December 17, 2004 | Graham

Bradfield source with your pork sir?

According to The Courier Mail two days ago, the Queensland National Party is compiling a wish list of infrastructure projects on which to spend the $30 billion predicted from the sale of Telstra.
From the news item it looks like they intend to spend the whole of the sale proceeds on “dam, road and irrigation projects”, as well as a Darwin to Gladstone railway. Sounds like the Bradfield scheme (which proposed turning the coastal rivers west) has been pulled out of its cupboard in National Party Headquarters. And if you were going for a rail scheme, why not Everald Compton’s ATEC scheme – at least it makes sense?
You can see some reasons from this why John Howard opposes the “Pineapple Party” merger proposal of Lawrence Springborg. The Queensland Nationals have form, denying Howard the prime ministership in the 80s with their Joh for PM push. Howard doesn’t want a repeat of the madness, and this item, along with statements from new Queensland senator-elect Barnaby Joyce that the Nationals are a ” balance of power” party, will remind him that wildness and wackiness are still haulmarks of the Queensland Nats.
Since 1998 the Queensland Nats have been a much diminished force. Imagine all the strife they could cause if they effectively got control of the strongest part of Howard’s Liberal Party – the federal Queensland representatives? The upheavals might be so volcanic as to force the rivers to all run west of their own accord!

Posted by Graham at 11:31 am | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Graham – don’t forget springBORG is going to buy back Energex and return it to public control – costing him big time as he violates the Nation Competition Policy.

    Comment by alphacoward — December 20, 2004 @ 2:14 pm

  2. I’d missed that. I thought that the government still owned Energex. Do you mean that they are going to “decorporatise” it?

    Comment by Graham Young — December 21, 2004 @ 12:53 pm

  3. Yeah Decorporatize it – i believe the current energex situation meets some of the NCP criteria – returning it to full goverment control will mean more fines from the feds.
    Inconsistent as mr SpringBORG calling for more infastructure investment, while pushing for the state to simultaneously reduce taxes.

    Comment by alphacoward — December 22, 2004 @ 9:37 am

  4. Historically the National Party hasn’t been too bad on power, but they’ve gone off the rails a bit recently. Eastlink was a case in point where the Coalition adopted a policy against a cross-border link basically because some vocal farmers were concerned that the high tension power lines would devalue their farms. We (the Liberals) had to grit our teeth and live with that one.
    In this instance you have Springborg making a nonsensical promise for no particular political advantage. I suspect it is because the Queensland National Party never really went along with the deregulationist push that came from the National Farmer Federation in the 80s.
    People like Ian McFarlane did, with the result that when he wanted to run for parliament he did so for the Liberal Party, and now is the Member for Groom. Talk to Nats in that area and they don’t like him because of his pro-dergulationist stance.
    Another reason Howard would not want an amalgamated party.

    Comment by Graham Young — December 22, 2004 @ 5:53 pm

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