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Seat of the week: Maranoa

Covering Queensland’s south-western interior, Maranoa has been in National/Country Party hands without interruption for over 70 years, current member Bruce Scott having assumed the seat in 1990.

Teal numbers indicate size of two-party majority for the Liberal National Party. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Created at federation and fairly constant in its boundaries ever since, Maranoa covers a vast expanse of south-western Queensland accounting for about 40% of the state’s surface area. Most of its voters are concentrated at the inner end of the state’s populous south-eastern corner, including the centres of Kingaroy, Dalby and Warwick to the north, west and south of Toowoomba (which has formed the basis of Groom since 1984, and Darling Downs beforehand). Centres further inland include Roma and Charleville on the Warrego Highway, and Barcaldine and Longreach on the Landsborough Highway further north. The seat’s Liberal National Party margin after the 2013 election is 22.4%, making it the third safest Coalition seat in the country after Parkes in New South Wales and Mallee in Victoria.

Reflecting a familiar pattern in rural Queensland, Maranoa started life as a Labor stronghold and progressively moved to the other extreme with the decline of the shearing and railway workforce. The first changeover occurred in 1921 upon the death of the seat’s inaugural Labor member, Jim Page, initiating a by-election won for the Country Party by James Hunter. The seat returned to the Labor fold when Hunter retired in 1940, but Labor’s Francis Baker was unseated after a single term, emerging the only Labor member to lose his seat amid the party’s national landslide in 1943. It was then held for the Country Party by Charles Adermann until he moved to the new seat of Fisher with the expansion of parliament in 1949, which he would eventually bequeath to his son Evan in 1972.

Adermann’s successor at the 1949 election was Charles Russell, who quit the Country Party less than a year after his election and unsuccessfully contested the seat as an independent in both 1951 and 1954, falling 1.1% short on the latter occasion in the absence of a Labor candidate. That would mark the last occasion when the Country Party’s grip on the seat was seriously troubled, a 9.7% swing at the 1966 election pushing the margin into double digits where it has remained ever since. The National/Country members through this period were Wilfred Brindlecombe until 1966, James Corbett until 1980, and Ian Cameron until 1990. There were suggestions ahead of the 1998 election that a threat might loom from One Nation, but in the event they could only manage third place behind Labor on 22.4%. A 9.7% swing at the 1966 election pushed the margin well into double digits, where it has remained ever since.

The seat’s present long-serving incumbent is Bruce Scott, who served in the junior ministry as Veterans Affairs Minister for the first two terms of the Howard government, losing the position when the Nationals’ weak electorate performance in 2001 reduced its share of the spoils. In October 2012 he became Deputy Speaker, filling the vacancy created by Anna Burke’s rise to the Speakership following Peter Slipper’s resignation, and has retained the position in government. Barnaby Joyce had hoped to facilitate his move from the Senate to the House by replacing Scott in Maranoa at the last election, but Scott was determined to serve another term and Joyce dismissed the notion of challenging him for preselection, saying it would be “self-indulgent personality politics”. He instead opted to cross the state boundary and contest the northern New South Wales seat of New England.

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  • 651
    Steve777
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Re Guytaur @645: that makes a lot of sense. Either the court decides guilt and the member can’t stay or the voters will make a judgement in due course. I am also not comfortable with the precedent of expelling a member on the basis of a relatively minor matter, without rules of evidence.

  • 652
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    https://twitter.com/Fifepsy/status/475363632407388160
    No sleeping under bridges in this posh neighbourhood.

  • 653
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    In isolation, I can understand why the greens would support this move but in the context of an an outright war on the poorer members of the community – it’s foolish.

    There have been reports of Credlin having met with Bandt on the issue of PPL. If so, I wonder if she’s just shoring up support, or if it’s starting to dawn on the Greens that this would be a bad move in light of the overall budget context.

  • 654
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with GG on Shaw.

    Expelling an MP is a bad idea at any time, let alone on such flimsy pretexts.

    And the ‘martyr’ effect should not be underestimated. Shaw could well be re-elected if the voters of Frankston feel that they are being ignored/abused by the 2 majors, and that would be a terrible look for all concerned.

    I’m not a Victorian voter so my opinion is irrelevant, but Andrews doesn’t impress me and I think this high stakes political gambling is not a good strategy. It’s less than 6 months until the election, I would think it would be much more sensible to be focusing on making the case that electing the ALP is the best thing for the future of Victoria – this posturing over Shaw is a passing irrelevancy.

    Expelling Shaw would be a bad precedent.
    Making the run up to the election just about Shaw is bad politics.

