Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk talks to a worker during a visit to the Downer train building facility. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk talks to a worker during a visit to the Downer train building facility. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

EDITORIAL: Green shoots in riding red wave regardless of side

THEY say in election contests there can only be one winner.

On the Fraser Coast however, luck could well be on the side of many.

It's something to reflect on as a history-making week, both for the state of Queensland and the United States of America, draws to a close.

That along with being reminded our frustrations about election counting are pretty insignificant in comparison to what's going on over there, watching our closest ally become the divided states of America should also serve as a lesson.

For too long differing political views, fuelled by social media echo chambers and brought to a head in campaigns like the one we've just endured, have turned locals, many of whom have known each other professionally or personally for years, into enemies.

So too has the "us and them" mentality where many locals seem to still believe an invisible border exists at Susan River and you are either on team Maryborough or team Hervey Bay.

This week we saw the green shoots of the potential in having, for the first time in a while, MPs in both Maryborough and Hervey Bay on the same political side as not only each other but the party that is in power in Queensland.

For the Labor Party faithful it's cause for celebration.

For everyone else, it should at least be cause to press pause on drowning sorrows and instead drink to the possibilities in a bad situation.

Bruce Saunders, who was dismissed by many, including certain folk in his own party only a few years ago, as a minor player is now seen as essential to the Premier's reach in regional Queensland - earning a mention, along with Maryborough rail contracts in her election night victory speech and in line to serve as an Assistant Minister.

While Annastacia Palaszczuk may have well and truly shaken off the 'Accidental Premier' title, there's little doubt several of her candidates are now accidental MPs whose election is owed, at least in part, to the fact that many voters had bought in to the concept the Premier had kept them safe.

They were voting for her regardless of whose name they had to tick to do so.

With any luck, eagerness on Adrian Tantari's part to prove it was the right choice and on Labor's part to hold onto a seat it's been without for four terms, will result in better funding from Brisbane.

The premier's decision to make Hervey Bay one of her first stops post-election was a good start.

 

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, Hervey Bay’s Labor candidate and presumed winner Adrian Tantari, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour viewing the new bush Chapel at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, Hervey Bay’s Labor candidate and presumed winner Adrian Tantari, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour viewing the new bush Chapel at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.

Yes, both local MPs, once sworn in, must represent their electorates first but when the fate of both cities and their surrounding towns is entwined, unity, working on what can benefit the whole region and a willingness to stand up to their own party where necessary will be key to the Fraser Coast's success in the future.

This four-year trial will require much scrutiny and the Chronicle is committed to playing an essential role in that.

It will call out missteps and continue to advocate for those who make our region what it is, including canegrowers who are now more at risk than ever.

But it will also give credit to MPs where it is due and support the policies and projects which benefit our region regardless of the party they are attached to.

The colour of the first place ribbons at the Queensland Election finish line shouldn't matter at this point.

That race is over.

What happens next will determine whether the people of the Fraser Coast also come out winners.