and social programmes. A tear down, not build of anything. We are a nation and society, not simply an economy and workforce, budget surpluses or deficits. The visionary socioeconomic reforms of the Hawke/Keating are not the stuff of Abbott and his LNP. Were it so we would have had an inkling of it long before now.
    For Abbott it is not so much what he stand for as what he stands against. This is a small mind in action.
    As a child did he suggest to his parents that when he grew up he wanted to be PM? When asked why did he say, "so I can reduce taxes, 'red/green tape' and workers rights?". It would, sadly, seem so. We will all rue his election. Many already are.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/china-will-inflict-pain-if-abbott-blunders-on-20131223-2zueu.html#ixzz2oXBNnae6

  • 62
    Centre
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I am against former PM’s being appointed as GG, they’ve had their time in the sun and it’s time for them to move on, especially if we had our own head of state.

    Still, I reckon it’s a little unfortunate for Labor if Howard does not get the gig. It would not have gone down well with voters I reckon.

  • 63
    briefly
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    58
    Psephos

    The central problem of Australian foreign policy is balancing our economic interests, which require a working relationship with China, with our strategic interests, as part of the western alliance with duties to our friends and allies

    So far Abbott has only managed to harm both our economic and strategic interests. The idea of “balance” is one that eludes him completely.

  • 64
    Centre
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Oh Franny got a new IPad Mini for chrissie I see. Well hopefully her posts might be short and sweet now :lol:

  • 65
    confessions
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Latika Bourke got a brand new Porsche for xmas.
    https://twitter.com/latikambourke/status/415590773480910848/photo/1

  • 66
    Centre
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Kidding Franny you go for it :P :kiss:

  • 67
    briefly
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McKell

    McKell was born in Pambula, New South Wales, the son of a butcher who abandoned his wife and their four children. For the rest of his life, McKell avoided discussing the matter by saying his father had died young. He was educated in Sydney at Bourke Street Public School and became a boilermaker, and was state secretary of the Boilermakers' Union from 1915.....

    In 1941 he became Premier when he led Labor to a convincing victory in the state elections, mainly by concentrating on country seats. During his time as Premier, the Kosciusko State National Park was established, while increased levels of funding were made available for art galleries, libraries, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In addition, various reforms were carried out in soil conservation, education, child welfare, and workers’ compensation. In 1944, an Annual Holiday Act was passed, providing all workers in New South Wales with two weeks paid leave.

    During World War II he became a close collaborator of Labor Prime Ministers John Curtin and Ben Chifley, being a particularly close friend of the latter. In 1944 he won another election victory, the first time a New South Wales Labor government had been re-elected....

    In 1947 Chifley gained formal agreement from King George VI for McKell's appointment as Governor-General. This occurred only after very considerable opposition from the King and a detailed correspondence between them, also involving the incumbent governor-general (George's brother the Duke of Gloucester) and the British Foreign Office, the details of which did not come to light till over 50 years later. The objection was not personal (George VI had never met McKell) but centered on his being closely associated with a particular political party, and with a particular state. There was no precedent for a serving politician, let alone a party leader and head of government, to be named Australian governor-general...

    Chifley was determined that the Duke of Gloucester's successor should be an Australian, and he seems to have deliberately chosen a Labor man with a working-class background to make a political point. There was an outcry from the Liberal opposition and the conservative press: Robert Menzies called the appointment "shocking and humiliating". In a debate on a censure motion on 20 February, Menzies said the fact that McKell was actively engaged in politics when the appointment was announced (even though he had since vacated the political stage) was "a grave disqualification" which "strikes at the very foundation of the office of the Governor-Generalship, because that office in Australia should be as far removed from party politics as is the Crown itself in Great Britain". Chifley, in response, accepted full responsibility for the appointment, said that he offered no apologies, and "I am completely confident that as time goes on I shall have no reason to regret my action". McKell kept a dignified silence on the matter of his appointment, rather than conducting a public defence of it. Nevertheless, Chifley publicly argued that any suitable Australian should be capable of being chosen as governor-general.

