Queensland: Beautiful one day, a disaster the next
My name’s Lyall, I’m from Queensland and we are sunk! Kevin can’t help us, Anna is making it worse and the other guy who wants to be Premier…..thingamajig whatshisname – what the hell is he about?
We are officially doomed. Despite years of GST revenue, Queensland has no money and we’ll soon have no assets, yet we’ll still get huge loans (I want the name of that bank) to go into further debt which – according to politicians from both parties during the next election campaign – will be someone else’s fault and will at the same time be fully maintainable, as long as we vote for them.
Now Tony can call Kevin a fake Queenslander (we know he’s not because he says port and togs) but he had better not accuse me of same. I’m the real deal, growing up in the very Queensland suburb of Murarrie, home to the local dump, saleyards and abattoirs which created a beautiful aroma every afternoon at around 3.
Our local MP was the extremely Queensland Tom Burns and my dad – the local barber – even cut what was left of his hair. Down the road lived the very Queensland Vicki Wilson (thanks Vicki for being Murarrie’s own – and only - famous person) while my mum purchased her smallgoods from the local deli - owned by none other than the ultimate Queenslander Wally Lewis!
There - my authority as a true Queenslander is undisputed, making me more than qualified to speak on the state of the state and heap ridicule on those currently in both government and opposition. (Do we still have an opposition or was that abolished when we did away with the upper house?).
Queensland was once a great state full of cranes, new infrastructure and rising buildings (but absolutely no illegal brothels). It was a state run the old fashioned way – on a handshake and a brown paper bag. There was no need for debate or discussion, and things got done. Sir Joh and his team were moving the state forward and if it wasn’t for that pesky enquiry in the 1980s we’d now have a Queensland that was thriving instead of a basket case.
Our industries would be enjoying even greater riches, we’d have more buildings, tunnels, roads and bridges and our police officers would be prosperous. There would of course still be no brothels – legal or illegal – or condom vending machines (though this would be no bad thing – those that I have seen in the toilets at the local servo are scary).
Sir Joh’s legacy was the destruction of the state liberal party, which was at one stage reduced to non-party status and met at a booth at the pub next to Terry White’s chemist store. This was the start of the decline and relegated us to a state with no serious opposition, something we have been battling to overcome for the past 20 years of labor rule, save a slight hiccup when Rob Borbidge accidentally became Premier for two years in 1996.
During these last two decades we have managed to produce state leaders who are great at smiling and managing the media but we are left scratching our heads to think of any significant change they have brought to Queensland, or really anything important they have done. This might seem a little unfair – after all, we see them opening lots of things but few will disagree that our hospitals, roads, railway, transport, police and pretty well everything else were relatively better twenty years ago than they are today.
We can’t blame only the ALP. The liberal and national parties in Queensland have been such a joke (no – a joke is funny – they are not) for so long that we, the people, fell victim to the political version of Stockholm Syndrome; we became so used to such a pathetic opposition that we felt sorry for them and let them be. That said, there was no way we wanted them in government.
In recent years we were given some hope when the two conservative parties merged into the LNP. They told us they had left the past behind and were now one unified party where everyone loved each other, and while we never really believed them, we the people were so desperate for change that we were prepared to give them a go.
We were so sick of smiling, slick Peter and weren’t too sure of smiling, less slick Anna (note to Anna – please stop smiling so much. You are way too happy announcing policies that you know we hate) that we tried to put Lawrence into the big office on George Street. Yet we woke the next morning to find that Anna was still in control.
Lucky for us however, Anna had protected us before the election from her plans to eliminate the fuel subsidy, raise a bunch of taxes and sell everything we own. We are grateful for her concern each time our costs rise and our standard of living decreases.
The opposition meanwhile have disposed of the only person with any profile or credibility in their party and replaced him with a guy who I’m told is an excellent dentist. I still can’t remember his name and I have no idea what he does, thinks or believes. My problem is that I don’t like dentists: They smile as they inflict pain and they tell us to trust them as they render us speechless while shoving a bunch of things we don’t want down our throats.
Wow – what great training to be premier! But Anna already does this to us, and she’s really good at it. Therein lies our choice fellow Queenslanders. There is no one to rescue us, no one worth voting for. We’re stuffed!
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