  • 655
    deblonay
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Badcat
    ___________Re the ruins of Detroit
    Lat vist to the USA …last year…our son took us to Niagara Falls …from Chicago quite a long drive We detoured to see the”sights ” of Detroit which is like visiting a Roman Ruin 20th century style
    We also went to Gary,Indiana
    ,rather like Detroit too..but the local council was selling abandoned homes for just $1 US…and getting buyers from homeless, very poor people who migrated there and then set about renovations,and not doing too badly either…better than living on th street(many didn’t have power or gas however)…but bad for Gary which is becoming a haven for the very poor
    Only in AmericA..,.BUT INCREASINGLY A VERY BIG PART OF US LIFE….BY CONTRAST….we drove around on another visit ..Beverly Hills in L A where the super rich live(FILM STARS ET AL)

    \They don’t want ordinary folks like us gawking at their mansions…they have abolished footpaths,so walkers must walk on the road,and they forbid tourist buses from the suburb…to keep out gawkers

    In the ultimate shopping stip nearby in Rodeo Drive our bus driver said if we watched out we might spot a “celebrity” I asked him when he had last seen one and he said he had recenrly seen Nancy Reagan…..I asked was she a celebrity or ” spolied rich bitch”
    Ther was a visible drawing of breath on the bus

    We didn’t see any”celebritiesw “there but got one of the rarest things in the US…a really good cup of coffee from a boy with a stall in the street

    I told him the last good coffee we had had was in a italian cafe in Cape Cod….rare indeed in the US

  • 656
    Just Me
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    576
    Fran Barlow

    And he could’t recall the first phrase every schoolchild learns in French?

    Allô, c’est Philippe Ledoux?

  • 657
    teh_drewski
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I’d have to agree with GG and others on the Shaw thing. I have some sympathy for Rex’s no tolerance approach, but I don’t think it’s up to him or Parliament to decide what the people of Frankston should tolerate from their elected representative in a case like this.

    In the absence of serious fraud, corruption or other extreme misbehaviour, it’s up to the people to turf out an odious swine, not the party sitting on the other side of the chamber.

  • 658
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Health issues and problems associated with the homes have long been documented. As far back as 1944, a government inspection report of the Tuam home described some of the children as "fragile, pot-bellied and emaciated".

    The recently discovered death records for St Mary's show that 796 children died from malnutrition and infectious diseases, such as measles and TB.

    Malnutrition?

    Conservative Catholic teaching at the time denied children of unmarried parents baptism and therefore burial in consecrated land.

    The home was knocked down many years ago to make way for new houses, but the area around the unmarked mass grave has been maintained by locals.

    A fundraising committee has now been formed and it is hoped a memorial will be built with all the names and ages of the children displayed.

    Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said he would meet leaders of the Bon Secours Sisters to assist with the memorial.

    Well, there is a new twist to the bastardry. The physical treatment of the children speaks for itself but I imagine the perps will get away with it.

    But, wait, there is more. The kids were not baptised because their mothers were not married. Where does it say that in the New Testament? And, naturally, because they were not baptised they could not be buried in consecrated ground.

    So, it was the cesspit for them.

    It is heart-warming that the Archbishop is consulting with the nuns about a suitable memorial which will have the names of these poor bastards on it.

    As always, the Roman Catholic institutional response is swift and direct. Perhaps they can even find a saint in all this dross?

    As for Jesus and his ‘suffer the little children’ shtick, forget about it.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-05/almost-800-irish-children-dumped-in-septic-tank-mass-grave/5501482

  • 659
    deblonay
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Re Shaw v Smith
    Smith…a nasty costomer and very bitter… said on the TV last night that he will vote to expell Shaw…most adamant he was…and he hates Shaw and wants vengence for losing the Speakership

  • 660
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Will Napthine call a by-election for Frankston or tough it out until November? If Shaw is expelled can he nominate to stand at any by-election?

  • 661
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    654

    There are issues with the expulsion of Shaw. It is a little dodgy.

    I doubt that Shaw would get more than 10%, and may possibly struggle to get his deposit back. Both major parties, as well as the Greens and other minor parties, will be running full strength against him and will get the vast majority of the vote and he will be a preference pariah.

    Getting Shaw out of the Parliament is actually very good strategy by the ALP. It means that either the government needs the ALP to pass legislation or rules about the neutrality of the Speaker get violated before the by-election provides a new MP. If the new MP is ALP then the ALP can claim government if the Speaker does not resign or deadlock the Assembly if she does resign. All this makes it very hard for the Government to get the legislation for the East-West Link contracts through before the election. If the contracts do get through before the election, and the ALP persists with its current policy of not scrapping anything for which a contract has signed, then the Greens will likely take several seats at the election and probably get the balance of power.

