January 17, 2015 – 4:03PM
As the temperature climbed towards 35 degrees, stifling humidity caused Mr Newman to reach for his handkerchief on a number of occasions to wipe his forehead as he fronted the media for his daily press conference. Photo: Renee Melides
Premier Campbell Newman was feeling the heat in more ways than one in his Ashgrove electorate on Saturday morning.
As the temperature climbed towards 35 degrees, stifling humidity caused Mr Newman to reach for his handkerchief on a number of occasions to wipe his forehead as he fronted the media for his daily press conference.
But it seems the latest polls also had him a little hot under his Valley Cricket Club shirt collar.
A Galaxy poll commissioned by News Corp showed that Queensland could well be on track for a Labor victory, with double-digit swings tipped in some LNP seats in Brisbane and the south-east corner and a virtual electoral wipeout in the state’s north.
Mr Newman would not be drawn on why voters in the north appeared to be abandoning his government and even went as far as to concede its unpopularity in some quarters.
“You might not like us but you have got to say we are doing the right thing for Queensland with our strong plan for jobs,” he said.
Mr Newman described Labor’s unveiling of its economic plan on Friday as a “watershed moment” in the campaign, repeatedly echoing the comments of treasurer Tim Nicholls – that the fiscal strategy leaves a $1.3 billion budget black hole.
He said should Saturday’s numbers be reflected at polling booths on January 31, Queenslanders would be left with a government of “chaos and uncertainty”.
“We could see [Opposition Leader] Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Labor Party with independents and minor parties creating chaos in Queensland,” he said.
“That’s exactly what we could get, Annastacia Palaszczuk could be the next premier of Queensland and there is no plan, just a $1.3 billion black hole and chaos and uncertainty for Queensland.”
With polls also tipping the potential for a hung parliament, Mr Newman again reiterated his preference for an LNP opposition over dealing with minor parties and independents to form government.
“We were elected to clean up Labor’s mess. Annastacia Palaszczuk was there, Kate Jones was there, Curtis Pitt was there,” he said.
“We have got a whole host of Labor identities coming back.
“I say to Queensland today, the gang that got us into the mess is coming back and they are trying to actually pretend that they have a plan.
“They don’t have a plan, they have got a $1.3 billion black hole and they will take us into chaos and uncertainty.”
After a week on the hustings in regional Queensland, Mr Newman was back campaigning in Ashgrove on the day his Labor rival Kate Jones was due to launch her own campaign, accompanied by federal deputy leader Tanya Plibersek.
While the polling results in Ashgrove indicated more support for the Premier against Ms Jones than in previous surveys, he insisted his focus would remain on the entire state.
“It is a close race in every electorate and the stakes are high and I will be working everywhere to actually push the message that there is only one choice in this election campaign: that is the Newman LNP team,” he said.
It seems perhaps it’s not just the voting public Mr Newman is losing favour with.
Playing with his goddaughter Alice Myers, the daughter of his chief of staff Ben Myers, before Saturday’s announcement, he asked the toddler: “Can Campbell have a cuddle?”
“Noooo,” came the little girl’s emphatic response.
Source : The Brisbane Times