Menu lock

Seat of the week: Blair

Blair has covered a highly variable area around Ipswich since its creation in 1998, having been substantially redrawn at three redistributions since. Originally covering areas inland of

Blair has covered a highly variable area around Ipswich since its creation in 1998, having been substantially redrawn at three redistributions since. Originally covering areas inland of Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast, the redistributions of 2004 and 2007 saw it progressively take over central Ipswich from Oxley. Prior to the 2010 election it lost 28,000 voters in territory south of Ipswich to the new seat of Wright, in exchange for 13,200 voters in rural areas around Lake Wivenhoe to the north (previously in Dickson and Fisher) and 5500 in the eastern Ipswich suburbs of Collingwood Park and Springfield Central (from Oxley). As the areas lost were rural and conservative, Labor’s margin was boosted from 4.5% to 7.0%. The seat further recorded what by Queensland standards was a mild swing of 2.7%, the resulting Labor margin of 4.2% making it their fourth safest seat in the state.

Ipswich had been an area of strength for Labor since the early days of the party’s history owing to its now defunct coal mining industry, but it has more recently been prone to rebellion against the party’s efforts to appeal to new middle-class constituencies. The most famous such occasion occurred when Pauline Hanson won Oxley in 1996, scoring 48.6% of the primary vote as an independent after the Liberals disendorsed her for advocating the abolition of government assistance for Aborigines. The creation of Blair in the next redistribution did Hanson a poor turn, dividing her home turf between two electorates. Rather than recontest Oxley or (more sensibly) run for the Senate, Hanson chanced her arm at the new seat, but the major parties’ decision to direct preferences to each other may have sealed her doom. Hanson led the primary vote count with 36.0% against 25.3% for Labor and 21.7% for Liberal, but Liberal candidate Cameron Thompson pulled ahead of Labor on minor party preferences and defeated Hanson by 3.3% on Labor preferences.

Thompson went on to absorb most of the disappearing One Nation vote in 2001, more than doubling his primary vote without improving his two-party margin over Labor. A redistribution ahead of the 2004 election clipped this by 1.8%, but he went on to handsomely consolidate his position with a 4.5% swing. In 2007 the Liberals targeted Blair as part of its “firewall” strategy, a key element of which was a risky decision to fund a $2.3 billion Ipswich Motorway bypass at Goodna in the neighbouring electorate of Ryan. This proved of little use, with Labor picking up a decisive swing of 10.2% which typified the shift of blue-collar voters back to Labor on the back of WorkChoices.

Labor’s winning candidate was Shayne Neumann, a family lawyer and partner in the Brisbane firm Neumann & Turnour and member of the state party’s Labor Unity/Old Guard faction. His LNP opponent at the coming election will be Teresa Harding, who is “director of the F-111 Disposal and Aerial Targets Office” at the RAAF Base Amberley.

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

2255 comments

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Boerwar
Guest

Thank you Ms Gillard and the Labor Government.

You took the killers (5 million deaths a year) front on and not even the legal industry could save them this time.

The next step is for the tax reform in which the ‘industry’ is taxed, not on profits, but to reflect health costs of the industry.

Gary
Guest

Testing

C@tmomma
Guest
Fran Barlow replied to my comments thus: c@tmomma quoted: Success is the ability to rise above principle.” Gerald Barzan Well yes. That’s a lovely apologia for tortious or criminal conduct. Luckily, Barzan is offering comedy relief rather than a life lesson. Sorry, Fran, but a mouthful of obscurantist blather about ‘tortious or criminal conduct’ is no answer to the assertion contained in the quote, and which should be applied to The Greens’ ‘principles’ that ‘principles’ are one thing, however success is attained when you are able to modify your principled position in order to achieve a successful and pragmatic outcome relative to those ‘principles’. Frankly, Fran, if you are choosing to ignore the assertion offered in the quote by Barzan and seek to dismiss it as ‘comedy relief rather than a life lesson’, then that merely personifies the po-faced position that you have taken and the rigid inflexibility of the ‘No Correspondence will be entered into’ position of The Greens because, apparently, just like Tony Abbott, they have all the answers, and experts in the field never do. To then quote this: What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed? Well, that’s just an inane response of the utmost puerility and irrelevant to the discussion. ‘Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle.’ This doesn’t help much here. Again, one suspects Lord Melbourne was being satirical Nice of you to presuppose Lord Melbourne’s motivations in saying that. Of course it suits your subsequent argument to do so. However I believe he was making a perceptive comment linking people of strong principle and foolish actions. Strong principles define who we are and whom we can look to for support in achieving worthy things. Sorry, but for anyone living in the real world, where compromise and consideration of other points of view is the norm, our principles provide a basis from which to work with others to achieve satisfying outcomes. Or, you can take your bat and ball and go home. Which appears to be The Greens default position when they can’t get something all their own way. Without them you are almost certain to do very foolish things. With them The Greens are doing foolish things such as ignoring deaths at sea of asylum seekers on the way to Australia and the Mental Health problems of asylum… Read more »
Fran Barlow
Guest

