Sunday 22 August 2010

Warren Entsch - the comeback king, returns to seat of Leichhardt

A strong swing in the crucial Federal seat of Leichhardt to the Liberal National Party, proved to reflect a wider pattern against the first-term Labor government.

"I dedicate this win to all those people that have been affected by these actions or in-actions by this previous government," the jubilant 60-year-old Warren Entsch claimed in his victory speech last night.

Warren Entsch, who was MP from 1996 to 2007, called the seat as early as 7:15pm last night, when the ABC tally room telephoned him, as booths on Cairns' Northern Beaches, previously Labor strong-holds, showed significant moves to favour the Liberal National Party.

"Early results show that you may have notionally won the seat," the ABC informed Entsch. "Well I hope I have."

Enstch told CairnsBlog that the biggest problem was that the incumbent member ignored the people.

"He [Turnour] forgot that politics is about people, it's not about the party. I hope that we can make a change because there are a lot of people here who have been effected, quite disturbed. Tonight's the night that they can be heard loud and clear," Warren Entsch said.

Entsch says one of the big issues for Leichhardt was the Wild River legislation, being planned by the State Labor government, something the Jim Turnour consistency said was not a Federal matter. CairnsBlog recently travelled to Bamaga and interviewed local Mayor Joseph Elu, who slammed Labor's lack of engagement with local Cape communities. Many of the Cape communities supported LNP at this election, a direct reflection of Entsch's outspokenness. He has been very critical of the Wilderness Society's "propaganda" in the campaign.

"They think that some Mickey Mouse organisation called the Wilderness Society can prepare some glitzy type of lies in the form of a video, and suggest that the people of Cape York are destroying the rivers and have no idea what they're doing," Warren Entsch said. "It's all about fund-raising for this mob in Sydney. It's got nothing to do with conservation in Cape York."

"[Labour] have told them they can't do a darn thing other than stand there bare-bummed on a lily-pad with a spear, on one leg, and be photo fodder for tourists. They have greater aspirations than that," Entsch said.

"The don't take into consideration that there's been people living in Cape York for over 40,000 years. Wild Rivers [plan] has had a major impact of our indigenous community in Cape York.," Entsch said. "Other issues are the closure of [fishing] the Coral Sea; we've got high unemployment, and the appalling waste of money."

Entsch puts the dramatic result down to the Labor's inability to listen to the people and be heard. He also cites the Queensland State Government treatment of it's traditional support base, like the sale of assets and massive rises in electricity and land taxes.

"It's simple, the former member didn't deserve to return to the job. He failed this community. He didn't listen and was proved to be a spook for his party masters in Canberra," Warren Entsch said.

"I may have laryngitis, but tonight we have given back a voice to Leichhardt," Entsch said as he started to lose his voice.

The Liberal celebrations at Hotel Cairns were fever-pitch as early as 7pm, as the first booths showed trends that surprised the most conservative observers.

Bluewater public housing protester Nathan Shingles was centre stage holding a "You're gone Turnour" banner, as Entsch gave his victory speech to a 600-strong crowd. Former ardent Labor supporter-turned dugong campaigner, Colin Riddell, along with long-term Liberal supporter, tourism business leader Charlie Woodward; ousted LNP member Lance Royce; Liberal Cairns Regional Councillor Alan Blake, whom had only recently sent CairnsBlog a love letter, and radio 4CA talk host John Mackenzie, were among the capacity crowd, supporting Entsch's triumphant return to local politics.

''He listened to me and what I was asking. Jimmy never did," Colin Riddell said, who received special mention in Warren Entsch's celebratory speech. "I never thought I'd walk away from supporting Labor, by I did what many did tonight, and I couldn't be happier," an elated Riddell exclaimed. The former union strongman looked out of place amongst the largely white-collar Liberal crowd.

Riddell's elevation to Liberal pedestal status, was as much a reflection of the dramatic change in Labor's former support base, as it was that many traditional members had privately questioned how the party had lost its way.

Electrical Trades Union organiser for Far North Queensland, who had come at loggerheads with his Labor party membership after vehemently and publicly questioning the assets sale programme, had also abandoned Labor this election in support of The Greens.

