THE ELECTION AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR OUR ISLANDS
At the time of going to press, the outcome of the Queensland State Election was not known.
Two propositions were most likely:
• An outright Labor victory, or
• A hung parliament
It was more certain in the seats that cover our islands.
Matt McEachan of the LNP has replaced Peter Dowling as Member for Redlands and Mark Robinson of the LNP has comfortably retained his seat of Cleveland.
With local LNP members and a possible Labor Government, it will be back to the status quo of the Beattie and Bligh years.
Clearly it is in the island interests and any electorate's interest for the sitting member to be a member of the Government of the day.
The irony in the case of Redlands, the islands did not get the candidate that a majority voted for.
On the islands, the Labor candidate, Deb Kellie, finished ahead in all island booths by approximately 8 points. However, it was on the mainland that Matt McEachan forged ahead.
Nearing the end of the count he was approximately 5 points ahead of Deb Kellie and was declared the winner.
In the seat of Cleveland, which covers North Stradbroke Island, it was a different story.
Mark Robinson had one of the easier LNP victories, finishing ahead of the ALP opponent by approximately 13 percentage points.
Outgoing LNP Member for Redlands, Peter Dowling in an interview in this edition, lists as one of his finest achievements the obtaining of the Translink incorporation into the island passenger ferry system.
It has had a considerable impact on how islanders go about their business and now connect with one another
Matt McEachan knows he has to win over islanders, and we are interested to know just how he will go about it.
Clearly he is no silver tail and he knows how to get his hands dirty.
He lists some directions in tourism for the islands that will be welcomed.
We believe that proper docking facilities for visiting craft is essential to the future of the islands, and we are pleased that the new Member for Redlands endorses that direction.
However, what we need is the funding to make it happen, as we do for other important infrastructure.
Governments of all persuasions are finding it difficult to come up with money because of a debt laden past.
These islands have been neglected for the past 10 years when it comes to infrastructure, whilst money has poured into the rest of South East Queensland.
We at least deserve our share and we hope Matt McEachan has the skill to see we get that share.
Clearly his skills have been appreciated elsewhere and he has the contacts in some of the right places.
We shall watch with interest.
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