WHEN are people going to stop thinking that a change in council or state government is going to provide some kind of miracle answer for the Gold Coast’s troubles?
If our ongoing readership survey is any guide, only 26% of goldcoast.com.au readers consider themselves to be on the right-hand side of politics, and yet all I hear here are continual calls for the sacking of both Ron Clarke’s mob and Anna Bligh’s team.
(Please do take a few minutes to take the survey — it would help us a lot. Ta.)
And then, lo, the sun will come out from behind a cloud and there will be more police, more development, less waste, a deeper Broadwater, better public transport, less crime, and an Oceanway everybody will love.
Expecting money and/or resources from a state government for this city in the current political climate, short AND long-term, is a pipe dream.
Why? Because neither side of politics sees the point.
Of the 10 Gold Coast area state seats, six are held by LNP members.
Of the four ALP members, only Margaret Keech’s seat of Albert could be considered ‘safe’. She won the seat polling 49.98% of the vote in 2009, 11% ahead of her nearest rival.
Of the six LNP members, only one — Alex Douglas’ seat of Gaven — could be considered ‘at risk’. Douglas won by just 2% in 2009.
The winning margins of the other five LNP members range from 4.3% (Michael Crandon in Coomera) through to a whopping 32% by John-Paul Langbroek in Surfers Paradise.
The Gold Coast is blue-ribband conservative virtually from top to bottom.
It’s been that way for a long time because this is where developers came to spend their money, and where they will come to spend their money again.
It doesn’t take a planet-sized brain to acknowledge that business people — particularly developers — are always going to lean towards the party that favours the top end of town.
So here’s the Gold Coast’s problem.
The conservative side of politics doesn’t need to spend money on the city in order to win the majority of seats here. They’ve already got at least five seats in the bag, with maybe another 3 or 4 potential wins. They just have to turn up.
The left side of politics won’t spend the money here because they don’t believe it will do them any good at the ballot box.
In other words, they don’t think they can buy enough votes to gain any more seats on the Gold Coast.
It won’t stop them promising, or even spending money on us between now and the election, but it won’t be in the amounts or areas that we need it.
The council elections are another matter.
Never has a council needed replacing more than the one we’ve been stuck with for the last eight years.
But even if it’s a whole new team of bright-eyed bushy-tailed councillors with a new mayor, things won’t change until the bureaucracy is dealt with.
There is something inherently wrong with the way this Council spends money, distributes money, employs people and deals with the public and potential investors and developers.
That doesn’t come from the councillors themselves.
Until someone has the balls — either at the council or state government level — to put a broom through the bureaucracy’s methods and personnel, nothing will change.
So vote away, gentle readers, vote away. Change is going to have to come from the bottom up, because there is no magic bullet from above.
What else is on my mind this week:
- Why are the Australian cricket team wearing sports bras? Yes, I know it’s just the design of the shirt. But why? Is it an absorbent patch? Are cricketers particularly sweaty between the shoulderblades? Will this shirt make them capable of not flailing around outside off-stump like a flag in the breeze? Because nothing else seems to.
- Stephen Smith will be the next leader of the Australian Labor Party. You heard it here, oh, fifth or sixth, I expect.