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Seat of the week: Leichhardt

Electorally volatile in recent times, the far north Queensland seat of Leichhardt has generally gone the way of the winning party at elections in the modern era, an exception being present incumbent Warren Entsch’s win for the Liberal National Party after he returned from retirement in 2010.

Teal and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for the LNP and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Leichhardt consists of the northernmost part of Queensland, including Cairns at its southern extremity along with Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait Islands. Naturally marginal Cairns provides it with about two-thirds of its voters, the remainder coming from conservative-leaning rural areas along the coast immediately to the north, and Labor-voting indigenous communities beyond. The electorate ranks sixth out of the nation’s 150 electorates for the highest proportion of indigenous persons, behind the two Northern Territory electorates, neighbouring Kennedy, Durack in northern Western Australia, and Parkes in interior New South Wales. Another distinguishing features is a large number of voters over 55, reflecting the popularity of Cairns as a retirement haven.

The electorate was created with the expansion of parliament in 1949, prior to which its area was mostly accommodated by Herbert until 1934 and Kennedy thereafter. Herbert and then Kennedy were in Labor hands from 1928 to 1949, but Leichhardt was narrowly won by the Country Party at its inaugural election, which saw the Menzies government come to power. However, Labor won the seat at the subsequent election in 1951, and it remained in the party fold until David Thomson gained it for the National Country Party amid Labor’s statewide debacle of 1975. Warren Entsch became the seat’s first Liberal member when he unseated Labor’s Peter Dodd with the defeat of the Keating government in 1996, polling 31.8% to the Nationals candidate’s 20.4%. Entsch suffered only a 0.5% swing at the 1998 election, compared with a statewide swing of 7.2%, and subsequently built his margin up to double figures with swings of 2.3% in 2001 and 3.6% in 2004.

Entsch’s local popularity was further illustrated when he bowed out temporarily at the 2007 election, Labor gaining the seat in his absence with a towering swing of 14.3%, the second biggest of that election after Forde in Brisbane’s outer south. The result also underscored the local eclipse of the Nationals, whose candidate polled only 4.0%. Incoming Labor member Jim Turnour managed only a single term before falling victim at the 2010 election to the combined impact of a statewide Labor rout, which cost them seven out of their existing 15 Queensland seats, and the return from retirement of Warren Entsch. Labor’s margin of 4.1% was easily accounted for by a swing of 8.6%, to which Entsch added a further 1.2% at the 2013 election.

Warren Entsch came to politics after serving in the Royal Australian Air Force from 1969 to 1978, then working as a maintenance fitter and welder, real estate agent, farmer and grazier and company director. After winning election in 1996 and re-election in 1998, he was promoted to parliamentary secretary but thereafter rose no higher, and went to the back bench upon announcing his retirement citing family reasons in 2006. During his subsequent three-year interregnum he was director of Cairns construction company CEC Group and the Australian Rainforest Foundation, but talk soon emerged of a political comeback, first in relation to the 2009 state election and then for his old seat. With this accomplished he served for a term as the Coalition’s chief whip, before relinquishing the position to Philip Ruddock after the 2013 election victory.

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  • 51
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    briefly:

    Strong winds forecast for tomorrow too.

  • 52
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Apparently the ISIS invaders have found Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons facility in northern Iraq. This is the facility that neither the UN inspectors nor the US occupation forces could find despite years of searching, and that the left denied ever existed in the first place. Ironies of history.

  • 53
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The problem in Australia is that for obvious reasons, none of the parties will propose nuclear power. So the question is really — what other suite of technologies can we adopt to make rapid progress towards decarbonisation in the interim.

    I am very surprised that when the old oil and gas industry is taking renewables very seriously you’d be still be fascinated by the nuclear industry.

  • 54
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Apparently the ISIS invaders have found Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons facility

    I’m sure ISIS has no reason to lie, if they say so it must be true!

  • 55
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    What ya know, Consumer Confidence dropped again.

    Thanks for Lizzie for posting, it looks like the consumer confidence has been going down since Coalition Party took power after the election.

    Recession? yup.

  • 56
    Jackol
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think there was any dispute that Saddam had weapons facilities at one stage, and had produced chemical and biological weapons etc. Presumably the various facilities were known by anyone with any surveillance capability, and the weapons inspectors were aware of them.