Earlier last evening, at around 7:20pm, the mood was notably somber at Labor's election function at Brothers Leagues Club. Maurice Milliner, a long-time party supporter was bemused by the early results.

"Where did Jim go wrong?" Maurice Milliner asked. "I can't believe that so many have walked away. Nothing will happen in the town now, especially if Gillard remains as PM."

Jim Turnour didn't wish to talk with journalists as early results showed what looked like an irreversible trend.

However Turnour's arrival at 7:30pm, with partner Tiffany and their young daughter Zoe, was greeted with elation by the 60 or so gathered party faithful.

"Many just stay at home, when the result is not good," party supporter Billy Colless said.

Turnour toured the room, thanking every supporter for their help, many embracing him. "Well, we done the best we could," one said to Jim.

It was difficult for Jim Turnour to hold back his disappointment, but he privately acknowledged he would not be returning as the Member for Leichhardt.

"I can look back and think of the things I'm proud of, the things I've achieved, like the dental school at James Cook University; the stimulus..." Jim Turnour said. He acknowledged that there are many things that happen, go unnoticed and unreported in the life of an MP, a reflection he shared with CairnsBlog in a video interview just one week earlier. Jim talked about asylum seekers and those seeking residency, as examples of quiet achievements. This reflection presented a glint of happiness in Turnour's demeanour, albeit for a fleeting moment. It was difficult for Jim Turnour to hide his internal sadness, with the public defeat of losing the popular support of his Leichhardt's constituents.

The overt and often harsh criticism levelled at the first-term Labour government, was something the Party didn't acknowledge or deal with, on either a local or a national level. It was widely believed that Jim's candidacy for the election was going to be challenged prior to the election earlier this year. Senior MacDonnells Law partner Russell Beer was rumoured to be approached, something he strenuously denied.

The Cairns Post's Daniel Bateman was assigned to cover Labor's function, situated in suburban Manunda, whilst the paper's prominent political journalist, Brad Ryan, covered the results from LNP's event, just three kilometers across town at the Hotel Cairns, a regular Liberal hang out. Both young journalists were electronically connected via live web software CoverItLive, as the Post embraces new online technology, a reflection of it's desire to develop digital strategies.

Ryan messaged Bateman and asked what other "media" were covering Turnour's function. They were furiously texting, like two childhood sweethearts that had been prematurely separated, reminding me of an infamous Council romance that was joined at the Blackberry.

"There's just Mike here from CairnsBlog," Bateman replied. Not entirely true, as a lone 7 News cameraman had captured Jim's arrival. Brad Ryan replied saying "Mike's more loyal and dedicated than 7, WIN and ABC put together!"

Bateman appeared reserved to the fact that editor Holman had sent him to Labor's camp with its predicted loss, whilst Brad Ryan, now clean-shaven, something he and I didn't attend to when we chatted with Julia Gillard two weeks earlier. He was dressed as if he was about to ask the boss for a pay-rise.

Prominent Labor loyalists were noticeable by their absence. Before I left Labor's function at around 8pm, Cairns Mayor Val Schier; her close friend and fellow Regional Councillor, Diane Forsyth, and even Queensland Rail union official Richie Bates, were no where to be seen. Labor stalwart John Tuite was there, engaging in small talk with me, somewhat surprising given his normal anti-love affair with all things Michael Moore. Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall, who started campaigning for Jim the day the election was called, was there to support his friend and colleague, jocking for position to avoid the CairnsBlog camera, something that former Cairns Council CEO Noel Briggs made a habit of.

The Labor function was like being at a wake of an old friend you didn't really get to know that well, yet the body was still warm. There was plentiful finger-food, most of it deep-friend, yet few were talking, or simply didn't know what to say.

Earlier in the day, I visited the Whitfield State School as Warren Enscth cast his vote at 9am, and midday when Jim Turnour voted at the paradoxically-named Our Lady Help of Christians school, in Balaclava Road, Earlville. I cheekily quipped to Jim after cast his vote, if was one of the many undecided voters. Jim just smirked.

Warren Entsch collected 54.52% of the two party preferred vote in Leichhardt, against Labour's 45.48%, a 8.58% swing to the LNP. The result is almost an exact reversal of the 2007 vote when first-term Jim Turnour enjoyed the country's biggest swing of over 14%, on the back of an anti-Howard vote, fuelled by the nationwide WorkChoices backlash.