    Once McKell took office on 11 March, however, the continuing respect for the Crown and its representative meant that there was no further criticism. McKell carried out the usual round of his formal duties with dignity, and succeeded in winning over all but the most inflexible anglophiles. When Menzies succeeded Chifley as Prime Minister in December 1949, his relations with McKell were initially cordial, but they later became firm friends and Menzies even extended his term by 14 months from its initial five years.

    The most controversial moment in McKell's career came in March 1951, when Menzies asked him for a double dissolution election. Labor had retained control of the Senate after the 1949 election, and the Senate had referred the government's banking bill to a committee. Menzies argued that this constituted "failure to pass" in terms of Section 57 of the Australian Constitution.

    Many in the Labor Party, though not Chifley, thought that McKell should and would refuse Menzies a double dissolution, but the Governor-General agreed (with little hesitation) to provide one. McKell took the view that it was for the voters, not the Governor-General, to determine whether the Senate or Menzies was right: he saw it as his duty to act on the advice of his Prime Minister.

  • 68
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I met a taxi driver in Queensland who was in the army with Cosgrove. He said he was pretty inoffensive and harmless and generally sucked up to his superiors and it had served him well.

    It’s largely a ceremonial role and I’m sure he won’t disgrace himself and will do a reasonable job.

  • 69
    confessions
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Dio:

    Agreed. Cosgrove certainly isn’t the worst person the Abbott govt could’ve recommended.

  • 70
    briefly
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    69
    confessions

    Dio:

    Agreed. Cosgrove certainly isn’t the worst person the Abbott govt could’ve recommended.

    Quite right. He could have picked Kennett.

  • 71
    bemused
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Diogenes@68

    I met a taxi driver in Queensland who was in the army with Cosgrove. He said he was pretty inoffensive and harmless and generally sucked up to his superiors and it had served him well.

    It’s largely a ceremonial role and I’m sure he won’t disgrace himself and will do a reasonable job.

    I can’t beat the authority of a taxi driver, but I recall reading an article on Cosgrove’s career and according to it he was a gung-ho idiot in Vietnam and his men were afraid he would get them all killed.

    The sort of thing that may well have resulted in a ‘fragging’ in the US Army.

    By the time he was in command in East Timor, he had well and truly settled down and was much more cautious.

  • 72
    bemused
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    briefly@70


    69
    confessions

    Dio:

    Agreed. Cosgrove certainly isn’t the worst person the Abbott govt could’ve recommended.


    Quite right. He could have picked Kennett.

    Although even Kennett seems to have grown up and moderated.

  • 73
    confessions
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    briefly:

    Or George Pell!

  • 74
    CTar1
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    according to it he was a gung-ho idiot in Vietnam and his men were afraid he would get them all killed.

    I’ve heard it said that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  • 75
    billie
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Kennett has moderated?

    In June 2008 Jeff Kennett told the world he would step down from the chairmanship of beyondblue at the end of 2010.

    Then in July that same year the ex-premier ran into a storm of criticism for comparing a bisexual football trainer to a paedophile.

    “Time to walk away from beyondblue Mr Kennett” in http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3034554.html

  • 76
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    @victoria

    Abbott in hiding, while his ministers attack on the welfare and low income earners, and small business.

  • 77
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    TPP News:

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/12/23/how-would-tpp-agreement-affect-australians

    Alan Kirkland, from the consumer group, CHOICE, says it could leave Australian consumers worse off.

    “This agreement could see prices on a range of goods go up for Australians – that’s the biggest effect. So if we ban parallel imports to things like software, we will pay more for software. If we prevent Australians getting around geoblocking to get access to things like music and video and software on overseas sites, then we will see Australians pay more. That’s our biggest concern with this treaty. We should not see our national interest, overridden by the interests of big American multinational companies.”

    http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000895924

    http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/news/economy/24860-government-renews-bid-to-qualify-for-tpp

    One of the most important issues facing Australia right now.

    This effects the economy.

  • 78
    Boerwar
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    z
    If the TPP is agreed then that would count as another suprise. Abbott promised to put downwards pressure on the COL, not increase the COL.

  • 79
    Fulvio Sammut
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I recall that immediately after cyclone Tracey, a Magistrates Court was convened to deal with looters.

    The Presiding Magistrate was, as I remember, a Magistrate McCann.

