After Palaszczuk, Labor’s light on the hill could be Star

The problem with business is that it wants a premier that Labor can’t deliver. Well, it could but the party would have to ditch everything it believes in, writes John McCarthy

Dec 11, 2023, updated Dec 11, 2023
A general view of construction of the Star Casino in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

A general view of construction of the Star Casino in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

It took the Queensland Resources Council just 3.5 hours after Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her resignation to tell any aspiring Premier to ditch the increase in coal royalties. It also managed to stall those inevitable demands until the third paragraph of the media release.

The Government is not likely to listen to the mining industry, which it treats with deep suspicion that is reciprocated, but it could maybe look at Star Entertainment for some sort of guide.

Just a year ago, Star Entertainment was a basket case. Everywhere you looked there was a new crisis. Investors were abandoning it at breakneck speed as Governments in two states hit it with massive fines over its handling of money laundering issues.

There was no guarantee it would survive and its leadership was part of the problem, not the solution.

Sound familiar?

Star is a long way from safe. In fact, it’s still a bit of a mess, but it has charted a course out of the omnishambles it created and there are signs it will survive.

It got rid of its board and senior management, owned up to the disasters and copped the fines.

Next year it will open the Queen’s Wharf development which houses its brand new casino and a new chapter will begin.

But it had the luxury of going outside the company for new leadership. And any new premier is still going to be carrying the baggage of being in a Cabinet that presided over this mess that includes the incredible cost blow-outs at Cross River Rail, a brawl over the Olympic stadium, integrity issues and a myriad of other problems that they have spent the past two or three years promoting and supporting.

It will still be held in some deep suspicion by major parts of the business community and installing the Left’s Steven Miles or Shannon Fentiman is unlikely to ease those concerns.

The resignation of Annastacia Palaszczuk hardly changes the public’s problems with this Government.

It’s very doubtful that teenagers will stop stealing cars in Townsville or the health system will heal itself just because Palaszczuk has grabbed the last parachute and jumped.

However, the opportunity for Labor to start to chart a new course is coming up. It has a half year economic review it delivers each December to update progress on the Budget.

If it’s clever and fast, it could deliver the first sketch of what a new Premier and a new Government can deliver.

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That may mean ditching a lot of what it held dear.

However, the business sector thrives on certainty. Even if they hate the Government in power they want to know that their path to money and profit has not changed.

While they have already started to state their case they won’t want the horses scared.

But that’s where things get difficult.

Somehow, the new leadership will have to convince the public that despite all they now know a new way.

For the LNP it might sound like Christmas has come early, but this new step brings dangers, too.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli has to be able to show that he has the answers to the problems he has been particularly good at exposing. He has to start delivering policies.

Business will be watching.



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