Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Queensland State Election
At the request of Senators Watt, Chisholm and Green, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) congratulates the Palaszczuk Labor Government on its re-election in Queensland;
(b) recognises the strong leadership demonstrated by the Palaszczuk Labor Government to keep Queenslanders safe through the COVID-19 pandemic and to put Queensland on the road to economic recovery; and
(c) notes that:
(i) Queensland Labor achieved a state-wide swing of 4.2% and has won at least three seats previously held by the Liberal National Party,
(iii) the Liberal National Party's preferences elected the only Queensland One Nation MP and doubled the seats held by Greens MPs in the Queensland Parliament, and
(iv) the policies of One Nation and the Greens Party would do great economic damage to Queensland at a time when every job is vital, as we look to recover from COVID-19.
The Greens echo the congratulations to the Queensland Labor government on its re-election and especially acknowledge Annastacia Palaszczuk as the first female premier to win three terms in government. Congratulations to my colleague Michael Berkman on his re-election in Maiwar and to my new colleague Amy MacMahon for winning the seat of South Brisbane. Both seats were won with huge primary votes, because more people than ever voted for a Greens MP. We saw strong swings to the Greens across Brisbane and we largely held our vote across Queensland. This election is a win for a science and health led response to a global crisis, with Labor and the Greens increasing margins and picking up extra seats.
The parties of science denial and obfuscation, the LNP and One Nation, lost seats and, in the case of One Nation, halved their primary vote. The message to Labor is clear: keep listening to experts, keep putting evidence based policy first and actually do something about that other global crisis, the climate crisis.
Honourable senators interjecting—
Senators Watt and others—I think I caught Senator Davey, and definitely you, Senator McKenzie. You can tell it's getting to the end of the year! A difficult part of the day is not made easier by interjections, particularly when people aren't in their seats.
One Nation does not support this motion. We first of all congratulate Steve Andrew for his enhanced majority in the seat of Mirani after three years of solid work. However, gloating over the Queensland election result that was based—
Senator Watt interjecting—
on Labor's scaremongering inflicted on the people of Queensland is unworthy. The economic damage from Labor over the last six years has been further entrenched during COVID, because Labor couldn't work out that responding to a virus is not a simplistic choice between our health and the economy. Queensland boasts the highest unemployment—
Senator Watt interjecting—
Queensland boasts the highest unemployment, the highest rate of business closures, the lowest business confidence and the largest state debt, at $110 billion. And that was before COVID. Queensland is now an economic basket case, and still the Premier and her government offer no coherent plan for recovery. If the Labor Party are so worried that the Greens would 'do great economic damage to Queensland at a time when every job is vital'—and, by the way, I agree—then it beggars belief that Labor continues to preference the Greens. Let's also remember that Labor relies on Greens preferences. In summary, the outcome of the Queensland election was that fear won and Queensland lost. (Time expired)