    In the middle of the proceedings a General of the Australian Army burst dramatically into the Court Room and demanded that the proceedings be stopped, as he was now the highest authority in the Northern Territory and he would decide what would happen.

    Magistrate McCann coolly and bravely told the General that li he did not cease immediately to interrupt the proceedings he would deal with him for contempt of Court.

    The General beat a hasty retreat.

    Was that General Cosgrove?

  • 80
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    @BW/78

    Abbott don’t care now, he has top job, and will get pension for life.

    While others suffer under USA Regime.

  • 81
    Fulvio Sammut
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    No, probably too young to be him.

  • 82
    Fulvio Sammut
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    In fact, it was General Stratton.

  • 83
    CTar1
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    No, probably too young to be him.

    Alan Stretton?

  • 84
    Schnappi
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Fulvio Sammut 79

    The general in Charge of Rebuilding Darwin was General A.B Stretton ,nicknamed “Boots” as our boots we wore were called boots ab

    Most liked AB ,and considered a very good general

  • 85
    MTBW
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    General Cosgrove was born in Paddington and schooled at the local catholic school in primary and then went to Waverly College.

    He had to repeat the Leaving Certificate in 1964 after he failed the exam in 1963.

    Seems like a good match for Tony.

  • 86
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    In the middle of the proceedings a General of the Australian Army burst dramatically into the Court Room and demanded that the proceedings be stopped, as he was now the highest authority in the Northern Territory and he would decide what would happen.

    Magistrate McCann coolly and bravely told the General that li he did not cease immediately to interrupt the proceedings he would deal with him for contempt of Court.

    I don’t recall that, but if it’s true the magistrate was quite right, unless actual martial law had been declared – and I don’t know if Australian law contains any provision for martial law.

  • 87
    CTar1
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if Australian law contains any provision for martial law.

    ‘Aid to the Civil Power’ is as far as it goes, I think.

  • 88
    dave
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if Australian law contains any provision for martial law.

    Think it maybe State of Emergency these days when special powers etc kick in.

  • 89
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/legislative-council-voting-patterns.html

    My revised analysis of Tasmanian Legislative Council voting patterns since 2010, showing a clearly defined cluster of five MLCs on the left but a messier picture among the eight or so on the right. In the last year the Liberals have often not been getting their way.

  • 90
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    @dave/88

    I’m surprised Abbott & Newman hasn’t used it to curb the bikies.

  • 91
    dave
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    zoidlord@90

    @dave/88

    I’m surprised Abbott & Newman hasn’t used it to curb the bikies.

    In the run up to Election time ??

  • 92
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    @dave/91

    QLD election not happening till 2015 :P , It’s not like he’s not going to save him personally.

  • 93
    Boerwar
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Martial law was declared during colonial times:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathurst_War

  • 94
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if Australian law contains any provision for martial law.

    ‘Aid to the Civil Power’ is as far as it goes, I think.

    It may be argued that under common law martial law may be declared if there has been a complete breakdown of civil government.

    On 19 February 1942 the senior military police officer in Darwin, Sgt Macarthur Onslow, declared martial law after looting broke out in the town following the Japanese air raid. He was later found to have acted improperly and without authority.

  • 95
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Prior was begging to be dropped. Good selection move my the Poms.

  • 96
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think our constitution has any provision for martial law.

  • 97
    Boerwar
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    My reading is that military people may be directed to do certain things in the context of domestic violence but that any criminal liability by the perps of domestic violence is then handled by the civil:

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/da190356/

  • 98
    Schnappi
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    My understanding of AMR&O is the PM can approach the GG to call out troops under various conditions.

    Likewise Premiers can call on the Governors General

  • 99
    briefly
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    73
    confessions

    briefly:

    Or George Pell!

    After Hollingworth, I doubt even Abbott would favour a clerical choice.

  • 100
    Tricot
    Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    At the end of the day, someone has to be GG. A conservative old soldier is about par for the course, as far as the Liberals are concerned.

    If Cosgrove is it, and he started at Duntroon in 1965 then he will know all about suffering the humiliation of bastardisation at the place and probably dished it out as well.

    I suppose he now sees himself and a compassionate and healing individual with due care for the under dog.

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