Other candidates results in the Leichhardt race recorded Jen Sackley (Ind) 3.34%, Yodie Batzke (Ind) 2.2%, Warren Entsch (LNP) 46.7%, Shannon McSweeney (Family First) 1.85%, Neville ST-John Wood (Greens) 8.89%, Jim Turnour (Labor) 35.15%, and Steve Lane (Ind) 1.72%.

The first-ever Greens Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters, was also elected last night.

At 5:57am this morning, 77.8% of the primary vote has been counted. The two party preferred count is 74.7% complete. Australian Labor Party had a 50.69%, recording a 2.01% loss, and the Liberal/National Coalition 49.3%, a 2.01% gain. There were 14,088,260 enrolled to vote.

It is believed to be one of the closest elections in living memory, however Labor's Julia Gillard remains Prime Minister, as was widely predicted, no party has absolute majority to govern, resulting in a hung parliament.

Should the Coalition form a government, it's likely that the new Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, will be offered a Ministerial role in a new Tony Abbott-lead government.


yk said...

I guess it happened pretty much as predicted. Did Jim lose or did Warren win? I bit of both I expect.

The only time most of us ever get to see our MPs is in the media and our perceptions are formed from these brief encounters and, consequently, our judgements of their respective performances. For the past 3 years it was my perception that Jim's first allegiance was not to the people of Leichhardt but to the Labor Party at both Federal and State level, even when it was blatently obvious that a particular course of action was contrary to the best interest of the Electorate.

Perhaps Gilbert and Sullivan had Jim in mind when they wrote: "I always voted at my Party's call and I never thought of thinking for myself at all."

So now it is up to Warren. I would not begrudge him a few days off after the travails of the past few weeks but I would expect to see some runs on the board sooner rather than later.

Thaddeus said...

Entsch won't last the next three years. Get prepared for a by-election folks. Just looking at his bloated, meaty, toad like face and seeing those glazed, pickled onion eyes on TV last night, as he gloated away, singing his own praises, I wondered how long he is going to last on his feet?

Jude Johnston said...

And what did I say, Clifton Beach Polling Booth is an "Indicator" Booth. Kevin Byrne learnt the lesson, ignore the people and watch what happens at election time. Jim Turnour was so intent on preaching the party line rather than listening to what his electorate was saying.
Public Housing was a huge issue, not because the voters out here are elitist, racist or any other of the derogatory comments aimed at them, but because they want their hard earned taxes put to the best possible use. The stimulus package for housing was very specific in what it was to be used for, to provide housing for those at risk, in areas of need and in an area close to amenities. Palm Cove is not one of those sites. The land was expensive, there was no need in Palm Cove. We have Public Housing in Kewarra Beach, 35% of housing I am led to believe. 51 units on both sides of Clifton Road are for Social Housing and there are other stand alone houses throughout Clifton Beach that are owned and operated through the Housing Commission.
I have sifted my way through a lot of the RTI in regard to the Palm Cove Public Housing. The purchase of the land was not supported at local level or by the Housing department who would manage it. There is no waiting list, one person only had a preference. In the kindest terms, it was a quick buck for the developer who onsold the land to the State and a Manager from Project Services in Brisbane who overuled the local recomendations because he would not meet his targets if the purchase did not proceed. Value for money - no, housing people who were most at risk, no. It became the "hot potato" and other Housing departments were asked if they could make use of the apartments. It was then announced that low paid workers in tourism, hospitality and health workers, the aged and the disabled would occupy the units. Again, this was not the group that this stimulus packaged was aimed at. Yarrabah and Kuranda are crying out for housing for their residents and this is where the stimulus money should be spent. Further, in the RTI it shows over 500 Public Housing units state wide are occupied by those with an income in excess of $100k and just as many again with incomes over $80k Yes it is a right for all Australians to have a roof over their head, however, somewhere along the way need and want have become confused. Public Housing should provide a safety net, not become an intergenerational life style of choice. What has happened to the responsibility of the indivudual?
What has gone wrong when girls see the birth of a child as a money making venture and a means to getting low cost public housing. When the unemployed find it is more benficial to pool resources and live together than to go out to work.
When it has become easy to walk away from relationships and expect the Government to pick up the tab for the welfare of children.
As you will guess my career of choice is not in Social Welfare, not because I don't care or don't have any compassion, but because I have an innate sense of fairness and I couldn't choose between housing the 17yr sole mother or the widow/widower with a child.
The elderly victims of a house fire who have lost everything they owned or the elderly investors who lost everything they owned in a failed investment scheme.
Ok am way off topic but feel much better for venting my spleen.

