April 04, 2004 | Graham

The “Will do” Council

Direct elect republicans and others ought to be watching Lord Mayor Campbell Newman very closely. He is likely to provide a model for what a popularly elected President could do at his most powerful, and he’s just met his worst nightmare.
Tall, blond, urbane, and a talented artist, Councillor David Hinchliffe, is Labor’s new leader in Brisbane City Hall and in a position to frustrate some of Newman’s ambitions.
The Liberal Party has not handled the Brisbane City Council result well, possibly because they seem to think they won. They didn’t. They have 10 councillors out of 27 with Labor holding the balance of power. Because they won the Lord Mayoral vote they have ensured that their successful candidate will be there at the scene of the crime to chair the committees and cut the ribbons, but no more.
If they want to win the next BCC election they need to have some genuine, or manufactured, arguments with the Labor majority which will bring voters on side with them. If Maureen Hayes had continued as Labor leader this was probably only a matter of time. Hinchliffe is a different proposition.
The new Deputy Mayor’s approach can be easily shown using the following quotes from the CM (not available on line).

“Labor, he said, would agree to Mr Newman’s plan to change the transfer fee, ‘but of course he has to fill the $4.5 million pothole that that will leave in the budget’.
‘He promised to halt the rollout of new bus lanes and review existing bus lanes – done!’ Cr Hinchliffe said.
‘We will support new pedestrian bridges. They are Liberal policy and they were part of our Riverwalk plan – agreed!'”

The paper also said:

“The Labor Party said yesterday it would support the plan [Newman’s plan to build five tunnels] ‘if it stacked up’ and urged Mr Newman to seek financial input from the Federal Government.”

So, if it’s Labor policy – he’s all in favour – if not, he will put strict hurdles into place and try to involve Liberal Governments at other levels in it so that if it doesn’t get up Newman won’t be able to blame him, or a state Labor government.
Newman is up against it with Hinchliffe, which begs a question – why wasn’t he the ALP Lord Mayor rather than Tim Quinn?

Posted by Graham at 9:41 pm | Comments (1) |
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1 Comment

  1. It looks that he will be the Lord Mayor in all but name, without having to submit to a city-wide election. If you were a conspiracy theorist you might say that was the plan all the time, but I subscribe to the line that, given the choice between a conspiracy and a stuff-up, take the stuff-up every time.

    Comment by Alex McConnell — April 5, 2004 @ 7:54 am

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