The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Anna Bligh claims historic win in Queensland election ...

See - Sunday Mail - Anna Bligh claims historic win in Queensland election.

Also see - Sunday Mail - Qld election - seat by seat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminder that 5 seats are still in doubt and LNP could pick these up.
With a new leader and 3 years they will be a real chance to win the next time around.
Just watch her introduce the recycled water into Wivenhoe Dam ASAP.

8:16 AM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like it is a round of poo water for all...

8:20 AM, March 22, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

The voters had their opportunity to reject Labor in Qld and despite a 3.5% swing against the ALP, they did not.

In Anna Bligh's seat of South Brisbane, Merilyn Haines who campaigned against fluoride and recycled water gained only 337 votes (1.84% - with 62.47% counted).

Why voters in particular electorates vote the way they do is always a matter of speculation.

But if SEQ voters wanted to reject Anna Bligh's views on recycled water, fluoride, daylight saving, infrastructure, health, the ability to lie in Parliament, etc etc. they had the perfect opportunity yesterday.

Why didn't they? Some will say a 3.5% swing shows they did but it just wasn't enough.

Rightly or wrongly, Anna Bligh will now claim a mandate for all these things and more.

She will add to her 640 PR spin doctors and claim she's created new jobs. They will spin spin spin for her like never before and cover up any problems which may occur with recycled water and continued mismanagement of Qld Health and other Departments.

It seems unlikely that the LNP will pick up all 5 undecided seats. Even if they do, it matters little for the next 3 years. A win is a win and a parliamentary majority is a majority to force through legislation whether it is by 1 or by 20.

Toowoomba's seats stayed the same. A 3.7% swing to the ALP in Toowoomba South and a 4.9% swing to the LNP in Toowoomba North. But no change.

The Wivenhoe pipeline will be built. The Range Bypass won't be built.

It seems very likely that Anna Bligh will try to privatise SEQ water and sewage assets in the next 3 years, if for no other reason than to plug the ever increasing hole in Qld's balance sheet. Water and sewage will most likely be sold off to foreign companies with people in SEQ subject to ever increasing prices to boost repatriated profits.

And yet Labor will say they are the party who looks after the man on the street while sipping their Perrier in Parliament.

11:15 AM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

Sunday Mail:

One more chance for Labor and Anna Bligh

March 21, 2009

PREMIER Anna Bligh went to the polls seeking a renewal of the mandate she inherited from her predecessor, Peter Beattie. She emerged with that mandate slightly weakened but intact.

Her parliamentary majority has been reduced but she has won three more years for Labor and three more years for herself as premier – and as the nation's first elected female premier.

In the circumstances and after more than a decade of sometimes lacklustre Labor government, it is a remarkable result and she deserves congratulations.

Ms Bligh cannot pretend she is in any way politically constrained as she leads Queensland through one of the most difficult economic periods in its history. Nor can the Opposition, having presented its alternatives and been rejected, stand in her way as she exercises the leadership the people have given her.

But the leadership mandate comes with immense expectations and responsibilities.

The Queensland people have been remarkably forgiving of a catalogue of failure, miscalculation, short-sightedness and, sometimes, sleaziness over the 11-year Labor rule.

Now, with so much at stake for the state and for individuals, the Government must deliver. The time for gimmickry, photo stunts, brave talk and spin-doctoring is over, and the people will judge failure harshly.

It will not be an easy task for Ms Bligh who must start exercising the sort of authority and certainty that has eluded her. She talked the talk but never quite walked the walk when it came to putting good policy before popularity – and sticking with it.

A hard-won victory could be just the tonic she needs to build her political muscle.

And while the Government has been given an enforced transfusion of new blood, thanks to the retirement of a long list of former members, it remains saddled with some who should have heeded the renewal call and put their party and their state before their personal interests.

Ms Bligh's task becomes tougher by the day and she must face it with a team that often under-performed even in the good times.

The Liberal National Party had its successes but not nearly enough, which is scarcely surprising given the task of overhauling a massive majority.

