Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Pluck  of  the  Irish
In Townsville's  historical  litmus test  seat  of  Mundingburra  where  the incumbent LNP Cabinet  minister  David  Crisafulli’s  future  is  said to  be on a “knife edge” due  to the popularity of  his  opponent , right ,  Coralee  O’Rourke , of  the  Australian  Labor  Party , the   media  coverage  has  left  a  lot to  be  desired.  It  shows , like  Darwin,  the   disadvantage  of   having  only  one  newspaper  in  town .

In  yet  another  blinding  flash of  promises  featuring Crisafulli , it was announced that if the LNP  government gets  back, it  will  alter  conditions to enable  the proposed open  pit  Glencore  copper  mine at  Mt Isa , said to  employ   some 250 people from Townsville, 800  in the Isa , to  go ahead  and  operate until  2020.

Fair  enough.  However this  announcement  was  made  just  as  the price for copper  had  crashed on  the  London Metals Exchange. No reporter then  or thereafter   asked  obvious questions , such as  could   the  promise  be  premature  ,  the  operation  delayed , scrapped  because   of  the  crash.  A  similar crash on  the LME in 2008 had dire consequences  for  the  global copper  industry. The  price has  dived to a level where  only  some  mines  can  make  a  slight  profit.

You  expect  reporters, editors  to  be worldly wise , know what is  going on outside  the  local patch , events  which  could or  will  impact here  and  to  question  hand  outs  given  during   a  staged  election  event.

The  writer  of an  editorial in  the Murdoch Townsville Bulletin , obviously not a reader of the group’s  Wall Street Journal, hailed the Mount  Isa  promise , gave Crisafulli a big tick  for  lobbying  for the  go ahead  .  It also ran a photograph of  Crisafulli  with  a daughter on  his lap, saying he does not want to become “ the  election’s most  high profile  scalp.” Surely  Campbell Newman is  the front runner for  that  title.  

It must be said that  the media  coverage  given to Carolee O’Rourke is bland,  especially  as The Bulletin  itself  early on  reported its  Galaxy poll  had    shown she  could  unseat   Crisafulli whose  face now  appears on a gigantic  LNP  poster  in  Townsville,   looking like something at the entrance  to  Wally World  announcing  that  it is  closed to holidaymakers  , much to  the annoyance  of  Chevy Chase and family . Even more surprising is  the fact  that  the uncle and  aunt of  Crisafulli  are helping O'Rourke  call voters .  That's  right, they are helping  the  ALP candidate.  The  Bulletin , somehow, buried   this  story  on  P5 .Surely  this was  a  front page story? Just  imagine  the coverage that  would  be given  to  close relatives  of  Premier Newman  supporting  Kate Jones, ALP candidate  for  Newman's seat  of  Ashgrove.

The  LNP has   poured  vast amounts of  money into the Townsville campaign  trying   to  save  Crisafulli’s  neck. So  who is  this  Coralee  O’Rourke, mother of two teenagers, who has the  Cabinet  minister rattled, his close relatives assisting her  ?   Surely worthy of  an in depth  article ?  Right  now  this  director of a community based early learning  centre at  Aitkenvale  is undoubtedly out door knocking in the torrid  heat. In  fact she has received accolades for her tireless  grassroots  campaigning.
It  is interesting to note that in  this week’s  explosive  ABC  TV 7.30 Report interview   by Leigh Sales of  Queensland crime and corruption  buster  Tony Fitzgerald he mentioned  how  the  seat  of   Mundingburra  had played  a part in  the   defeat of the  honest ALP Premier Wayne Goss and  his government .  So  Mundinburra  is  a seat which  deserved  a  better,  fairer , more questions asked ,  all  round  coverage. 

In the latest ABC  Media  Report there was comment about the media  coverage of  the election in Queensland.  Mention was made about the  event  after the LNP had  taken  another beating at the Stafford byelection  in July  where Campbell Newman made a  mea culpa statement  saying  the government had  taken the lesson onboard  and  would  listen to the people. He was  in a cluster of uncomfortable  Cabinet members , one of them Crisafulli , a former sports reporter , usually up front , in  the back row , head down .