WEEK 1 WRAP UP
The end of the first week of the Federal Election campaign has seen both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten travelling the country, seeking to frame debate around their core issues.
Whilst closer to home, North Queensland is shaping up to be a key battleground and was a hot-spot of activity during the first week.
The Coalition continued to focus on promoting the significant amount of commitments that were made prior to the election being called and using that momentum to position the Government's focus on nation building infrastructure. Throughout the week, the Coalition promoted:
- The Port Channel Widening
- Haughton Pipeline Duplication Stage 2; and
- The next stage of the Hells Gates Dam Project
Labor also came out of the blocks strongly with a number of major announcements dominating the first week.
- Labor announced a $12M funding commitment towards the construction of the DriveIt Motorsport and Driver Education Precinct. This project has been on the table for 15 years and will help build our visitor economy and driver safety. DriveIt still remains partially funded and we look forward to further commitments across the political divide to seal the deal.
- Shadow Defence Minister, Richard Marles visited North Queensland to announce a Defence Local Procurement Policy to help regional businesses win more Defence work. Supporting this policy will be the appointment of Local Procurement Officers in key regions, beginning with Darwin and Townsville. Local Procurement Officers will map local industry capability, advise on appropriate scheduling of work, and be the contact point for local industry with Defence. Local Advisory Groups will support this policy.
- A $3M Emergency Response and Innovation Centre to be built in Townsville was also announced by Labor if they win the Election. It's proposed the centre will be based at CQUniversity in the city and will improve management of natural disaster an emergencies.
The Galilee Basin continued to dominate the debate at a local and national level with businesses uniting across Queensland to support its opening. As a part of this campaign, Townsville Enterprise put the call out to all local politicians and candidates to formally pledge their support. Members of Parliament and candidates from the LNP, ALP, KAP, UAP, and ON have already pledged support verbally and online. All pledges will be collated and reported back to Townsville Enterprise Members by Friday 26 April to show who stands with us on the Galilee Basin and who doesn’t.
Our initial 'Election Scorecard' published in the Townsville Bulletin on Saturday 20 April has certainly prompted some commentary. Most parties continued to support a number of the priorities in the Townsville Enterprise 2019 Federal Election document which is welcome – although several are yet to commit to a number of priorities and we look forward to updating the Scorecard over three more editions between now and the election.
Since this first Scorecard was published on Saturday, we have received feedback on it from a number of parties and candidates, whose comments we are balancing. It's not an easy task to balance the welcome but different commitments on a number of items, and also the current assessment of any particular candidate’s ability to actually deliver. That’s why some parties received some “green” assessments only for fully funded commitments, some “reds” where there is yet to be commitment, or the mid-ground “amber” where welcome support has been indicated but where the level of funding commitment falls short or the plan and ability to deliver isn’t yet clear.
KAP for example has provided feedback on their "amber" scoring on Saturday's Scorecard, with the KAP candidate for Herbert noting they fully supported all our projects and policies. They noted that "amber" didn't necessarily reflect this, as well as the role minor parties can play in delivering commitments. This feedback is being considered.
We will welcome all indications of support and continue to keep a watchful eye on the need to actually see a plan for results on the ground. Our weekly Scorecard is a tool to inform community discussion and we encourage comments, not just from the parties, but from you in business and the community on how you would score these commitments as we move through to Election Day.
The first week of the Federal Election campaign also saw the United Australia Party announce its candidate for the Seat of Herbert, Greg Dowling, and UAP will be listed in this weekend’s Election Scorecard.