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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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  • 51
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Rossmg, it’s all about priorities. Tony’s meetings with the powerful haven’t gone so well: remember the mountaineering bloke? Peta must have cringed watching that video clip. But happy snaps of Tone on his bike go over well.
    It’s a question of playing to one’s strengths. Stuntboy, fine. Economic thinker, not quite so much.

  • 52
    Diogenes
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Kathy Jackson looks much the same as the rest of the HSU

    FORMER Health Services Union boss Kathy Jackson claimed expenses for a deluxe room at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, bar tabs worth thousands of dollars and bottles of Moet, according to union documents.

  • 53
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Will be interesting to see how other outlets of Australia’s fawning media treat abbott for seeking to avoid meetings with important world players when he is in fact overseas to engage with them in the nations interests.

    Wonder if the ABC will just ignore it ?

  • 54
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    BB

    The Bolt Jones Murdoch “alliance” get Abbott into being PM.

    Now the heat is on. At Abbott’s behest or not their remarks are of fear. They can read the polls. They may spin like tops but they know the reality of the toxicity of the budget.

    So two birds with one stone. Remind how vicious they can be to enemies and have a distraction from the toxic budget.

    Now we see from PvO the next meme is going to be the senate is dysfunctional. Never mind its Abbott’s mob that are dysfunctional and the senate is representing the people. Not just those that elected them but also going by the polls a lot who wish they could redo the last election.

  • 55
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The CIA Joins Twitter

    CIA ✔ @CIA

    We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-06/cia-joins-twitter

  • 56
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t like being vindictive, Diogenes,
    but I hate hypocrisy. It’s good to see the facts catching up at last with Joan of Arc. It’s unlikely, however, that her life will be destroyed as thoroughly as Thomson’s has been, for possibly much smaller matters.

  • 57
    sceptic
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Magic Pudding Economics..

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/premier-mike-bairds-electricity-privatisation-plan-to-reap-15b-windfall-20140606-39ole.html

    Simple logic…
    If Government privatises assets it receives a “cash injection” which is then spent on new infrastructure.
    If Government net borrowing isn’t reduced there is no saving to the government of intrest payments.

    The sold assets are purchased by “private “ investors ( using borrowed funds at higher rate than government borrowing) who need to see a return profit on their investment, resulting in higher charges to the consumer.

    The net result to the tax payer / consumer is a LOSS.

    It would make more sense for the Government to borrow the required funds for infrastructure investment at their lower concessional intrest rate being a AAA rated sovereign borrower.

    Privatisation is just a subsidy to the purchasers of public assets.

  • 58
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    dave

    How would it be to find the CIA is one of your twitter followers !!! :)

  • 59
    Peter of Marino
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I just had the misfortune of watching the Talcum interview on 7.30 this morning. I couldn’t help but compare this too the Arthur ” Two Sheds ” Jackson interview…. :D

  • 60
    sohar
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “How would it be to find the CIA is one of your twitter followers”? My mind would turn to rendition. What should I pack? Where do I go?

  • 61
    ausdavo
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    BB @ 50

    Your description of Abbott and all who surround him is so accurate.

    He is a malevolent miscreant who is determined to “sell out” Australia and Australians to his big money backers. A sensible, informed population would not give his rabble 10% at an election.

    Sadly few will get to read your well crafted and so accurate description of him. It will not be easy to displace this madman with the support surrounding him.

  • 62
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    poroti@58

    dave

    How would it be to find the CIA is one of your twitter followers !!!

    Even worse for them to be a follower and you not know :)

  • 63
    sohar
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Ausdavo @ 61, that just about sums it all up. There are no grey areas.

  • 64
    sohar
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure everyone on Twitter is surreptitiously followed by the CIA.

  • 65
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    sohar

    The CIA are a bit behind the times as even the Taliban have used twitter for ages. A couple of years back in Kabul at the same time a fierce gun battle was on there was also a twitter flame war going on between the Taliban and Coalition forces.