KitchenSlut said...

Turnour clearly lost rather than Entsch won although the collapse in his primary vote of about 8% wasn't out of line with many other Qld electorates. Particular note here almost 10% against Kevni Rudd in Griffith!

Given the state of the local economy and that Turnour was seen as lacklustre this result for Entsch is maybe not as emphatic as many were expecting although there is still a reasonable number of votes to be counted?

The interesting thing on current numbers is that the Greens have done badly in Leichhardt compared to national results. With a benchmark of around half of the swing against ALP going to Greens the number here was lesss than a quarter. Half the swing went to Entsch after adjusting for the diversion of the appalling Barney Crossland standing for the Nationals last time.

Despite there being less independents and others they actually increased their combined vote by more than 2% this time and did better than the Greens. Informals also put in a strong showing this time.

The poor performance of the Greens in Leichhardt, which will also I presume impact the ALP 2PP vote stands out.

nocturnal congress said...

The toad is emblematic of the Far North, so I guess it is fitting we have one in Parliament.

Alison Alloway said...

Good to see Andrew Wilkie, the former senior intelligence officer with ONA, (who resigned in protest at the lies told by the Howard Government over Saddam's so called "weapons of mass destruction" and the illegality of the Iraq War) do so well in Tasmania. His book "Axis of Deceit" is very revealing and explains how the "case" for war was made, with direct participation by the Howard Government.
I believe he has provided evidence at the UK inquiry into the Iraq war.
We need someone like him with real guts and integrity in Parliament.
He is an Australian to be proud of!

Leuco Gaster said...

Thaddeus, you may well be right about Warren - he's not a shining example of Australian manhood - but there's no denying that he comprehensively outsmarted us. He is a beneficiary of the rebuilding of the coalition's support through an infusion of grass roots activism, while we in Labor relied increasingly on a technocratic party establishment that has lost its connection with the public, alienated its own grass roots, and lost its ability to read the public's mood. There is a very strong view out there (well, I should say, out here) that anything the government does is no good, that Labor will always be wasteful, that Abbott will cut back on the indulgences. Fair or not, that is the view, and its our own fault, and we should cop it sweet. There may well be more than a little truth in the observation that the Labor Party is now no more than the political wing of the bureaucracy.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

KitchenSlit - I take your point about the Greens in Leichardt cf. nationally, but let's face it, the Greens up here are like a bunch of mosquitoes - they only appear after the rain (an election called) and disappear when it dries up (once the election is over). The last few State & Federal elections up here, all of a sudden the Greens nominate someone, they get some votes, and then disappear again until the next election.

One would think that what with all the biodiversity and important World Heritage sites, JCU & research etc. & all in FNQ, the Greens would have a lot of say year-long, not just a month before election time in press releases. Where were they when Felse Cape was being fought, when we had harried anti-development battles with the former Byrne Council, what about Wild Rivers? OK, the Greens may have had a position on such issues, but I'm damned if I read much about them. Grade C, I'm afraid, Greens. "Not a bad effort, but could work harder"

However, the independents are a bit like mosquitoes too - they only declare 4 to 6 weeks before an election, do a bit of PR & corfluting, & then go away again.

I reckon if any of you out there are thinking of running as independents, that you take a good 6 or 12 months before an election to get to know the electorate & their issues, and vice versa. How do you realistically expect people to vote for you, as an unknown? We might have our gripes about Turnour or Entsch, but belonging to major parties, they have a policy background framing their interests. Independents are neophytes.

Frankly, I would love to see more Indpendents voted in, mainly for more 'biodiversity' in Parliament, but this isn't going to happen if you don't pull your fingers out, way ahead.