Just how well it performed is difficult to judge because the benchmark was set by an appalling Opposition performance in 2006.

Yesterday, conservative politics again failed to live up to expectations in crucial urban seats.

The LNP brand indisputably works, but whether it can ever work well enough to capture those urban seats remains a matter for debate.

Similarly, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg did a sterling job in creating the LNP and taking it to the polls. Whether he will ever be able to woo those urban voters is also a matter for debate.

It is faint consolation after so long in the wilderness, but the Opposition is a least better placed for the next parliament and the next election.

The tasks facing the Opposition leadership are no less challenging than those facing Ms Bligh.

Its successes have given it new blood but, like the Government, it is handicapped by the continuing presence of members who should have made way for new talent.

In three years time, both parties might well regret that renewal was not a reality, rather than an empty buzzword.

In September 2006, Mr Beattie put his MPs on notice that Queenslanders had given them "one more chance". They actually gave Labor two more chances but this time the lesson must surely be: "Three strikes and you're out."

11:27 AM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting point to ponder is that neither party raised the issue of recycled sewage for drinking supplies because with a little rain and the dam levels up, the people never gave it a another thought.

They will when she goes to do it!

It also looks like the people of the TRC will pay for the pipeline because there will not be enough in Anna's purse.

Merilyn Haines was too confused in her message and never really knew how to handle the media to get a message out.

12:26 PM, March 22, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

The people of SEQ had every opportunity to elect a government that would not put recycled water into Wivenhoe Dam and they chose not to.

1:19 PM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous watchful said...

It never ceases to amaze me that Queenslanders believe everything the Labor Party tells them. If it is in the papers or on TV it must be true.I fear they have a rude awakening coming as the Govt. rides roughshod over every obstacle in its way in regard to recycled sewerage and all the other stuffups.. By the way, the Govt stated that the recycled sewerage water which was to be put through the purple pipes in the Highfields subdevelopment was too dangerous to be used in toilets and gardens and legislated to make it illegal much to the disgust of the developers and residents who had previously been encouraged to build the purple pipe system into the homes.. It seems as if it is not too dangerous for Queenslanders to drink though. Three years will be just long enough for them to thoroughly disillusion the people..Let us hope that the Opposition will be ready.

4:19 PM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

The Australian:

Qld Premier Anna Bligh appoints new health minister

March 22, 2009

QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier Paul Lucas has been appointed the state's health minister.

Mr Lucas's portfolio is the first to be confirmed since Labor won its fifth term in office in Saturday's election.

Former health minister Stephen Robertson came under fire for his poor handling of hospital waiting lists, remote nursing accommodation and the checking of foreign doctors' backgrounds.

Both sides of politics are in tense negotiations over who will be in Premier Anna Bligh's cabinet and who will succeed Liberal National Party Lawrence Springborg.

Ms Bligh - who on Saturday night became Australia's first elected woman premier - may have delivered Labor a surprising nine seat majority, having swayed the undecided voters in the final days of the campaign and seen the primary vote swing back in Labor's favour.

Speculation over the cabinet reshuffle today focussed on long-serving ministers Robert Schwarten and Judy Spence, who are likely to be asked to make way for new blood.

Ms Bligh has already groomed future ministers, having expanded the ranks of parliamentary secretaries, with Karen Struthers, Stirling Hinchliffe and Annastacia Palaszczuk expected to be called up to the front bench.

In the opposition camp, Clayfield MP Tim Nicholls is likely to be the new leader.

5:17 PM, March 22, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

"the Govt ... legislated to make it illegal much to the disgust of the developers and residents who had previously been encouraged to build the purple pipe system into the homes."

The government has not legislated to make purple pipe use in Qld illegal.

If they had places like Pimpama would not be able to proceed with purple pipe recycled water.

The Toowoomba Regional Council are using the excuse of government compliance costs to scrap using it in Toowoomba and surrounding areas.