  • 662
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar

    Shouldn’t your fight be directed to law enforcement who’ve failed the children by neglecting prosecution ?

  • 663
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    GG

    A spot of crossed wires. My fault. I do not thing Shaw should be expelled. That was the issue in NZ with Banks. They did not want to expel him but they did “suggest” it would be better if he resigned. Which he just did.

  • 664
    Steve777
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I see Parliamentary expulsion as a ‘nuclear’ option. It might have been justified against Eddie Obeid if activities unearthed by ICAC had come to light while he was still in Parliament. However, expelling Jeff shaw for alleged malfeasance involvoing $6,000 would be see as political and will set an unfortunate precedent.

  • 665
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Just me

    Allô, c’est Philippe Ledoux?

    Sweet … ;-) Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. That one comes back to me.

    I still recall the opening sections from the old Linguaphone series on old 45 rpm vinyl.

  • 666
    Just Me
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    re: tele-prompters, etc.

    I remember Bill Clinton giving an open press conference in the late 90s, where he was asked a series of difficult questions on a range of major policy and world matters, and he gave extended, knowledgeable, and highly articulate answers to every one of them, with no notes or assistance.

    I have mixed feelings about Clinton as president, but he was clearly an order of magnitude above the competition at the time.

  • 667
    Just Me
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Fran

    For some bizarre reason, I can still recite the entire (albeit brief) conversation. Almost the only formal part of my early high school education that I can remember.

  • 668
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    That French children’s meet and greet is so Abbott.

    Patronising gobbldygook in a language no one understands.

  • 669
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Did Tony learn French from Alexander Downer?

  • 670
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    GG:

    So like his efforts with English then?

  • 671
    citizen
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Nigel No Friends meets the Queen?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaCw5nBIaTM

  • 672
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    fess,

    More, like his effforts post the Budget.

  • 673
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    GG:

    Yeah, totally. And also post the election.

  • 674
    scoutdog
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, there is a new twist to the bastardry. The physical treatment of the children speaks for itself but I imagine the perps will get away with it.

    But, wait, there is more. The kids were not baptised because their mothers were not married. Where does it say that in the New Testament? And, naturally, because they were not baptised they could not be buried in consecrated ground.

    So, it was the cesspit for them.

    It is heart-warming that the Archbishop is consulting with the nuns about a suitable memorial which will have the names of these poor bastards on it.

    As always, the Roman Catholic institutional response is swift and direct. Perhaps they can even find a saint in all this dross?

    As for Jesus and his ‘suffer the little children’ shtick, forget about it.

    first off I am not catholic and acknowledge that the church deserves a lot of critical analysis. I do think though that you need to acknowledge the time this happened. I work in the community sector field (accreditation) and now realise that churches operate and address needs that no other parts of society do – this is a failing of all of us but it should be acknowledged that if someone needs a food parcel or access a homeless shelter the odds are they are operated / funded by a church – bottom line I believe we should all pay more taxes not less so funding would go to areas of need not the greedy but churches do work in spaces that others don’t. this does not excuse the areas that need addressing but it also reflects on all of us!

  • 675
    The Silver Bodgie
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    What is um and err in french

  • 676
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    What is um and err in french

    La um et le eer? :lol:

  • 677
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I believe you Just Me. I have whole slabs as well.

    I was a strong believer in practice and so to keep myself amused I used to play the lessons over and over until I could not only exactly mimic the speakers inflexion and breath but finish and start each sentence at exactly the same instant.

    I also memorised an entire piece of doggerel by Alfred de Musset to impress the French teacher — a very vogue looking Hungarian woman sporting rather too much makeup.

    The first 2 stanzas

    Pâle étoile du soir, messagère lointaine,
    Dont le front sort brillant des voiles du couchant,
    De ton palais d'azur, au sein du firmament,
    Que regardes-tu dans la plaine?

    La tempête s'éloigne et les vents sont calmés.
    La forêt, qui frémit, pleure sur la bruyère;
    Le phalène doré, dans sa course légère,
    Traverse les prés embaumés.

    She was pretty impressed. Ah … 1972 …

  • 678
    pedant
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    GG @ 616: “Only last week the Libs went within a whisker of expelling Tony Burke in the Federal Parliament because he allegedly said nasty things about the Speaker.”

    Wrong. The House of Representatives no longer has the power to expel a member. See Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987, s.8.

    Personally, I think expelling a member for $6000 worth of rorting is an excellent idea. I happen to disapprove of rorters, and such a precedent would powerfully discourage future misconduct.

  • 679
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    @telester: Biggest Aus #tobacco company argues taxes are making smokes cheaper!? Details #7News at 6. #auspol

  • 680
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Abbott and his cronies talk a load of caca chien.