Three weeks ago I googled all the Indpendents in Leichardt, & was greeted with dismal results. Yodie Batzke had a Facebook page (whoopee) which told me little about why she was running, what her policies are, or why she had left Family First. It did tell me she attended Trinity Beach High.

Neville St-John-Wood - well, I was directed to a Greens website, but there was nothing about Neville - it was "to be advised".

I won't go on about the others, but you get the picture. Next to useless.

If you want a good example, Greens & Independents, look no further than Warren Entsch - he started actively campaigning about 12 months ago, & love him or hate him, it worked. Mind you, Slim Jim's inactivity helped a lot, but I won't discuss that here.

Alison Alloway said...

I wish the media would stop with this awful fantasy about a "hung" parliament. I can only describe it as the most vile example of media masturbation. There is no such thing as a true "independent" politician. None. And every man has his price. Fact. Abbott has won, and the Independents are all Conservative Independents. Abbott has the House of Representatives.

As people predicted earlier, we are about to live "in interesting times" with the Greens controlled Senate.

Syd Walker said...

The Greens did well in Leichhardt and Neville St John-Wood should be congratulated.

He was a reluctant candidate, who came forward to stand out of a sense of duty - the exact opposite of self-promoting types who all too often run for Parliament.

Other potential candidates were put off by some of the restrictive laws concerning dual citizenship and prohibitions on government employees running for Parliament.

It rermains to be seen, incidentally, whether the old lying parties actually observe these restrictions themeselves.

Has anyone ever asked for proof that Julia Gillard, Stephen Conroy or Tony Abbott ever formally reliquished their UK citizenship - a requirement that discouraged at least one potential Greens candidate in Leichhardt and elsewhere? (it's quite a sacrifice for a candidate to make, unless he/she is very confident of election, as it's not reversible)

The Greens were also not helped by childish pests trying to undermine and denigrate the party from outside - as well as various ugly disinformation campaigns waged against Greens policies, most notably in relation to indigenous affairs. Any fair-minded observer knows that the Greens voting record in the Senate in support of Aboriginal interests has been second to none. That fact was craftily obscured by various dishonest beat-ups.

The main reason for the Greens to run a campaign in Leichhardt at this election was to support the Senate candidacy of Larissa Waters. In this, the Queensland Greens have been successful. Queensland now (at last!) has at least one Parliamentary representative who isn't in the pocket of wealthy vested interests.

Jess Jones in Kennedy should also be congrualated. As well as having a new baby during the campaign, she achieved a higher than before vote for the Greens in a vast electorate on an absolute shoestring.

If green-minded people are dissatisfied, they should consider getting involved themselves and helping the Far North Queensland Greens to become stronger.

Eventually Leichhardt should be a winnable seat for the Greens. It has a large indigenous population and there's a strong economic incentive for the community as a whole to properly conserve the region's outstanding environmental qualities.

Smithfield Sam said...

Gaster is right about Entsch's "Australian manhood". Much closer to our own Brokeback Mountain. At least the Greens (a clearly gay-centric party now) are all out. The Libs and ALP gays - Bishop, and Gillard herself among others, instead still are hiding their true selves. That's what I was hoping for when Julia said she was going to show us the "real Julia". Sadly not to be.

Clifton Ratbags Rule said...

Allison, a hung parliament and "deal making" is a good thing. If Katter is really serious about North Queensland, we should see some real attempts to address our problems with his "deal making" on our behalf.

Deals with independents will keep all of the bastards honest - because they're always there, with the implicit threat that they can pull their support and have an election called at any time. I predict a new breath of fresh air. Tony Abbott's proven to be "the man". Kudos!

Karl Krauss Malanda said...

Syd, you've been smoking too much wacky weed. The greens don't have a prayer in Leichardt, it's a party of homos and dilettantes. And your assertions that the Greens aren't in "the pocket" - surely you jest. There is just as big a corporate support structure for the "Green" movement, which has been the source of illicit campaign funds for the Green structure. Al Gore and Pew along with leftwing financiers are just a corrupt as those on the right.

nocturnal congress said...

Smithfield Sam, if you want to attribute movies mate to Australian "manhood", have a good think about "Deliverance" and one memorable scene which kept us all in cold sweats all night long, for months of nookies afterwards....
As for Bishop being gay....Jeeezuz Christ..she's a drag queen in panto alright. Gillard is run of the mill hetero.