    What was in contention was whether there were actual ready-to-fire WMDs at the time of the invasion (or components that could rapidly be put together to make WMDs), and actual ready-to-fire WMDs were never found.

    The whole basis of the notion that Hans Blix couldn’t be allowed to take the time to complete his work was the “45 mins until potential launch” stuff etc.

  • 57
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I’m sure ISIS has no reason to lie, if they say so it must be true!

    That doesn’t make much sense. If (and I say IF) they have confirmed that Saddam in fact had chemical weapons, then they are actually providing evidence in support of the US invasion. What motive would they have to do that?

  • 58
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Jackol, yes that’s true.

  • 59
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    That doesn’t make much sense. If (and I say IF) they have confirmed that Saddam in fact had chemical weapons, then they are actually providing evidence in support of the US invasion. What motive would they have to do that?

    Depends if the plant is not capable of operation and has no stockpile at all, well then there is less motivation I can readily see. If they can make a credible claim to have chemical weapons either already or in the near future well that seems like a whole world of motivation to me.

  • 60
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    lizzie@10

    This is yesterday’s news, but I think it expresses the opinions of many Labor supporters.

    http://theaimn.com/open-letter-bill-shorten/

    It ends:


    I’m tired of having to listen to the party getting it wrong, sometimes disastrously so. Why can’t Labor collect and act on the best possible advice? After all, we have a wonderful example before us of a government that despises expertise, and relies wholly on its favourite vested interests for policy guidance. Show how different you are. Mean something by renewal. It’s not enough to know that we have the worst government Australia has ever seen; we need a principled, vital and informed alternative. And that’s your challenge Bill. You can’t imagine how much I want you to succeed.

    Well here is one problem lizzie, in the sentence “Why can’t Labor collect and act on the best possible advice?”

    What is the “best possible advice”?

    There is no single answer that everyone can agree on. Advice from various well meaning supporters will offer different solutions and courses of action. And so debate will ensue before a decision is reached.

  • 61
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Psephos

    Relax, the facility was known about and inspected before the war.

    Before the invastion, the weapons at Muthanna had been found by UN inspectors but were dismantled with chemical stocks militarily useless and closed off in bunkers.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/isil-seizes-saddam-husseins-former-chemical-weapons-plant-20140620-zsfm4.html#ixzz35ERPBDjD

  • 62
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    It’s June and the trees are blossoming

  • 63
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    This might hekp

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/its-the-season-for-reason-in-a-climate-of-discontent-20140619-zsf91.html

  • 64
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Nice work!
    http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/man-who-wore-colander-on-his-head-for-gun-licence-photo-says-it-is-part-of-church-of-the-flying-spaghetti-monsters-religion/story-fnii5yv4-1226961620238

  • 65
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    BK@64

    Nice work!
    http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/man-who-wore-colander-on-his-head-for-gun-licence-photo-says-it-is-part-of-church-of-the-flying-spaghetti-monsters-religion/story-fnii5yv4-1226961620238

    He would make an ideal school chaplain.

  • 66
    badcat
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    poroti

    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Psephos

    Relax, the facility was known about and inspected before the war.

    Before the invastion, the weapons at Muthanna had been found by UN inspectors but were dismantled with chemical stocks militarily useless and closed off in bunkers.

    ———————————————————

    ‘According to a 1994 Senate report, private American suppliers, licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, exported a witch’s brew of biological and chemical materials to Iraq from 1985 through 1989. Among the biological materials, which often produce slow, agonizing death, were:

    * Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.

    * Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.

    * Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart.

    * Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs.

    * Clostridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.

    * Clostridium tetani, a highly toxigenic substance.’

    Wikipedia’s article on Iraq’s WMDs gives a good rundown of the international contributions:

    All told, 52% of Iraq’s international chemical weapon equipment was of German origin.
    Around 21% of Iraq’s international chemical weapon equipment was French.
    About 100 tons of mustard gas also came from Brazil.
    The United Kingdom paid for a chlorine factory that was intended to be used for manufacturing mustard gas
    An Austrian company gave Iraq calutrons for enriching uranium. The nation also provided heat exchangers, tanks, condensers, and columns for the Iraqi chemical weapons infrastructure, 16% of the international sales.
    Singapore gave 4,515 tons of precursors for VX, sarin, tabun, and mustard gasses to Iraq.
    The Dutch gave 4,261 tons of precursors for sarin, tabun, mustard, and tear gasses to Iraq.
    Egypt gave 2,400 tons of tabun and sarin precursors to Iraq and 28,500 tons of weapons designed for carrying chemical munitions.
    India gave 2,343 tons of precursors to VX, tabun, Sarin, and mustard gasses.
    Luxemburg gave Iraq 650 tons of mustard gas precursors.
    Spain gave Iraq 57,500 munitions designed for carrying chemical weapons. In addition, they provided reactors, condensers, columns and tanks for Iraq’s chemical warfare program, 4.4% of the international sales.
    China provided 45,000 munitions designed for chemical warfare.

