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Voters' Verdict: Our readers give their final views on campaign

Decision 2020

InQueensland has asked politically non-aligned voters from some key seats to share their thoughts about the election campaign. We’ll follow their changing views until Election Day on October 31.

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Merv Hastings
Age: 66

Lives: Maryborough
Electorate: Maryborough

What has made this election so different this time for the elderly populace of Maryborough has been the absence of the Murdoch press.

No Peta Credlins or Andrew Bolts to proselytise with their columns of hateful opinions or portents of doom.

The big movers to the opinions of this elderly demographic will be those that appeal to their “rusted-on” biases: Family employment on the left and business prosperity on the right.

The Labor Party’s return to train manufacturing in Maryborough is a big plus for job opportunities and business confidence.

However, the lack of a detailed plan for the sugar industry now that a mill closure seems imminent hangs over the heads of both major parties.

Billboards declaring Pauline’s visceral fortitude (“I have the guts to say what you’re thinking”) and Clive’s message of hate (“Give Labor the boot”) may remain at roadside as monuments to wishful thinking of the minor parties.

Helen Hobbs
Age: 42
Consulting CFO
Electorate: Mundingburra

The final week of the election campaign has been polling time. Most results have shown marginal differences with the overall theme that it’s too close to call.

I often wonder who actually gets polled because never in my 20 years of voting have I ever been asked for my opinion.

Commentators believe that Labor will win on the back of the border closure decision. Palaszczuk has been tugging at Queenslanders’ heartstrings, reminding us how she has protected us.

It is such a windfall gain for the Labor Party to have an issue that is so emotive and front and centre of voters’ minds. This coupled with their typical short, sharp, stampy ads to discredit the LNP is shaping up to be an easy campaign to manage.

The LNP have hardly slammed the Labor Party at all and have focussed purely on their campaign promises. Apparently in the world of electioneering this is not the right approach.

It’s disappointing that people have become so easy to manipulate throughout these campaigns.

Megan Woodward
Age: 36
Lives: Sunshine Coast
Electorate: Ninderry

I am utterly pleased to be able to say the election is this weekend.

With the rolling coverage of rhetoric, petty back and forth over deals (or supposed lack of), and a major focus on north Queensland for all the wrong reasons, it’s difficult not to still harbour the same feelings of disappointment I had at the beginning of the election campaign.

There have been significant amounts of money coughed up to various necessary projects and ideas from both parties – but all delivered with the personality of a lettuce leaf and the urgency of a child asked to hand over the last lolly in the lolly bag.

I’m at the point now that I think the best we can hope for is a firm, majority government – regardless which team takes home the silverware on election day.

Steve Lather
Age: 66
Electorate: Redlands

I don’t think either side has been a standout or waved a flag around which voters could rally.  I think voters will cast a vote on the basis of the least-worst, rather than who is best.

Both sides have promised a post-COVID-19 financial recovery without showing us how they will do it. I don’t see either leader winning over swinging voters. Why don’t we have free-to-air leaders’ debates so we can see them stack-up against each other?

In Redlands we had a  one-off debate between the LNP and ALP contenders. The sitting ALP member was very nervous and touchy as if “worried about something”.

Is the election really a referendum on frustration and fatigue with COVID-19 restrictions?

I think it has been a fairly ordinary campaign in what are extraordinary times.  No standouts for me. Let’s see the real voters’ verdict on Saturday.

Robert Prestipino
Age: 59
Regional Development Advisor
Lives: Toowoomba
Electorate: Condamine

I pre-polled last week. I’m converted to pre-polling and I am never again going to waste any of my precious weekend time to vote for politicians. Can’t wait to do it online.

So, my prediction. The last four years of Labor have been underwhelming. A pretty low bar has been set. Unfortunately, the last four years of the LNP have been just as underwhelming and it looks like they’ll be struggling to get over that low bar.

The vote is likely to reflect the reality of little comparative choice. A hung parliament would be a true representation of the malaise. Maybe a hung parliament would shake things up enough to get both sides to work smarter for Queensland.

Now that ScoMo has politically neutralised the “back to surplus” mantra with a trillion-dollar intergenerational debt, driven by an unusual conservative mantra that spending is good, just maybe the focus will be ensuring our taxes are well invested for a future where our kids have secure jobs.

Maybe parliament (State and Federal) will be filled with considered and intelligent COVID-recovery debates beyond three-word slogans. Or maybe I’m just dreaming!

Verity Baker

Age: 18 (first-time voter)
Lives: Annerley
Electorate: Miller

In the past week, a lot of the news coverage I’ve seen surrounding the election has felt as though it’s straight from a TV show.

There were the pathetic scare tactics from Clive Palmer, spamming Queenslanders with unsolicited text messages regarding Labor’s (non-existent) introduction of a death tax and the awkward arrival of a Labor campaign bus during Deb Frecklington’s press conference on Tuesday.

It has been refreshing to see the local support of Amy MacMahon in my area, with numerous neighbourhoods filled with Greens signs and an abundance of Greens promotion through door knocking.

I think there is a good chance of overthrowing the Labor rule that has been around our area for decades.

Proof that the people aren’t all too excited over another campaign from the Labor party to just keep everything the same.

Kathryn Knoll

Age: 20
Full-time Hospitality worker
Lives: South Brisbane
Electorate: Maiwar

The election is now only a few days away, and some of my friends are only just hearing about it. I don’t think the disinterest in politics for young people stems from ignorance and laziness, but rather disbelief in our politicians and the political structures.

There is, especially now, a lot of scepticism and cynicism surrounding politics and young people simply don’t have the time, effort, or motivation to be so involved.

It certainly doesn’t look like the ALP or the LNP has made much of an effort to incentivise young voters over the last few weeks, so I am interested to see how this will translate in electorates densely populated with young voters.

I don’t think the major parties know what young people want to see from their MPs, so I’m hoping the state government elected will make more of an effort.

Dr Sue Masel
Age: 50
Rural general practitioner
Electorate: Southern Downs 

With just a few days left it is just a little clearer to me what the policy differences are between the major parties.

Deb Frecklington has spent a lot of time in North Queensland talking about crime, ice taskforces, curfews and fining parents of wandering teenagers.

Cameron Dick tells us the state will be taking out a big loan to pay for Labor’s promises, but that’s OK because everyone is doing that. I think many of us can relate to this!

Clive Palmer has spent big on big yellow ads to tell us that Labor might give us a death tax.

In my areas of health and rural, I’m hearing plans for regional hospitals from both sides, which is great. I’d like to hear more though.

We need more renal dialysis units in rural and regional Queensland and the need as outlined by the Rural Doctors’ Association of Queensland and others will not be fully met by either party’s promises.

It’s time to vote. Of course, whichever party wins, the work of lobbying for better healthcare in the bush will continue!

Gabby Magnus
Age: 50
Cafe owner and manager
Electorate: Enoggera

I still haven’t decided who I’m voting for this year, I’m a little disappointed in the lack of policies from the LNP.

I liked the announcement from the ALP about their stances on free pads and tampons in 120 schools as a part of Share the Dignity. Also, the announcement for free TAFE for under 25s, I think both these policies are great ideas.

Assisted dying is very important to me and my beliefs and it’s about time it got on the agenda to be passed, so that was nice to see.

I would love to see what the two parties are going to do for people out of work who are over 35 and for women’s issues, there hasn’t been enough announced about these policies for me to really make a concrete decision.

The media isn’t covering these topics enough. I feel like this has been turned into a COVID election.

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