Syd Walker said...

@ Karl Krauss Malanda "The greens don't have a prayer in Leichardt"

That's what they once said about Melbourne...

One reason people support the Greens in growing numbers, despite incessant, bilious misrepresentation by opponents, is because Greens don't tend to tell lies to win power.

At some point, despite the dumbing-down effect of the mass media, people in this electorate also will tire of representatives who mislead the public over such crucial issues as illegal wars and the policies needed to safeguard the planetary environment.

Time will tell whether the beneificary will be a credible independent, or a Greens Party candidate - or a candidate from another party.

The best result would be that ALL candidates standing for election are wise and intellectually honest.

Alison Alloway said...

Clifton Ratbags Rule...I disagree with you. You are assuming "Independents" can't be bought,and are honest, courageous, trustwrothy and people of integrity. You assume they would risk losing their privileges to disagree with the political party they attach themselves to. You assume they would risk losing popularity if they "pulled the plug" and forced an election. Frankly, the Independents will have a lot more to lose than members of the political parties once they decide to back a political party.
Katter may well be the only Independent who could cause another election and easily survive it. Katter however is an arch conservative. He will back
Abbott, make noises in the media to delight and titillate, like he does, and then toe the line in the House of Reps. like he does.

Leuco Gaster said...

So, all you pundits, who's going to form the government? I suspect Warren will quickly lose interest in the job if he's in opposition. My prediction - guess, actually - is Labor 74 seats, forming govt with the support of Bandt and Wilkie. Anyone else want to have a stab at it?

bama said...

An interesting observation Leuco Gaster. Entsch has only ever known the Government benches and its lurks and perks. (Of which he availed himself plenty.) Moreover like all bullies he likes being amongst the "power" of a ruling political party with all its support network, resources, money etc. Being in opposition would mean he would have to work harder, and do without the extra privileges like travel.
I thought Wilkie had lost?

Alison Alloway said...

I'd like to see Andrew Wilkie win a seat, but I'm not sure he would be a loyal supporter of either party. This man would, I believe, be the closest to a true blue, ridgy didge independent with a lot of guts and integrity.
The reasons for that can be found in his book "Axis of Deceit" where he was clearly traumatised by the role played by the Australian Government in supporting the lies told about the case for war in Iraq.
He gave up a prestigious career, and virtually lost everything when he "blew the whistle".
He would be a real "wild card" in the Parliament, and a true force to be reckoned with.
His actions in the past indicate he would not hesitate to bring a Government down if he felt the conditions were right.

Jimincairns said...

The greens at Trinity Park school might have persuaded more voters had they bothered to shower, put on some clean clothes, shaved (Both the male and female) and not turned up in a bloody great big 4x4.

Bryan Law said...

Syd Walker has the chutzpah to claim “The Greens did well in Leichhardt”. The Far North Greens put in close to the worst performance in Australia, for a net swing to the Greens of 1.27%. The average national swing in the House of Representatives was 3.7%, and in Queensland it was 5.2%. Next door in Herbert, based on the garrison city of Townsville, the swing was 3.68% - three times more than what should be the much greener electorate of Leichhardt.

The comparison between Leichhardt and Herbert is further illuminated when considering the swings against Labor in those seats. Labor pork barrelled and campaigned hard in Herbert for former Mayor Tony Mooney. There were giant billboards all around town featuring Tony Abbott’s Work Choices. There was a swing against Labor of 3.69%. The Greens got almost all of it.

The swing against Labor in Leichhardt was 8.8% and the greens got one seventh of it. Syd, you have a lot of chutzpah to claim “The Greens did well in Leichhardt”.

Local Scene

Now I’m probably one of the “childish pests” that Syd Walker (and Jon Metcalf) are saying is “trying to undermine and denigrate the party from outside”.

Childish pest? OK you got me there - but I’m saying that Greens living in Leichhardt are capable of doing much, much better than “we”* currently are. A three-fold improvement in performance could be easy and immediate. We ought be thinking about the steps towards a 20% vote in state and federal elections, one or two seats on the Cairns Regional Council, and strong alliances with active community groups – while staying one step removed from both major parties.

