Queensland can't rebuild with more of the same

Queensland can't rebuild with more of the same

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Tom Marland

Tom Marland

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In this week's The Gauge Tom Marland says failed investment in water security, infrastructure and sustainable industries won't help Queensland rebuild after the pandemic is passed.

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Opinion | The Gauge

For many in regional and rural Queensland - the state election on the 31st of October couldn't come quick enough.

While we often have different points of view with our city cousins there are many of them that have also grown tired of this lethargic Labor government.

Prior to COVID-19, Queensland was in a state of political paralysis with a government lurching from one disaster to the next.

We had the highest unemployment in the country despite sitting on a bounty of natural resources and untapped opportunity, but hand braked by indecision and back door political favours.

State debt was ballooning and for the first time in 161 years the state government failed to deliver a budget - given the perilous state of the economy and the even more perilous state of its management.

We had Paradise Dam, a critical piece of state and nation building infrastructure, being dismantled whilst most of the state was still in drought.

And then COVID-19 struck and for a short time, there was something more important to worry about than pithy state politics.

Queensland joined the national cabinet and together with our federal government and other state governments we pulled together as a nation to fight a common foe.

But as the days wore on, the Premier and her government fell back into their same old tired and failed habits of focusing more on themselves than the issues they were elected to deal with.

They locked the borders on the illusion of keeping us safe but in reality, turned a global pandemic into a political foot stool to keep themselves on the front pages to keep our attention away from the economy and society collapsing around us.

They pointed to the failures in Victoria as a basis for suspending common sense and common decency for those who rely on access to our state.

We had boarding school children separated from their parents, we had sick people locked out of life saving medical care, we had families not able to say goodbye to their own loved ones.

This is not the Queensland way.

We help our mates in crisis not slam the door in their face retreating to a parochial self-interested backwater.

On the 31st of October we face one of the most important elections in our State's history.

At a time of great uncertainly one thing is certain - more of the same will not help us rebuild from COVID-19 nor from the last five years of failed investment in water security, infrastructure, and sustainable industries.

If the "miracle" Federal election of May 2019 teaches us anything, it is that regional Queensland - when united - is a force to be reckoned with.

While we may not always agree on everything - we can all agree that another four years of this woeful Labor government could be the death knell for regional Queensland and the industries that support us all.

It is important now, more than ever, that regional and rural Queensland come together.

No matter what colour shirt you wear - green, blue, red or pink - they are all the same work shirts and it's time to roll the sleeves up, put the shoulder to the wheel and combine our efforts to protect our communities, our livelihoods and our future.

With one voice, we can be heard.

Divided and we will fail.

So when we all vote on the 31st of October, let's put our petty differences to one side and let's focus on our shared common goal - returning this state back to good government and getting our state back on track.

- Tom Marland is an agribusiness lawyer based in Bundaberg, Queensland. He is also the author of the blog, Food for Thought, Thought for Food.

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The story Queensland can't rebuild with more of the same first appeared on Farm Online.

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