When the next Queensland state election rolls around on a designated Saturday four years from now, Labor will have governed in the Sunshine State for 28 of the past 34 years.
For a state that had a solid reputation of being Australia’s most conservative for so, so long – a seemingly never-ending era where it felt like there was a banjo player or someone cleaning their rifles on just about every second verandah out there in the sticks – how on earth has this been allowed to happen?
Surely Queenslanders know the basic rule of Australian politics; that only the Liberal and National Parties know how to manage economies well. Right, Des Houghton, Peter Gleeson? Chris Jones? Kelvin Healey?
A 1950 lad with obviously no memory of any Labor government before the Labor split and the defeat of Vince Gair, I was 39 before witnessing my first Labor state government in 1989.
That’s oh, so many years of being ridiculed by friends down south as to how on earth we Bananbenders could have tolerated for some 19 years until late 1987 that corrupt, racist, barely understandable, greedy, bible-bashing bastard and hillbilly dictator Bjelke-Petersen.
And not just them. Pilots would also have a chuckle on landing in Brisbane, advising their passengers to turn back their watches by 100 years and one hour.
Well, for too many election nights in a row, it was easy for that racist crook with the cruel jawline to announce not long after 7pm that “I have wonderful news for Queensland” as country seats with a third of the electors of safe Labor seats in and around Brisbane tumbled into his column.
Well, like Bjelke, those days are long dead and buried, as last night’s results showed.
Queenslanders have shown regularly that they can trust both sides of politics to manage economies properly at different political levels. And they’ve been able to make those decisions at a state level with fairer electoral boundaries since 1989.
It turns out that Queensland is not chockablock with rightwing nutters after all. For all but six years of the last 30, Queenslanders have trusted a Labor government to manage their state’s economy and look after their interests. And last night, they declared emphatically: “Have another four!”
Let’s all just hope that Premier Palaszczuk and her ministers don’t get too cocky or too confident in incumbency; that they don’t go stale or just coast along from being in power too long. That happens.
They need to redouble their efforts to provide good, strong, stable government, thick and fast like a flock of pigeons, that’s for sure, my goodness gracious me, yes, good, strong, stable and the rest…..