Anna Bligh announces election
QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has announced Queensland will go to the polls on March 24, 2012.
Ms Bligh made the decision to push the state poll back to March 24 from her original planned date of March 3 on the back of an extension of the flood inquiry. The final deadline for the Commission's report is now March 16.
"The Commission and the Commissioners have my full support in their decision to hold further hearings and in their request for an extension of time," Ms Bligh said said.
"I established this inquiry because I wanted answers about the circumstances of the floods. I said I would leave no stone unturned and I meant it.
As such, local government elections which had been planned for March 31 have now been postponed.
"Local government is entitled to be consulted on this proposed change and I have instructed the Attorney General and Minister for Local Government to do so today," she said.
"But I will make it clear that the deferral of local government elections will be for the shortest reasonable period - most likely to be late April or early May and a final date will be agreed before the end of this month.
"For local government, I understand that this will cause some political inconvenience and I regret that these unusual and unpredictable circumstances have given rise to this decision.
"However, for those who suffered in the floods and are still living with the consequences, there is much more at stake here than mere inconvenience.
"What is at stake here is the truth about the cause of our floods and that matters to its victims. It also goes to the heart of the future safety of our State and its people.
Ms Bligh said she felt voters had the right to know the outcome of the flood inquiry before they went to the polls and that it would be a telling outcome for current LNP leader and former Brisbane mayor Campbell Newman.
"Voters would rightly feel cheated if they voted for someone found to be the subject of adverse findings by the enquiry," Ms Bligh said.
"I think I would be criticised if I took to the polls two or three weeks before the results. People are entitled to the truth."
Ms Bligh said she intended to visit the Governor on Sunday the 19th of February to ask her to dissolve the Parliament and issue the writs for a 24th March election.