- 20% of the popular vote.
Recognised and respected candidates with strong networks of community support. If I was fantasising I’d have a candidate like Terry O’Shane, or Tanya Major. We’d be better than 30% then. Maybe even 40 or 50.

1 or 2 seats on the Cairns Regional Council.
In 2012 if the local government goes multi-member. Will depend on the candidates if we stay divisional.

Strong alliances with active community groups.
There are 3,4 or more active community groups in Cairns around development and social justice issues. The Greens need to be communicating with those groups, finding out about their issues, and thinking about what a Green solution might look like.

Arm’s length from the majors.
One of our ultimate aims is to change the way politics is done, and to restore integrity, inclusion, justice and sustainability to the governing process as to the land itself. We don’t do that by getting involved in grubby preference deals. We are here to replace the ALP and the LNP.

I’m not “trying to undermine and denigrate” the Greens Syd, and the only reason I’m outside is because Jon Metcalf has locked me there.

I can live with that, but what I can’t live with is that, having kept the Far North Greens as a personal plaything, Jon has gone on to produce such an abysmal result for all Greens in Leichhardt. Jon Metcalf is responsible for the policy of periodic appearances (the Greens only become visible once an election is called). The policy of exclusion (currently subject to an internal complaint). The policy of isolation from community groups. The policy of preferencing Labor. All these are Jon’s policies and I reckon they are holding back the Greens.

What do you and Jon reckon Syd?

KitchenSlut said...

Most of Syd's rationale above is actually a justification of why the Leichhardt Greens performed badly rather than why the Greens performed well which is curious.

I was thinking of trawling the numbers but what a waste of my own time and Syd is such a guru on intrenet info so ..... without having looked at any other info I will wager a donation of $500 to the Leichhardt Greens if they can give me 10 other electorates out of 150 where the swing to the Greens as a proportion of any swing against ALP is worse?

Lovan 20 said...

Are Bryan and Warren long lost siblings? There appears to be so many similarities, both in political delivery and physical resemblance.

Syd Walker said...

The swing to the Greens was lower in Laichhardt was lower than the national average, I understand, but a necessarily low key campaign achieved limited objectives. Credit to those involved, most notably the candidates. They helped plug a gap.

I have no spokesperon role for the Greens. I'm an ordinary member who just happens to comment regularly on Cairensblog at present - so I try to do my bit to correct negative anti-Greens spin on CB. I had little role in the campaign and claim no 'credit' at all - although I should share responsibility for perceived failures. When I commenterd here earlier today, I mainly wanted to thank the candidates.

I won't debate with Bryan as experience suggest it just feeds his insatiable egotism.

We've been over this ground before, Bryan, many times, in CairnsBlog. Boring.

You're obviously no real friend of the Greens, or you wouldn't keep behaving like a squeaky wrecking ball.

Bryan Law said...

Syd Walker said “I'm an ordinary member “, and “I had little role in the campaign”.

But Syd, weren’t you at the Management Committee meeting in August, and didn’t you vote to allow the Brisbane office to allocate preferences to Jim Turnour in Leichhardt?

Didn’t you at the very same time run material on Cairns Blog to claim you were neutral or undecided on the allocation of preferences? Is that the honest politics you say you want?

The reason you won’t debate me Syd, is that your arguments have no substance. Your ideas are almost entirely made up out of tribal sentimentalism, and are bereft of facts. Your emotional response shows in your statement to me that “You're obviously no real friend of the Greens, or you wouldn't keep behaving like a squeaky wrecking ball”.

The first time I went to prison Syd was to Stuart Creek prison in 1984, , for being buried up to my neck in front of the bulldozers building the Daintree to Bloomfield Road at Cape Tribulation. In 1990 I was involved in the blockade of logging on Fraser Island until it stopped. I spent three months living under canvass on the Island. It was great fun.

I’ve worked as an environmental campaigner around energy and forest protection issues, including development in the Daintree and the Tully-Millstream project. I ran a positive renewable energy project through Leichhardt, which assisted in the formation of small businesses that are still thriving today. I live a green lifestyle and pursue a vocation in nonviolent social change to achieve a peaceful and sustainable society. I am a green, whether you and Jon Metcalf like it or not.

