Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Bugger  the Subcontinent ,
sing a song of  sell offs .
BRISBANE :  There is no  doubt that the  calling of  the early   Queensland  election will be seen as a  slight  to  India and  its leader.  Premier "Can Do "  Campbell  Newman was  scheduled to  head a trade mission to   India  next  month  to follow up on  the  expensive G20 meeting  of  leaders in  Brisbane , attended by Prime  Minister  Narendra  Modi.

In preparation  for  the  visit of  Mr and Mrs  Newman , the  ceremonial  elephants had  been  washed , their  toenails  varnished ; the  red  carpets were steam  cleaned ; like four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie, a  flock of Myna birds had been trained to sing, Queensland ... Beautiful  one  day...Up for sale the next  ; the Taj  Mahal was  briefed    for a  possible  visit by  the Premier and  wife  so that  they  could be photographed  holding  hands  at the  famous romantic monument. Now  all  this  off.

 It  has to be recalled that soon after he swept into power in 2012 , jubilant  Premier Newman led  an 80 strong team  to India . Now India is  being run by  a  new regime , left  in the lurch by the Queensland LNP government .   While there is no doubt  that the  election has  been called in a bid to try and save the  neck of Premier Newman , there  were other pressing considerations.

One  suspects  the  real reason  why  the  India mission  was cancelled  is  because  it was  realised that a  visit by  Newman  to  that  country  would  throw  immense media  attention   and   possible   doubt  on the   proposed  giant  Galilee  Basin  coal project in  which  the  controversial Indian  resources company, Adani ,  is  a  key  player .   While the project  is being promoted by the Queensland Government  as  a  future bonanza for the state , there is strong  opposition , nationally and internationally , on  many fronts .  The Bank of India  reportedly the only organisation prepared to put money in the venture, other major banks steering clear .   Add to  this the slump in  the price of  coal  and the whole thing could become an outback mirage .
 Another  powerful factor in the decision to  go early must have been concern about  the UNESCO report on the Great Barrier Reef  which  is  expected   next month.  If  it came just before an election  saying  it  is under threat , there  would   be hell  to pay . Don't want  these happening   just  before  an election ... polls will undoubtedly continue on a slide.  So go now, try and catch the  ALP , unionists , firefighters, army of unemployed , angry cane  farmers , stressed pastoralists , bikies, neglected   North Queensland  and  pensioners , the latter group upset  by Canberra  ,  flatfooted , keep  digits  crossed  and  attend  party sing-alongs .