    http://jarrarsupariver.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/where-did-saddam-get-his-chemical.html

  • 67
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    He would make an ideal school chaplain.

    bemused
    And therein lies the stupidity!
    I have asked Pyne for a list of qualifying religions for school chaplains but it has not yet been answered.

  • 68
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    BK@67


    He would make an ideal school chaplain.


    bemused
    And therein lies the stupidity!
    I have asked Pyne for a list of qualifying religions for school chaplains but it has not yet been answered.

    That question should be asked in Parliament and followed up with questions about specific religions that would not appeal to Pyne and Abbott.

  • 69
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    bemused
    I agree, but it seems all political parties are afeaid of the political sway of religious bodies.

  • 70
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Looking at places like Iraq, it is blindingly obvious that it is only secular states that allow space for ALL religions to be practiced peacefully. Would that the penny might drop with the sectarians in Iraq.

  • 71
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    BK, heard the ALP spokesperson on ABC news this morning asserting strongly that an Andrews govt will allow non-religious counsellors in schools that want them.

  • 72
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    {Man who wore colander on his head for gun licence photo says it is part of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s religion ]

    :lol:

    Only in SA would this be possible.

    This guy will end up a Senator, for sure.

  • 73
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    bemused
    That’s good to hear from Andrews.
    CTar1
    You never know!

  • 74
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    CTar1@72

    {Man who wore colander on his head for gun licence photo says it is part of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s religion ]

    Only in SA would this be possible.

    This guy will end up a Senator, for sure.

    You seem sceptical.

    Read more here: http://www.venganza.org/

    Perhaps a career in the pastafarian ministry beckons. :P

  • 75
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Looking at places like Iraq, it is blindingly obvious that it is only secular states that allow space for ALL religions to be practiced peacefully. Would that the penny might drop with the sectarians in Iraq.

    I’ve forgotten who posted it but these maps of the ME are brilliant -

    http://www.vox.com/a/maps-explain-the-middle-east

  • 76
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Read more here

    :grin:

  • 77
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Here is a pastafarian minister being sworn into office, complete with colander on head.

    http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/sworn-in.jpg

  • 78
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    BK,

    The fact that a majority of Australians (i.e. voters) claim some religious affiliation is the reason why political parties are responsive to influence from religious bodies.

  • 79
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Here is a pastafarian minister being sworn into office

    The woman looks like SH-Y.

    :evil:

  • 80
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    badcat

    The real people behind the recent takeovers may be starting to show themselves. His demands are probably the most sensible solution.

    For over a decade, Mr Dabash has been a mastermind of the Sunni insurgency that fought the United States led occupation of Iraq in 2003.

    Then an influential imam in Baghdad and a leading figure in the Batawi family, one of the country’s largest Sunni tribes, Mr Dabash...................“Is it possible that a few hundred Isis jihadists can take the whole of Mosul?,” said Mr Dabash. “No. All the Sunni tribes have come out against Maliki. And there are parts of the military, Baathists from the time of Saddam Hussein, clerics, everyone came out for the oppression that we have been suffering.” .............. Mr Dabash, revealed the demands being made by fighters in the domestic insurgency.

    “Maliki must first be deposed,” said Mr Dabash. “Then we demand the fragmentation of Iraq into three autonomous regions, with Sunnis, Shia and Kurds sharing resources equally.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10914567/Islamic-Army-of-Iraq-founder-Isis-and-Sunni-Islamists-will-march-on-Baghdad.html

  • 81
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@78

    BK,

    The fact that a majority of Australians (i.e. voters) claim some religious affiliation is the reason why political parties are responsive to influence from religious bodies.

    I agree.

    We must support the rights of all faiths including Pastafarians, Wiccans, Satanists etc and heed their wishes.

