First item on agenda for Crisafulli Government: Make sure there is a second Crisafulli Government

A Crisafulli Government by mid-October  is looking more likely than ever – but there remains uncertainty about the likely makeup of the Cabinet, writes Greg Hallam

May 28, 2024, updated May 29, 2024
Opposition leader David Crisafulli speaks at Queensland Parliament in Brisbane, Wednesday, August 31, 2022. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Opposition leader David Crisafulli speaks at Queensland Parliament in Brisbane, Wednesday, August 31, 2022. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

With all the polls pointing to a change of State Government in October it’s worth reflecting on the likely first Crisafulli Cabinet and what agendas they will pursue.

The current LNP Shadow Cabinet has a good number of former Newman Ministers and members with extensive local government management experience .

My lived experience with many of these players over the last four years, is that they are doggedly determined not to repeat the mistakes of the Newman Government and, above all else, secure a second term.

I reckon they have learned their lessons. For David Crisafulli it was life-changing, not only to lose government, but his seat .

Based on my observations they will be centrist and steady as she goes, focussed on securing long term governance through gradual reform. More mercantilist or managerialist, than given to crash-bang reform.

They have been remarkably disciplined over this term of the parliament, consistently on message and with few if any party room ructions, despite some recent external meddling.

By and large they are a sober, collegiate, workman like crew. They function more as a group than followers or support acts of a free wheeling leader.

Shadow Ministers have been given a deal of latitude and I expect that to be the case in government.

You can expect key ministers to be Tim Nicholls, Deb Frecklington, David Janetski, Jarrod Bleije, Amanda Camm,Tony Perret and John-Paul Langbroek – a mixture of experience and ability and city , the regions and the bush .

The Member for Glasshouse Andrew Powell is the perfect candidate for Speaker – distinguished and an inherently decent man respected by both sides of the house.

Some surprise candidates for Cabinet are the yet to be elected – Amanda Stoker (Oodgeroo), Sean Dillon (Gregory) and Clare Stewart (Noosa).

Stoker, the former Senator, is very ambitious and sometimes abrasive, so it will be interesting to see if she is inside or outside the Cabinet room.

I understand there will be attempts to increase the number of women in Cabinet and introduce a splash of youth – Sam O’Connor and or Sean Dillon .

As with LNP and Coalition Governments of the past, Cabinet spots will have to be found for regional representatives to satisfy the National Party constituency.

Moreover, with a likely increase in One Nation and Katter seats in the regions, Premier Crisafulli will need to protect his flanks.

To his credit David Crisafulli does not owe any particular faction of the party. He was chosen by the party room for one reason (ie he is a relatively fresh face with electoral appeal).

As to their known policy agenda, the LNP’s published 48-page election document is big on rhetoric and community hot button issues, rather than detailed policy or big picture views for Queensland.

In reality, it’s a long string of to-do jobs if they win office. Of course, reducing ambulance ramping, removing judges’ discretion on youth incarceration, more police and teachers , and reducing taxes all feature .

Importantly, they have not yet been dragged by Labor into the political quicksand on the Olympics, asset sales, public service numbers, mining royalties, tree clearing, koalas, political donations and integrity and accountability issues.

They have adroitly kept the spotlight on the Miles Government’s dreadful record on law and order, especially youth crime, housing, the Olympics and health-related issues.

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The document entitled “The Right Priorities for Queensland’s Future “ has five themes – making our communities safer; Easier access to health services; Saving you from paying for Labor’s failures; Securing our housing foundations; and Working hard for Queenslanders.

While these are largely platitudes I managed to count some 50 plus concrete actionable commitments in the document. They don’t sit easily together and read more like a first 100 days list.

But it does cover off on the hot button issues and gives the appearance of action and urgency , without greatly limiting their policy options if they form government.

The Crisafulli Shadow Cabinet have matched many of Premier Miles’ election promises to date, most particularly the 75% emissions reduction by 2035 target, as well as the huge energy rebates.

My belief is they will continue to do that when they believe it’s a political necessity .

Miles continues to be bold in his policy announcements, endeavouring to differentiate himself from his opponent and create political wedges where possible – he certainly won’t die wondering .

It will be interesting to see if he can draw Crisafulli out.

There are still five months until the election. The community and the media will demand to see more of the LNP’s vision and policy.

My abiding sense is they will be tactically astute, but ultimately do whatever it takes to get elected and deal with the consequences when in office, such is the chagrin of being one-term wonders last decade .

As it currently stands they haven’t been drawn out on their policy agenda and have plenty of wiggle room in Office.

If the LNP wins the October State election, expect a Commission of Inquiry day dot into the state’s spending and financial future, and it is at that point their policy agenda will become much clearer .


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