c@tmomma:

[As per usual for a Green you are attempting to smear the motives of supporters of the ALP, as opposed to addressing the deficiencies of The Greens position.]

Relative to the positions of the other parties, there are no deficiencies in the Greens position on asylum seeking. We seek a humane and non-punitive solution.

[keep on mouthing Green banalities, especially about the Asylum Seeker issue. ]

We didn’t invent the terms “people smugglers’ business model” or “cashed up asylum shoppers” or “queue jumpers” or engage in a mewling pretense that asylum seekers were doing people out of their welfare.

I find it telling that attachment to human dignity is cast as “ideological” or a “banality”; that principles are articles of low trade in the search for “relevance”. You know as well as I do that if the ALP was pushing our line, your fellow travellers would be arguing much as I have against the Liberals. It’s a tribal thing.

Fran Barlow
Guest

c@tmomma quoted:

[Success is the ability to rise above principle.” Gerald Barzan]

Well yes. That’s a lovely apologia for tortious or criminal conduct. Luckily, Barzan is offering comedy relief rather than a life lesson. He also said:

[What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed?]

[Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle.]

This doesn’t help much here. Again, one suspects Lord Melbourne was being satirical because hardly anyone declares themself to be free from strong principle. Strong principles define who we are and whom we can look to for support in achieving worthy things. Without them you are almost certain to do very foolish things. If Lord Melbourne had been serious, he’d have advocated putting children — who rarely grasp the concept of strong principle and are certainly suggestible, in charge of the country’s affairs. While people moved by strong principle can err, and do foolish things — this is mostly a reflection of the coherence of the principle or else a failure of application in the context of facts on the ground. Those without principles are mere intellectual flotsam and at the mercy of the contention between others.

[“Important principles may and must be flexible.” Abraham Lincoln]

A properly specified principle does not need any more flexibility than it implicit in its specification. Principles are broad, providing a framework within which to decide on system design choices. They predispose one set of options, and exclude others.

If that’s all Lincoln meant, then he’s not arguing with me. If he’s saying that all principles are negotiable, then he has the position of Groucho Marx, who declared that people didn’t like his principles, he had others. The irony from this Marx Brother is intentional — dispensible principles are not principles at all, but mere cant.

Since you went to the trouble of searching “Brainyquote” …

[A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Dwight D Eisenhower]

Isn’t this fun?

C@tmomma
Guest

Fran Barlow,
As per usual for a Green you are attempting to smear the motives of supporters of the ALP, as opposed to addressing the deficiencies of The Greens position.
Too many times the flaws in your positions have been pointed out to you, often with persuasive argument and evidence to support those assertions. Yet all you seem to come back with are your increasingly shop-soiled statements from some perceived high moral ground of Greens supposed superior morality wrt any issue. Dressed up with a load of supercilious sneering and an attempted put-down of anyone who dares to question you or The Greens policies and motivations.

Such flimsy flim-flam, despite all the big words you dress it up with, is entirely unconvincing to anyone seeking a workable solution. Still, keep on mouthing Green banalities, especially about the Asylum Seeker issue. The People Traffickers are cheering for you. Sadly, the Asylum Seekers with the Mental Health problems caused by the grief of losing family at sea on their way here pulled by The Green’s Onshore Processing, the de facto policy now, are not.

Fran, pigheadedness in the light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary of a stated position, is not ‘Principle’.

Fran Barlow
Guest

BB:

[The Greens want to destroy asylum seekers in order to save them.]

No … we want to give them something better than choosing between two dangerous options. As things stand, those opting for IMP are choosing a plausible course, but it’s still not a good one, because there are no good ones. We should offer them good ones if this really is about asylum seeker welfare. Even in this place though, it is far from clear that this is the consensus. At least two posters have expressed the view that any solution that got it off the front page would do them just fine because they never wanted to hear the term “asylum seeker” again and that most Australians felt the same way.