  • 82
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    BK

    I have been remiss in not thanking you for your efforts also.

    You are a gem!

  • 83
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    CTar1

    Want to be a Pastafarian minister? Official ordination certificates: $20 Get it now

    http://www.venganza.org/ordination/

  • 84
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    A tale of two Prime Ministerial chats with Obama.

    eleanor bloom @eleanorbloom · 3m
    Obama & New Zealand PM John Key discuss 'robust action' against climate change http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-21/obama-discusses-climate-change-with-new-zealand-pm-john-key/5540588 … via @ABCNews

  • 85
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Bemused,

    Are you aware of any demands from these groups that are antithetical to mainstream public opinion? If so, they need to mount their arguments and persuade the broader community that their views have merit.

  • 86
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-choked-by-lack-of-vision-not-ideology-20140620-zsglx.html

    According to Hewson!

    Apologies if already posted!

  • 87
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@85

    Bemused,

    Are you aware of any demands from these groups that are antithetical to mainstream public opinion? If so, they need to mount their arguments and persuade the broader community that their views have merit.

    Is that a process other religions have to go through to provide school chaplains? I suspect not.

  • 88
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    MTBW@86

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-choked-by-lack-of-vision-not-ideology-20140620-zsglx.html

    According to Hewson!

    Apologies if already posted!

    Always check BK’s extensive list before posting. He doesn’t miss much that is important. :D

  • 89
    Jackol
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Any religion that does not break the law or advocate breaking of the law should be as legitimate as any other religion as far as the law or the government are concerned.

  • 90
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    beemused

    I will!

  • 91
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    BK, CTar1

    I am quite warming to Pastafarianism.

    Would you like to join me in an approach to William to have it made the official religion of PB? :evil:

  • 92
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    “bemused” didn’t need the extra “e”!

  • 93
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    MTBW@90

    beemused

    I will!

    Repeating the best for latecomers doesn’t do any harm.

  • 94
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    MTBW@92

    “bemused” didn’t need the extra “e”!

    It didn’t even register in the brain. Filtered out.

  • 95
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Bemused,

    So your view is that a ratbag with a colander on their head with half cooked spaghetti dangling over their faces is the sort of credible person a teenager with personal problems will want to consult.

    I suspect not.

  • 96
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@95

    Bemused,

    So your view is that a ratbag with a colander on their head with half cooked spaghetti dangling over their faces is the sort of credible person a teenager with personal problems will want to consult.

    I suspect not.

    Well I doubt they would perform such duties in full religious regalia, but they would be much better than some of the ranting raving fundys.

    My real preference for kids with psychological problems would be a trained psychologist. But of course Abbott, and it appears you, don’t think that appropriate.

  • 97
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Bemused,

    Therein is the problem.

    There is no doubt that children with psychological problems should be treated by an appropriate professional.

    But, teenage angst and the confusions of simply growing up are not medical problems in most cases.

  • 98
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    bemused/BK

    Official ordination certificates: $20 Get it now

    Cheap religion! $20 now but $50 next month …

    I got the Christian Morals bit but the Religious bit passed me by when my, very Catholic, father explained to me that the Pope was wrong on Contraception.

    I was about 8 at the time.

  • 99
    jules
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    ...even a very superficial look at the article shows it to be absolute tripe.
    Unfortunately some people without a scientific background will believe it and the debate on nuclear energy will be prevented by someone willing to deliberately deceive to push their agenda.

    Oakeshott County

    – Can you please explain why your statement is valid?

    Less than 2% of kids are usually found to have thyroid nodules yet in this study nearly 50% had them. Ok so allowing for the increase in kids tested and the more sensitive testing methods … are you suggesting its normal for nearly half of all kids to have some sort of thyroid nodule or cyst? IE if we tested the population of the world using the same methods nearly 50% of all children would have some sort of thyroid nodule or cyst at any one time?

    Or are these figures somehow suspect.

    Or what?

  • 100
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@97

    Bemused,

    Therein is the problem.

    There is no doubt that children with psychological problems should be treated by an appropriate professional.

    But, teenage angst and the confusions of simply growing up are not medical problems in most cases.

    Even the professionals have difficulty distinguishing between ‘teenage angst and the confusions of growing up’ and serious problems and do not always get it right. It is even more difficult for the untrained.

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