  • 66
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    G 19 on climate change -

    http://images.theage.com.au/2014/06/06/5491507/gold-300×0.jpg

  • 67
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    TaxiLurker

    Come here more often I love your style.

  • 68
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    MTBW -

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/david-morrison-to-share-stage-with-angelina-jolie-after-jedi-council-speech-20140606-39okh.html

  • 69
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    poroti@58

    dave

    How would it be to find the CIA is one of your twitter followers !!!

    Don’t they already follow EVERYONE!!! :P

  • 70
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    dave

    Isn’t that a great honour to the man!

    Wow! He deserves it!

  • 71
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    dave

    And thank you for posting it!

  • 72
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting that, before the election, every time someone said that Tone is a dope, we were assailed with the response: “But he’s a Rhodes Scholar”. Since then, we have discovered that Tone actually got a “Desmond” at Oxford (as in a Desmond Tutu – a 2.2 grade, almost a fail) and been provided with indisputable evidence that he is, in fact, a moron. Interesting, that nobody these days spends any time defending his intelligence or bringing up that he is a Rhodes Scholar.

  • 73
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to John Oliver, Tone is probably the best known Australian politician to ever visit the US.

  • 74
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    K17

    Miranda devine was asked on the Sky Show contrarians about the John Oliver send up of Abbott.
    She said that she did not even know who John Oliver was, and suspects he is not widely known anywhere else as well.

    You gotta laugh.

  • 75
    Just Me
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    10
    BK

    And from the Land of the Free -

    Is the US heading to being a theocracy? I hope not.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/06/how-blackstone-fellowships-build

    A “fascist theocracy”, as Frank Zappa said in the Reaganite 80s.

  • 76
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    This is how triple mmm radio in Melbourne reported the aegment

    "Meet Australia's President of the United States, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the instigator of a wink-related scandal. He sometimes puts his foot in his mouth and other times chooses to say nothing at all."

    Admittedly the segment used file footage so Tony Abbott did most of the puns himself.

    Maybe it's just payback to the rest of the world for all of those George Bush jokes...

    http://www.triplem.com.au/melbourne/whats-hot/hot-and-viral-news/2014/6/prime-minister-tony-abbott-roasted-by-us-satirical-news-program-host-john-oliver/

  • 77
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    segment

  • 78
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    K17

    Not only the best known politician in a Australia but the best known moron as well.

  • 79
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I really did not have to put that “a” in the sentence.

    Mind you Tony would have put “but but but”.

  • 80
    citizen
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Morrison must have a heart of stone:

    Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said the family of a refugee, who died after setting himself alight, would face "very real difficulties" in obtaining visitor visas to attend his funeral if held in Australia.

    Mr Morrison said he could not instruct his department to issue visitor visas for the family and had instead offered to repatriate the man's remains.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/family-of-leo-seemanpillai-may-not-get-visas-for-funeral-immigration-minister-scott-morrison-says-20140607-39pjc.html#ixzz33v3ZQNMr

    Get rid of the problem it seems by not holding a funeral in Australia at the Lutheran church where the the poor man was a member.

  • 81
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it's just payback to the rest of the world for all of those George Bush jokes...

    This was a pretty good one from that era -

    “The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.”

    ― Kurt Vonnegut

  • 82
    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Here is a photo of all the heads do state at Normandy

    See if you can spot Nigel No Friends, fittingly on the Far Right

    http://t.co/ipfIVBYOH5

  • 83
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    citizen

    So tow back the boats has been expanded to tow back the coffins. What a nasty piece of work he is.

  • 84
    briefly
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s only surmise, but surely Abbott’s unwillingness to meet senior economic officials in Washington must be connected with the G20 Agenda and in particular Australia’s refusal to list Climate Change for discussion.

    climate Change is on track to upset Abbott’s applecart just as it upset Rudd’s, Turnbull’s and Gillard’s. He will rue the day he ever declared it to be “crap” and decided to make political capital – and to betray the country into the bargain – by playing obstruction on this issue.

