Articles on Queensland politics

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Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis was a target of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Supplied

Book extract: All Fall Down

Matthew Condon’s new book, All Fall Down, ends Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis’ story amid the demise of the Rat Pack and their corrupt system of graft payments known as “The Joke”.
Independent oversight will be a crucial new ingredient in the Queensland government’s vow for stronger domestic violence action. Dan Peled/AAP

Queensland’s domestic violence strategy may finally put action to the test

We’ve heard promises to act on domestic violence too often before. But a new Queensland plan offers public accountability measures – which could finally turn rhetoric into real action.
South Australia’s proposed anti-bikie laws criminalise the wearing of anything that indicates association with a declared ‘criminal organisation’ on licensed premises. AAP/Eric Sands

Queensland holds lessons for states set to crack down on bikies

While South Australia's proposed anti-bikie laws may be constitutional, there are clear reasons why introducing them is at best premature – and at worst a very bad idea.
Annastacia Palaszczuk put her government’s future into doubt when she sacked one of her MPs, Billy Gordon, from the parliamentary party. AAP/Matt Roberts

Billy Gordon’s past shouldn’t end the Queensland government

Sacked Queensland Labor MP Billy Gordon has a legal right to remain in parliament and vote, issue-by-issue, as an independent.
Billy Gordon has paid the price for failing to disclose his criminal history after he was sacked from the parliamentary ALP by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. AAP/Dan Peled

By sacking Billy Gordon, Palaszczuk has put her government on the brink

The Queensland government's survival is at stake just two months after it was elected following the sacking of Labor MP Billy Gordon from the parliamentary party.
He’s back: new Queensland LNP leader Lawrence Springborg acknowledges party members’ applause at the election launch last month. AAP/John Pryke

Queensland LNP’s new leader is Lazarus with a quadruple bypass

Who is Lawrence Springborg, who has replaced Campbell Newman as the leader of the Queensland Liberal National Party? Elected on Saturday afternoon after a marathon two-hour party meeting, Springborg has…
With Premier Campbell Newman exiting the political stage, Governor Paul de Jersey (left) may become a key player in deciding who forms Queensland’s next government. AAP/Dan Peled

Hung parliament for Queensland? Expect more nuance than chaos

Driving back to Brisbane from my childhood home of Nambour, I saw the most extraordinary political billboard. In monumental black and white, it simply said: Hung Parliament. Chaos. That these stark and…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk will face off for their final leaders’ debate on Friday lunchtime, as the clock ticks down to Saturday’s election. AAP/David Kapernick

Ten things to watch on and after election night in Queensland

You know it’s an extraordinary election when a party holds 73 of the 89 seats in parliament thanks to a record-breaking victory just three years earlier – yet there’s talk of that party losing government…
Palmer United Party founder Clive Palmer had to miss the Queensland election launch, leaving it to state leader John Bjelke-Petersen – backed by senators Glenn Lazarus and Dio Wang – to make the pitch to voters. AAP/Jamie McKinnell

Palmer misses the party as PUPs struggle to be heard in Queensland

It’s been a surprisingly muted campaign from the Palmer United Party (PUP) ahead of Queensland’s January 31 poll – and on Sunday, the man who started it all couldn’t even make it to his own party. At the…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has surprised voters by calling an early election for January 31. AAP/Dave Hunt

Queensland’s early election hinges on a test of Newman’s strength

The biggest battle Campbell Newman faces in the Queensland election on January 31 is the one against himself. The election, called on Tuesday morning, will be a referendum on the achievements of the Premier…
The protagonists are different in this political reincarnation of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, and so is the lay of the land in Australian politics. AAP/Dave Hunt

Hanson gets the band back together – can she make an impact?

Pauline Hanson has reunited with One Nation to contest the seat of Lockyer in the upcoming Queensland election. The reunion is an acknowledgement that neither Hanson nor her former party has fared so well…
Queensland Labor under Annastacia Palaszczuk has claimed a lead in the polls ahead of next year’s state election. AAP/Dan Peled

One down, two to go? Labor revival puts incumbents on edge

The rule of thumb in Australian politics has been that voters are reluctant to throw out governments after a single term. And if they do, it’s during a major crisis. Perhaps that’s a measure of Australians…
Wayne Goss claims victory in the 1989 Queensland election, when Labor won government after 32 years in opposition. AAP/Queensland ALP

Wayne Goss, a modernising leader who left Queensland a better place

Thank you, Queensland. You’ve been good to me. I hope I’ve left you a better place. So said Wayne Goss as he resigned the role of premier on February 19, 1996. He had served since the election in December…
Under a Greens-PUP deal, the senate inquiry into the Queensland government will investigate coal seam gas approvals granted under the previous Queensland government. Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr

Greens-Palmer deal: a roadblock for environmental one-stop shop

The Greens have secured a deal with the Palmer United Party (PUP) and Labor that effectively kills the federal government’s plan to hand its environmental approval powers to the states under its “one-stop…
A test pit for the Alpha Coal Mine proposed by GVK Hancock, which was successfully challenged in the Land Court. Such a challenge would not be allowed under Queensland’s new mining laws. Lock the Gate Alliance/Flickr

Mining coup in Queensland removes public objection rights

The Queensland government has recently removed long-standing public rights to object to mines. In shades of the Bjelke-Petersen era, Queensland mines minister Andrew Cripps made fundamental changes one…
The proposed Aquis casino in Cairns is likely to be underwritten by the poker machine losses of local residents. AAP/Aquis Great Barrier Reef

This time is different? The local costs of Cairns’ new casino

The proposed Aquis casino resort in Cairns is edging ever closer to regulatory approval. The development is touted by proponents as a “man-made wonder of the world” and will cost billions to develop. The…
How was the anti-bikie strategy in Queensland framed, and what has it achieved so far? AAP/Dean Lewins

Crime stats provide reality check in Queensland’s bikie crackdown

Queensland’s bikie crackdown and its associated legislative measures have polarised public opinion on the necessity and success of this approach. So with a High Court challenge to the new laws due to be…
Some unhappy state Liberals are pointing to an unpopular federal government and its budget as the source of their electoral woes. AAP/Joe Castro

Are voters set to stop giving first-term leaders a second chance?

In today’s politics, few governments are ever safe. Even freshly minted administrations now age at an incredible speed. The most casual observer will know how much trouble the Abbott government finds itself…
Queensland premier Campbell Newman needs to sell substantive policy change as well as a change in personal branding if he is to be successful at the next election. AAP/Dave Hunt

Newman has time to learn from Stafford byelection defeat

The result in Saturday’s Stafford byelection in Queensland was entirely expected. Since the electorate was re-established before the 2001 election, Stafford had remained a safe seat for Labor. That was…
The Queensland government is playing brinkmanship with the state’s legal fraternity over the appointment of Tim Carmody (centre) to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. AAP/Dan Peled

History of unchecked executive haunts Queensland in judge fight

The Queensland government’s appointment of Tim Carmody as Chief Justice of that state’s Supreme Court is, without doubt, the most controversial judicial appointment in the nation’s history. This is because…

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