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Borders not the only issue as Corporate Queensland gets ready to campaign

Business

A big cross-section of corporate Queensland is readying to throw their weight around in the October 31 Queensland election.

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And much of it is pitted against the Palaszczuk Government but could also be nullified with one major political decision _ re-opening Queensland’s borders.

But there are big problems elsewhere. How both sides intend to fund the recovery will be key and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told an estimates hearing last week that there would not be any “household taxes”. That raises questions about where it will get its funding.

The Property Council has not been on the friendly list of the Palaszczuk Government and it now has an election website with a countdown clock.  It has 19 different political priorities “focused on policies that harness the capacity of the private sector to lift the trajectory of the economic recovery”.

“Clearly bold changes to the Queensland Government policy playbook will be needed to achieve this,” its executive director Chris Mountford said.

Unions will be an important force and a major contributor to campaign and the Government gave a pitch to teachers on the weekend with its recruitment campaign for thousands of new teachers over the next five years. It could also get solid support from the 220,000-plus people in the public service who will be constantly reminded of how the Newman LNP Government dealt with them.

The powerful CFMEU, however, is sitting on the fence after it quit the Labor’s Left faction over issues related to the Cross River Rail development. The union usually provides significant funding and manpower during the campaign.

Tourism and retail are a powerful voice and among Queensland’s biggest employers and suffering catastrophic consequences because of the border restrictions. Flight Centre, Qantas, Hello World and Virgin have come together to force change. They won’t be satisfied by half measures on the border issue.

The Australian Medical Association has been critical of some of the Government’s policies but also came to its aid on the border issue. It has been surveying members and could be influential.

AMA Queensland vice president Dr Bav Manoharan said only 3 per cent of doctors surveyed believed the State Government was making sound medical decisions regarding patient care.

The survey found that 38 per cent of doctors had little or no faith in the public health system. A similar number also believed the State Government made some good decisions but there were some policies that didn’t make medical sense.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland released its election priorities this morning and said it wanted “a real investment in business”, according to CCIQ’s Amanda Rohan.

“Immediate priorities involve reducing regulatory complexities and duplication of processes. As well as targeted funding and grants for sustainable practices to help reduce the increasing burden of operating costs carried by business,” she said.

“Importantly, there needs to be future policies that lay the foundation of long-term change, incentivising diversification and expansion opportunities. While developing digital adaption and capabilities.

The Queensland Resources Council wants a 10-year freeze on royalties, something the LNP has already promised. The Palaszczuk Government’s policy was for a three-year freeze as long as they contributed $70 million to its regional infrastructure fund.

Coal producer New Hope has already bought in. A long time conservative company, it has been pushing the Government to approve its Acland mine expansion, a project that has been a political football for more than a decade. It has been critical of the Government’s decision to withhold approval until the end of a High Court case brought by activists.

Adani has kept the peace with the Palaszczuk Government since it received its mining licence following the fallout in central Queensland in last year’s federal election.

Suncorp has signalled that it won’t be quiet about issues affecting insurance, infrastructure and sustainability, but has also added that its biggest target is the Federal Government.

Agforce has started a social media campaign under “I stand with regional Queensland”. General President Georgie Somerset said some people in regional areas “live in conditions more reminiscent of some third-world countries”.

She cited limited water, lack of connectivity, poor roads and other infrastructure, shortages of, or in some cases no, teachers, police and doctors.

 

 

 

 

 

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