By Staff Writer Mozza
At 10am on Tuesday the 27th October 2020 Clive Palmer and his entourage hit Bribie Island and spoke at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club before working the pre polling booths. A crowd of supporters and national, state and local media heard from Mr Palmer and the United Australia Party (UAP) candidate for Pumicestone Dr Steven Newberry.
Mr Palmer spoke of the need of strength and resilience in Queensland the ability of UAP to make a real difference in Queensland politics. In support of these aims he highlighted the problems the current Queensland Government have in relation to debt, saying in 100 years Queensland amassed $60B in debt and that over the last 6 years it has doubled to $120B.
He criticised the growth of the Public Service and the ALP announcement that it would cut health funding to pay for more nurses effectively reshuffling money around the health budget. He went on to question how a new hospital on Bribie could be funded amongst these cuts. He accused the ALP of making hollow promises it could not afford unless new taxes such as a death tax was introduced.
He stressed that the economy was his party’s first priority with unemployment at 8.5% and due to rise dramatically after Jobkeeper ends. He also criticised the Queensland Investment Corporation as being staffed by ALP mates that invest 95% of Queensland funds into the USA creating jobs in Seattle rather than here in Queensland.
He predicted the borders would be open and business going again after the 3rd and 4th November 2020 when his high court challenge was heard. He maintained that 1000s of people had given their lives to ensure Australia remained one country and the Premiers had no right to undo this. He was also critical of the one rule for wealthy people like Tom Hanks and sporting teams and another rule for other citizens such as grieving relatives wanting to attend funerals and the sick seeking treatment in Queensland.
The local candidate Dr Steven Newberry then outlined his view of local issues on Bribie Island including that of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and suicide, the need to provide medical services, education and to support small business on the island. He highlighted that the other candidates had been parachuted in from elsewhere by their political parties and would vote along party lines rather than in the best interests of the community.
He also said that he had worked in the mining industry and he agreed with Mr Palmer that mining royalties should not be wasted by governments in big cities but should be spread evenly across Queensland. He was also critical of the ALPs handling of mining projects such as the Adani and Acland mine and said it was evidence that the ALP didn’t support mining that creates regional jobs.
The Q and A session continued until Mr Palmer had to go to attend the polling booths and meet the voters of Bribie Island and surrounds.
Despite this the United Australia Party attracted only 261 votes or 1.1% of the total in a disappointing result for the party.
In the ultimate wash up of results Bribie residents voted for the ALP in very high numbers as an ageing population seeks protection from COVID 19. This became the overwhelming issue of the campaign in the end denying parties promoting an opening of the borders any traction in the results.