IN LESS than three days, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation could hold the balance of power in the Queensland parliament.
Certainly, if the polls are anywhere near right, One Nation will hold a minimum of 10 seats and even if Labor or the LNP holds a majority, both leaders will be wondering what went wrong.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the LNP’s Tim Nicholls shouldn’t put much thought into that.It’s obvious.
Queenslanders think that the pair of them don’t listen; that they are out of touch; and neither is inspirational enough to rally the masses on rhetoric.
Their failure to listen is the experience of this newspaper too. We have sought to make them face up to the plight of the regions over the past month through our Fair Go For Our Kids campaign.
The facts are our children are leaving school earlier than Brisbane students; with lower qualifications; succeed at lower rates at tertiary education (either at university or through apprenticeships) and consequently have more health issues.
The response from Labor was to try to twist the statistics; to pay lip service to the solutions.
There is no doubt some of the millions of dollars they are splashing around this campaign will land fortuitously in the right place.
Labor’s plan to hire thousands more teachers means some, probably the least skilled, will end up in the regions.
The LNP’s idea to test teachers’ own literacy and numeracy might weed out the duds.
But those moves will not do as much as upskilling classroom leaders to teach across subjects; or allowing specialists to teach via the internet.
It is the same in other areas we highlighted. The response to the numbers failing apprenticeships? Build more stuff, to create more opportunities. But where’s the money to help those failing to stay the distance?
What we have seen on the campaign trail has been bog standard. Shower money (or at least the promise of money) on any half-marginal seat and try to make the voters believe they will see a physical difference.
Build it and they will come.
We have not seen solutions that will make generational change for good.
We share the frustrations of education leaders and regional leaders that there is no co-ordinated plan to close the gaps between the metro and country areas.