If I can’t act within the Greens, I guess I’ll just have to do it independently. Please notice I got significant advance in 2010 for every “political” goal I had. Jim Turnour has gone. Larissa Waters has been elected. The Wild Rivers Act is in for a Wild Time as Tony Abbott’s private members bill is debated and voted on in the Parliament.

Still, the Far North Greens got a 1.27% swing. I couldn’t have achieved anywhere close to that number.

Alison Alloway said...

Just watched Andrew Wilkie on "60 Minutes" tonight and also had a look at his website. He's a former Liberal, turned Green, turned Independent. His policies, listed on his website echo Green policies.

Syd Walker said...

Bryan, the reason I won't debate you here is because of your insatiable egotism, as I said before.

That's it.

[Please don't publish the article I sent you a while ago Michael. For the foreseeable future and until furter notice, I don't want to have to respond to Cairns Blog trolls, pests and Laurie Oakes wannabee.]

Colin Riddell said...

Sorry cannot write tears streaming down my face still , tears of laughter .
Like I said bye bye jimmy.
Now the sea turtles and dugongs have a strong voice in canberra.
The useless greens syd never responded to over 200 emails and phone calls and senator siewert scurried off when approached like a greenie at a bryan law campaign launch.
And useless jim t that never ever picked up the phone or answered hundreds of emails also see you in the next jobs expo.

What labor has to learn is never burn people who supported you.

From: Colin and Cheryl []
Sent: Wednesday, 21 November 2007 4:43 PM
To: Jim Turnour
Subject: All the best Jim

From: Jim Turnour
Date: 11/22/2007 6:32:24 AM
To: 'Colin and Cheryl'
Subject: RE: All the best Jim

Dear Colin

Thanks for all your support!!


Alison Alloway said...

ROFL, even "The Cairns Post" has recorded that Entsch and Katter don't get on. I wonder why not? Hmmm? Anyone know? My late husband was a member of Young Nationals with Bob, and knew Katter well. There are certain types of people Bob HATES, just HATES, HATES like you wouldn't believe. Christ, I'm laughing here. Hahahahaha, oh hahahahahahaha. One "alpha" male with all his swaggering, self-conceited bullying braggadocio and his conga-line of fawning sycophantic gamma males has another "alpha" male next door, sharing a boundary. Only this "alpha" male has REAL power - he can bring down the other alpha male's Government. He can steal away the other alpha males "goodies" ie SPORTS PRECINCT, for "goodies" in his own electorate. Oh hahahahaha, hahahahahahaha. I don't like either man personally. Their treatment of people who aren't important to them or OF NO USE to them is often brutal. However that is a characteristic of the alpha male. They use and abuse. I particularly dislike and am incensed seeing the bowing and scraping and subservience of weaker "gamma" males around them, trying to boost their own fragile egos vicariously. It makes me sick.
Well, I won't be "siding" with either male. These types of men are nothing more than slightly less hirsute gorillas wearing cowboy hats.

Werner Sandner said...


Anyone who thinks by throwing the quite and humble achiever Jim Turnour out an replace him with Loud and seemingly arrogant Warren Entsch will be very dissapointed. Don't forget that we lost the NQEA, an entire ship building firm here in Cairns under his rule. We had people dying on public hospital waiting lists, while his political party poured billions of Dollars into the Private Health Fund for the wealthy and cut the public funds by billions. Warren Entsch is a member of a party for the rich and wealthy only, and he will follow the party line. His job was to get the Liberal party back into parliarment, not to look after the people of Leichard. If I was in the shoes of the Labor government, I would scrap this region from the broadband net and tell its people not to go to the public hospital but go private. And don't forget to bring a fat wallet or purse. I hope this will not be a long three years.

Unknown said...

Werner, I think you should not generalize here.

I am in a private health fund and I am not wealthy at all.It has quite a few advantages and I get repaid half my premium through refunds for dentists, glassses etc.

I agree that there should be a limit, where people earning more than a certain amount would not receive a refund on their premium.

Factman said...

Werner ...

we lost NQEA because Don Fry had links to the Nats and Fed/State Labor fed the patrol boat contracts to the Labor States down south.

Simple as that ...