5:27 PM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

The Australian:

Doubts dog mongrel Liberal National Party's future role

March 23, 2009

THE anger of Queensland Liberals at the botched job Lawrence Springborg and the Nationals did on Anna Bligh is so white hot that the future of the merged Liberal National Party is on the line.

Indeed, former state Liberal Party president Bob Carroll - one of the few who picked Springborg's defeat - has gone on the record with this column to say Bligh is likely to win at least another term, so dysfunctional is the two-humped camel that is the LNP. Carroll is one voice but he represents many.

But if you think the use of the description "white hot" to describe Liberal fury at the Nationals is a case of licence, read the SMS that a senior Liberal sent me on Saturday night in Brisbane: "How did the LNP (read Nats) f..k up a campaign against a four-term nervous incumbent? Jesus what a disgrace. They marginalised the Libs. Amateur hour was next. No message. No leader. No strategy. No targeting. No professionalism."

Got it. The question is whether the Nationals in Queensland will get it. At issue here is the fundamental question that dogged the LNP when Springborg first forced the merger on the two parties. It was less a homogenous entity than the Liberal Party body with a Nationals head, namely Springborg.

The mongrel beast had only one raison d'etre and that was to defeat the Bligh Government.

Now that it has failed in its assigned task, the question now is whether it deserves to limp on or whether it should be mercifully put down. The charge from senior Liberals is that experienced campaigners such as George Brandis - whose strategy delivered Barnaby Joyce his seat in the 2004 federal election campaign and John Howard control of the Senate - were completely shut out.

Brandis has told colleagues he wasn't even invited to LNP campaign headquarters. He still doesn't know where it is. He and Liberals such as former Queensland state director Geoff Greene, whom Howard once described as the best campaign director in the country, were never consulted. Federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane didn't get a look in.

Instead the nominal Liberal consulted was federal frontbencher Ian Macfarlane, a rural Liberal based in Toowoomba on the Darling Downs. In the words of one of his colleagues: "Ian is a good man. But he doesn't know Brisbane, and Brisbane was where we had to win."

With Labor holding 34 to 39 seats in the greater metropolitan area - depending on how you define the boundaries - the LNP had to pick up at least 10 seats there to have any chance of toppling Bligh.

As of yesterday, they'll be lucky to pick up eight seats state-wide.

In the words of one senior Liberal: "It was all about the Nats doing it by themselves. Which betrays their real mindset about the nature of the LNP. What was the reason for the failure? Well, it wasn't the usual suspects. They had plenty of money, courtesy of (mining billionaire) Clive Palmer.

"It wasn't because Labor presented better candidates. The electorate was quite ready to kick out the ALP. It was two reasons.

"The Nats didn't know Brisbane and they ran a crap campaign. Springborg couldn't talk to the city. And they basically stopped campaigning on the last Monday because they thought they had it won."

If you doubt the finger ought to be pointed at the Nationals, consider the way the reverse takeover of the Liberals was prosecuted under the guise of a merger.

First, Greene was sacked two weeks after the amalgamation.

With the secretariat no longer in Liberal control, Nationals state president Bruce McIvor moved apace to consolidate his authority, aided and abetted by a Liberal defector to the Nats, Gary Spence.

The state director was now a National (Michael O'Dwyer) with no campaign experience. The party secretary was now a National (Mary Carroll) with a wholesale hatred of anything Liberal.

The newly appointed party treasurer was a National (Huan Fraser) and the parliamentary leader was a National (Springborg). Crosby Textor (the Liberals' pollster) was sacked and Mike Sexton (the Nationals' pollster) engaged. This was the background to the election.

According to Queensland Liberals who watched aghast, O'Dwyer, supported by McIvor and Spence, proceeded to remove the words Liberal and National from all campaign and office material. The party was then always referred to as the LNP, not the Liberal National Party.

The rationale? O'Dwyer's insistence that the Liberal and National tags were tarnished and that the conservatives should do what KFC did more than a decade ago by changing its name from Kentucky Fried Chicken.