  • 681
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Fran Barlow

    At the same time my high school had what was considered a “phwooar” high tech “Language Lab” . Headphones and all that as we did the “Ecoute et parle Francais” program.

    The pomgolian teacher did however make much of how English public school French , as wot he learnt , is pretty incomprehensible to actual French people.

  • 682
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    pedant,

    Following the motion passed by the Libs, the next step for Bishop (the Speaker) was to name Tony Burke. The Government would have moved that the Member be suspended from the House for an indefinite period.

    I’d agree there is a differnece between expulsion and suspension. However, the effectis the same in this particular case.

    The principle here is the same. A Kangaroo Court removing a properly elected Member on alleged evidence that has not been tested in a Court of Law.

    Again I repeat that Shaw has not been convicted of any offence. In fact the police declined to prosecute the case as they did not think a conviction would occur. So, in the end, there is no testable evidence that he rorted anything.

  • 683
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Rua

    Or as Roger Taylor had it 3 decades ago, Radio Caca … ;-)

  • 684
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar

    Shouldn’t your fight be directed to law enforcement who’ve failed the children by neglecting prosecution ?

    (1) The bishops have been directed by, de facto, every pope since Pius XI not to hand over the perps.

    (2) Church and state in Ireland were and are far too closely intertwined. The result is insufficient oversight by the secular, of roman catholic perps.

    (3) While in this case there seems to have been systematic neglect of children (pot bellies), there is an additional layer of bastardry: the doctrinal view of the roman catholic institution that these children were not worth burying properly because (a) they were illegitimate and (b) therefore they could not be baptised and that, (c) in this earthly life, their ultimate destination was a cesspit. Finally, being unbaptised, Heaven was not possible for these babies and children.

  • 685
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Mike Willesee is back from Bali and is reporting on Clive Palmer on 7′s Sunday Night

  • 686
    mexicanbeemer
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    The only french words I can think of using on Tone is

    Qu’ils mangent de la brioche merci

  • 687
    B.C.
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Bill Clinton made a brilliant speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. A fair bit was written about the speech afterwards. I remember one piece of analysis looked at the content of the speech and determined that it required a higher level of education to understand than those given by others, including Obama and the GOP candidates. Unfortunately I can’t find a link to the article.

  • 688
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar

    Re the RD reply. Who were the ones that tipped hundreds of bodies into a septic tank ? Simples. As a Grauniad writer wrote in reply to some church guy who said let’s not judge the standards back then by those of today . “Was it OK in the mid 20th century to drop babies and children’s bodies into a septic tank?”

  • 689
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar

    It is a failure of law enforcers, law makers and constituents who vote for them.

    Basically it’s a failure of humanity.

  • 690
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    BW

    that ‘darkey’ is a racist term used in the context of race-based slavery.

    As far as I know, “darkey” means someone with dark skin. I wasn’t aware it had anything to do with slavery.

  • 691
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Diogs,

    On his performance today, Boerwar has no need for facts.

  • 692
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    As far as I know, “darkey” means someone with dark skin. I wasn’t aware it had anything to do with slavery.

    And ‘negro’ (and hence its more offensive variant) was simply the Spanish word for ‘black’.

  • 693
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    NSW Treasurer calling Abbott budget cuts to concessions unjust and unfair

  • 694
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m with GG et al on the expulsion of Shaw. The guy is clearly a shocker and has been a bit dodgy but you can’t overturn the democratic withes of his electorate based on that.

  • 695
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    We had one of those Poroti, in the north east corner of the upper level of the school. I absolutely loved it. It was a great place to hang out, listen to French and German speakers and slip in the occasional Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd cassette. My German teacher was a bit of a Floyd fan.

  • 696
    mexicanbeemer
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    There is a danger that forcing Shaw out may politically backfire, there is only five months until election day, the ALP are not clean enough to start demanding the removal from parliament MP’s that actually have not been found guilty.

    Sure I hope he loses his seat but the five months will come very quickly enough.

  • 697
    BK
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I doubt if this wine would be in the Victorian Liberal Party room.
    http://www.shawandsmith.com/assets/images/products/thumbnails/Shaw%20Smith%20M3%20Chardonnay.png

  • 698
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    wiki and urban dictionary agree

    darkey or darky, disparaging term for a black person

  • 699
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Diogenes

    Mr Shaw, the rorter of taxpayer monies, breached the electorates faith and trust.

    He loses the right to represent them.

    Zero tolerance.

  • 700
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Diogenes

    You would have lurved this toothpaste. Available until very surprisingly recently

    http://photoblogs.s3.amazonaws.com/400_0e12802e.jpg

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