Gympie MP David Gibson.
Gympie MP David Gibson.

Bligh dodges poll 'responsibility'

EITHER way she wants to look at it, Anna Bligh is a dud as state Premier and a failure as ALP national president – and that is according to the Labor Party, it was claimed in state Parliament this week.

Gympie MP David Gibson said Ms Bligh had been blamed for Labor’s federal election crash by both the defeated Bennelong MP Maxine McKew and Labor leader Julie Gillard.

Ms Bligh denied the accusation, saying Mr Gibson’s Liberal National Party had little to be proud of in the election result and appeared to change its tune after campaign claims that she had “no role in the campaign”.

In what may be seen as an important assurance to the people of the Mary Valley, Ms Bligh included in her reply a claim that the Traveston Crossing dam, while still enshrined in state legislation, was no longer on the cards, despite the continuing construction of the controversial Northern Interconnector Pipeline.

The pipeline has a capacity which many say does not make sense unless the dam is built.

Depending on interpretations, her claim may be questioned or confirmed by her government’s announcement this week of the new Mary Basin Draft Resource Operations Plan, which emphasises that future plans to protect water users and the environment will not involve any release of the government’s 150,000 Megalitre “strategic reserve” of water for South East Queensland.

The “strategic reserve” was a concept specifically developed for the dam.

The Queensland Premier did not appear to answer the question in state Parliament this week, when asked about her alleged responsibility for the predicament of federal Labor after the recent election.

The question came from Gympie MP David Gibson who said: “Maxine McKew blames the federal election loss on the Labor Party’s failed campaign, for which the Premier is the national president.

“Julie Gillard, however, blames dud state governments, and the Premier leads one.

“Does the Premier accept responsibility for the loss as the ALP national president or as a dud state Labor Premier?”

Ms Bligh responded: “I have rarely seen so much boasting with so little to be proud of from those opposite.

“It is pretty extraordinary that for every week of the campaign those opposite raised the view that, as federal president, I had no role in the campaign and now they are saying that I ran it.

“If I were the Member for Gympie, I would be a lot more worried about the comments from the Shadow Treasurer (Tim Nicholls)” who had called for the Traveston Crossing dam to be “reassessed”.

“He seems to have forgotten that it was reassessed last year and does not exist and is not in the program...”

Speaking in a news release yesterday, Mr Gibson described Ms Bligh’s response as showing “a common trait with Labor, arrogance and a refusal to take any responsibility.

“With the recent federal election result of a 9.5 per cent swing against Labor resulting in the loss of eight seats in the Sunshine State it’s hard to see how Anna Bligh cannot take some responsibility,” he said.

Gympie Times

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