But political party brands are not product brands. They rise and fall on the quality of parliamentary performance. With a 60-year history, the Liberal Party was a well established and recognised brand; the LNP wasunknown.

The real agenda, of course, was to airbrush the Liberals out of the picture. This fundamental marketing error meant the public had difficulty connecting with much of the LNP's advertising and marketing, as it was always trying to achieve brand awareness as well as sell a political message: an extraordinary handicap self-imposed through an incompetent decision. This could have been avoided by using the Liberal National Party branding from the beginning of the merger.

Campaign HQ more or less admitted its error in the last few weeks before the campaign when the LNP logo started to appear in some advertising material with the words Liberal National Party underneath it. Too little too late.

But by far the worst mistake was the Nationals' decision to run a presidential style campaign in support of Springborg, head to head against Bligh, who was consistently shown in every public opinion poll to be preferred premier by two to one. This strategy had no prospect of success.

It allowed the ALP to target its best strength against the LNP without having to worry about other issues that had traction against Labor: longevity of the government, health failures, transport failings and water.

The final word belongs to Carroll, a man prone to understatement: "I don't see how the LNP is going to work in a federal election," he tells this column. "It's got a lot of difficulties ahead.

"You'll have Barnaby (Joyce) going in one direction and Malcolm (Turnbull) going in the other.

"I'd back Bligh to the win next election because I don't think there's anyone there in the LNP to take her on. It's just not there."

For Bligh, it seems, the LNP is the gift that keeps on giving.

11:42 PM, March 22, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

Brisbane Times:

Why the mistress was no match for the wife

March 23, 2009

I read once that voting for the opposition in a pre-election poll was like telling your mistress you’d leave your wife. Whereas voting for them on election day was like actually leaving her.

Certainly, Queensland flirted with the Borg. After 11 years, Labor was no longer looking very sexy. The spark had gone. It seemed they weren’t listening. Then in bounded Lawrence in his running singlet, telling us we deserved better. Our hearts were all aflutter.

But it’s one thing to fantasise about somebody new; and quite another to jump into bed with them. This is what explains the huge discrepancy between polls predicting a knife-edge election, and the relative ease with which Labor was returned on Saturday.

To me, the polls always looked dodgy. While a Newspoll taken on Wednesday and Thursday of last week had the LNP ahead 50.1% to 49.9% on a two-party preferred basis, Anna Bligh was a whopping 20 points clear on who would make the better premier. Clearly, voters had to reconcile that discrepancy at some point - you couldn't have an LNP government with Bligh at the helm. When push came to shove, they chose the devil they knew.

The LNP’s problem was that it’s hard to push a message of change when your guy is not new. That Springborg was given the luxury of leading the opposition to three consecutive elections was largely due to the lack of viable alternatives. He will go down as the Kim Beazley of Queensland politics: an all-round nice guy who gave it his all but never grabbed the imagination of voters. Now the LNP need to find their Kevin Rudd.

Their immediate problem is that, like Labor, they ran such a presidential-style campaign that Springborg’s inevitable departure has created a vacuum from which no obvious successor springs to mind.

Sooner or later, they must fall behind a leader from the urban-based Liberal wing of the party. They cannot win power without broadening their appeal in Brisbane, and a former farmer is not going to do that.

Fresh blood is needed, but will a young up-and-comer have the ability to hold the newly merged party together through another three barren years of opposition? It won’t be easy.

Perhaps their best option is to make a Brendan Nelson-style appointment, someone who’s unlikely to lead all the way until the next election, but can absorb the hits for the time being. The key with this strategy, though, is not to dump the fall guy too quickly – like the impatient federal Liberals did for Malcolm Turnbull – just because of some poor polling. As Saturday proved, polls don’t know everything.

1:38 PM, March 23, 2009

Anonymous watchful said...