So this is not, from the POV of at least some here, really about abating deaths at sea (and still less about abating harm in resettlement camps) but about salving the pain of those living here who are forced to reflect on the misery of others and perhaps their own connection to it, and the apparently corrosive implications for the chances of the ALP at the next election.

C@tmomma
Guest

On the topic of ‘Principles’:

“Success is the ability to rise above principle.”

Gerald Barzan

“Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle.”

Lord Melbourne

“Important principles may and must be flexible.”

Abraham Lincoln

Bushfire Bill
Guest

[The Greens sticking by the principles we’ve outlined and defended for years is indispensible.]

The Greens want to destroy asylum seekers in order to save them.

That’s what happens when “principles” become impractical.

Bushfire Bill
Guest

Has Gillard emerged yet?

Fran Barlow
Guest

ShowsOn:

[Oh I get it!]

No you don’t.

[The Greens retaining seats in parliament is more important than actually finding solutions for this problem!]

The Greens sticking by the principles we’ve outlined and defended for years is indispensible. If we toss them, how many seats we have in parliament is at best, irrelevant, and more likely, negatively correlated with the public good.

The public understand that in at least a partially formed way, and so abandonment of principle in the chase for “relevance” not uncommonly courts electoral decline as well. That is in substantial measure, why the ALP is in the position it is now. Uncommitted people either aren’t sure what it stands for or think the other major conservative party might be better at it.

On the day my party starts chasing the kind of “relevance” favoured by the political conservatives, I will be looking to split the party from its reactionary and venal elements and start again.

Bushfire Bill
Guest

Can-Do said:

[“{Clive Palmer} thinks he can use the LNP hierarchy to bully the Government. It’s not going to happen”.]

Me think they create monsterrrr…. now he doesn’t see the government as an “LNP government”.

In fact TWO monsters. King Kong meets Godzilla in Brisbane.

fiona
Guest

C@tmomma,

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery 😉

C@tmomma
Guest

Shows On did a c@tmomma! 😀

ShowsOn
Guest

[“Relevance” — code for “unprincipled horsetrading”. The Democrats got so “relevant” under Howard that they disappeared from parliament, conceding largely to the irrelevant Greens.]
Oh I get it!

The Greens retaining seats in parliament is more important than actually finding solutions for this problem!

Thank you very much for finally conceding how completely electorally driven the Greens are on this issue!

ShowsOn
Guest

[“Relevance” — code for “unprincipled horsetrading”. The Democrats got so “relevant” under Howard that they disappeared from parliament, conceding largely to the irrelevant Greens.
Oh I get it!

The Greens retaining seats in parliament is more important than actually finding solutions for this problem!

Thank you very much for finally conceding how completely electorally driven the Greens are on this issue!

Darn
Guest

[all they can probably hope for is to neutralize the coalition lines up to the next election…

I hope there’s a cunning plan there somewhere that still is not obvious.]

I would have thought neutralising the coalition lines on AS up to the next election was enough to be going on with. But it could turn out much better than that. If Nauru doesn’t stop the boats Abbott’s policy is blown out of the water and if it does – problem solved. Either way the government has a win.

C@tmomma
Guest

Dee,
That’s absolutely correct. However the cynical political parties, is the Coalition and the Greens have decided to do exactly what Houston said they shouldn’t and cherrypick the bits of the report to suit their pre-conceived positions. Or ‘principles’, as Fran Barlow seeks to excuse it with anodyne words covering up for their unwillingness to acknowledge that there is a better way than one which sees people drowning at sea on their way here due to the Pull Factor that Onshore Processing is without a shadow of a doubt.

Dee
Guest

Well, perhaps I got the wrong end of the stick.

My understanding was that the report recommended Malaysia as part of a regional framework that needs some tweeking.
The report also stated that all recommendations need to be implemented to be effective, which includes Malaysia.
Right? Wrong?

C@tmomma
Guest

The Uniting Church and Pamela Curr continuing the basically unrealistic and irrational line adopted by the Greens: every Hazara and every Tamil has a right to become Australian. Why don’t we just go to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and tether an Airbus on shuttle service to bring them all here?

What an absolutely infantile position. No matter how many big words and fine-sounding ‘principles’ they try to dress it up with.

wpDiscuz