  • 85
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Governments are able to find millions and even billions to build and upgrade sporting venues or to donate to the club where they are a supporter

    But no debates, no arguments, just sign the cheque, but try to get money for hospitals, the disabled, the vulnerable, it’s all just too hard

  • 86
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    briefly

    Abbott’s objective is to assist Gina and friends fo extract every last bit of coal before the landscape changes to a more renewable energy era

  • 87
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    sprocket_
    I wonder who was responsible for setting up the photo.

  • 88
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    There is a small amount of wisdom in this article, but it runs off the rails towards the end, IMO.

    Dogs are excellent conversationalists for those who have lost their place in the rough and tumble of everyday life. When you’re young, dogs rarely speak to you. But as the aged retreat from public discourse, a rattle of pooch-prattle rises to fill the conversational vacuum. As family and friends slip sadly into the great beyond or, sadder still, Queensland, the dog’s convo gets wiser, realer; it becomes the perfect replacement for all those silenced voices. A dog never contradicts, never disagrees, and always barracks for the same footy team as its owner.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/why-dogs-and-old-people-understand-each-other-20140529-zrrt5.html#ixzz33v8LjHY1

  • 89
    dave
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    AussieAchmed@85

    Governments are able to find millions and even billions to build and upgrade sporting venues or to donate to the club where they are a supporter

    But no debates, no arguments, just sign the cheque, but try to get money for hospitals, the disabled, the vulnerable, it’s all just too hard

    I’m still wondering just how you would go about spending almost $500 Million to hold a G20 meeting in Australia.

    I also wonder if abbott can stop discussion on climate change if the others – particularly the heavy weights insist.

  • 90
    citizen
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | PERMALINK
    sprocket_
    I wonder who was responsible for setting up the photo.

    They gave Tony a bicycle and tried to send him on his way but he saw the Queen and hurried back just in time to sneak into the edge of the photo.

  • 91
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    So, Abbott has got time to hobnob with the quality – Bolt and Jones – but not with your international riffraff: Lew, Lagard and Yong Kim.

  • 92
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The word this morning was that Abbott was wtte “considering his schedule”. It’s too late now, man, the uncertainty has already confirmed what an ignorant fool you are.

  • 93
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Abbott is eager to get out of the big ocean where he is a little fish back to the tiny pond where he is a big shark.

  • 94
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    OK, the ALP has done it bit; it got rid of its resident sociopath. When is the Liberal Party going to get rid of theirs?

  • 95
    teh_drewski
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    victoria

    Devine’s right about Oliver. His show is buried on Sunday night at 11pm on HBO – a subscription only premium cable channel. Most people don’t subscribe to it; only a small proportion of the ones who do are watching political comedy near midnight on a Sunday.

    His show – which is very good – rates about 1m viewers live, 2.2m including repeats, on-demand and time-delay. To put that into context, that would be about the same as getting 150,000 viewers in Australia. Which means Oliver’s about as “well known” in the US as most of Channel 10′s cancelled shows are here.

    I love Oliver, but he’s a fringe performer.

  • 96
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Puff, the Magic Dragon.@94

    OK, the ALP has done it bit; it got rid of its resident sociopath. When is the Liberal Party going to get rid of theirs?

    I do wish you would stop referring to Julia Gillard in that manner.

  • 97
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Did Abbott fall asleep at the D-Day Ceremony?

    He’s got form, slept through the votes on the GFC packages.

    There is a photo around of him asleep in Parliament

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BpfjgbtCcAAcOMK.png

  • 98
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I can’t distinguish the lady standing “next” to Abbott.

    I do note he kept a good space between them so he didn’t catch any “girl germs”.

  • 99
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    AA|
    It depends on whether there were a few bottles of Beaujolais lying around.

  • 100
    Laocoon
    Posted Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Sprocket_

    http://t.co/ipfIVBYOH5

    Looks like a fake to me ;)

    No-one wanted him around so Abbott just photo-shopped in at the edge after the event, once the grown-ups had left?
    :D

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