I stand corrected Concerned Ratepayer. I thought that was what TRC Mayor told the Chronicle.
That the Govt had advised that the purple pipes were not to be used because of fears that the water was not safe to use in toilets and gardens. I know purple pipes are being used elsewhere in Australia successfully. Anyway, unintentionally the people of Toowoomba and Queensland have now given the Govt a mandate to force recycled water down our necks.We really need the rain to come bucketing down to raise the levels in Wivenhoe Dam.

5:07 PM, March 23, 2009

Blogger Concerned Ratepayer said...

It's exactly what the Toowoomba Regional Council would want you to think.

Purple pipe recycled water is used successfully in a number of places in Australia and overseas.

As always, look for the real reason behind comments made by the Toowooomba Regional Council and the State government.

Just because they say something, it isn't necessary the case and quite often the truth is the exact opposite.

Their culture is to spin and confuse and to implement decisions while you're not looking too closely. They rely on the apathy of the electorate to push through decisions and feather their nests and those of their corporate friends.

In 2006, Toowoomba said no to deception and corrupt practices and that will long be remembered.

7:02 PM, March 23, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

Courier Mail:

Four Queensland ministers dumped

March 23, 2009

QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh is expected to elevate seven new faces to the cabinet in the wake of her election win.

Police Minister Judy Spence, Transport Minister John Mickel, Communities Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr and Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech are understood to have missed out on cabinet spots, after talks with the premier today.

With Education Minister Rod Welford and Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt retiring and Climate Change Minister Andrew McNamara losing his seat, Ms Bligh will now be able to name seven new faces in her cabinet to be sworn in on Thursday.

The Labor caucus will meet on Tuesday to discuss the cabinet lineup, but Ms Bligh has vowed to choose her own ministers.

9:20 PM, March 23, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Weekend Australian

21 MAR 2009

Recycled effluent part of both parties' plans

RECYCLED effluent is set to be added to the drinking water supply in southeast Queensland as early as August, whoever wins today's election.

Queensland water authorities are confident that 60 megalitres of recycled sewage and trade waste a day will be pumped to Brisbane's Wivenhoe Dam before the end of the year.

Last November, the Bligh Government backed down from plans to begin pumping the treated water in February in the face of a collapse in community support for the plan, which is a key part of the state's $9 billion strategy to drought-proof southeast Queensland.

Some experts warned the seven-stage treatment process might not be sufficient to prevent contaminants from entering the water supply.

The Government said it would not put recycled water in Wivenhoe Dam until the average level of the region's three main storages dropped below 40 per cent.

Yesterday, the level was 47 per cent.

Queensland Water Commission chief executive John Bradley said recycled water could be added to the supply within five months.

"The commission's most recent analysis indicated that under a worst-case inflow scenario, dam levels could reach 40 per cent by late August," Mr Bradley said.

"This represents the earliest possible date, assuming worst case inflows, which remain unlikely during the current La Nina conditions."

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg insisted yesterday that, if he became Premier, recycled water would not necessarily be added to drinking supplies.

"Our position is that potable water should be kept separate from recycled water," he said. "Our position is that recycled water should be added to drinking water only as a last resort."

Mr Springborg has refused to give an undertaking to lower the 40 per cent threshold, and water authorities do not expect him to do so if the Liberal National Party wins the election.

The LNP's commitment to scrap the Traveston Dam will add pressure on a Springborg government to embrace the recycled water option.

Mr Springborg has pledged to abolish the Queensland Water Commission but the move would have no bearing on the recycled water plan. Filtration plants are ready to pump water to Wivenhoe Dam at any time.

Anti-recycled water campaigner Rosemary Morley said it was clear both parties would proceed with the recycled water plan.

"Lawrence Springborg and Anna Bligh have both been keeping their fingers crossed that this would not emerge as an election issue," Mrs Morley said. "Unfortunately, it has not been an issue, and now it appears that this will be foisted on the people of southeast Queensland."

11:12 AM, March 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a Kevin Rudd - I would rather lose every election on the way forward to have a false dummy as leader

5:47 AM, March 26, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No idea what that means.

10:20 AM, March 26, 2009


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