PM’s call to action for Sunshine State
A TRIUMPHANT Scott Morrison has vowed to keep his promise of ensuring outsiders "keep their hands off Queensland" as he faces demands he use the "mega phone" of prime minister to push for Adani.
The "miracle" worker Prime Minister headed to church yesterday as Coalition strategists were left praying the Government could secure three more seats to form majority Government.
The Coalition, which won 73 seats in Saturday's shock poll, was last night ahead in Bass, Boothby, Chisholm and Wentworth.
A dejected Labor Party retained Bill Shorten as interim leader as factional heavyweights, including Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, Chris Bowen, Richard Marles and Tony Burke began the behind-the-scenes number crunching to help secure the top job.
Mr Shorten has thrown his support and numbers behind Ms Plibersek, his former deputy. Conversations have been held between Ms Plibersek and Queenslander Jim Chalmers running a joint ticket.
It is likely Labor will dump its big-spending, high-taxing policies, and is also likely to tone down its messaging on climate change.
Meantime, the Government was preparing to resume parliament by June to ensure it could pass its signature personal income tax plans.
In an exclusive interview with The Courier-Mail, Mr Morrison acknowledged the LNP's incredible show of force in the state.
The LNP not only held on to all of its 21 seats but gained two from Labor - Herbert and Longman.
Lilley, held by former treasurer Wayne Swan and now contested by Anika Wells, remained on a knife edge last night.
He said there would be time to consider Ministerial positions for Queenslanders.
"But the first thing is to do the right thing by Queenslanders and I said going into the election we needed this hands off Queensland approach, let Queenslanders be Queenslanders, and let them get on with what they do best. And that's my call to action,'' Mr Morrison told The Courier-Mail.
As Mr Morrison prepares to push through his tax cuts and double-down in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, several Queensland Federal parliamentarians believed the state had given the PM a mandate to put the screws on Annastacia Palaszczuk over Adani.
An overwhelming number of booths in coal seats showed voters shunned Labor's climate over coal strategy and backed-in the LNP.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan was a driving force in helping Michelle Landry, Ken O'Dowd and George Christensen hold on to their seats.
"This has be a hi-vis revolution from those who wear loud shirts but speak softly,'' Senator Canavan said.
"Our mining workers are the most visible people in the airport but they have been invisible to the Labor Party.
"Miners may not talk much but they vote and boy have their voted over the weekend.
"We won 81 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote in Clermont. Thank you, Bob Brown (who led the anti-Adani convoy to Central Queensland).
(It's up) from 63 per cent at the past election. The Greens got 13 votes at Clermont."
Ms Plibersek denied Labor suffered heavily in Central Queensland over the Adani issue and blamed Clive Palmer and the Coalition's negative advertising.
I think it's really important to acknowledge the concerns of North and Central Queensland when it comes to jobs and we did have a very strong infrastructure program in northern Queensland, in Central Queensland, that would have delivered more jobs sooner than anything that the Adani mine was proposing,'' she told the ABC.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who faced an onslaught from Greens and independent candidates, paid tribute to Mr Morrison's ability to reach into middle Australia.
"(The Prime Minister) spoke to what he has called the quiet Australian, the silent majority, and he spoke and appealed to the aspirations of every Australian people who want to own their own home, people who want to run a business, people who want to save for retirement, people who want to raise a family,'' Mr Frydenberg said.
Mr Palmer yesterday claimed credit for the Coalition's win.
"Scott Morrison has been returned as Prime Minister and he's only done so because of the 3.5 per cent vote of United Australia Party," Mr Palmer said. "That 3.5 per cent gives you a 7 per cent margin in play and that's been the difference.
"Our Shifty Shorten ads across Australia … I think have been very successful in shifting the Labor vote."
National Labor president Wayne Swan raised Mr Palmer's big-spending campaign as a problem.
"This result also has implications for the future of our democracy. A $60 million spend by a conservative-aligned billionaire in a preference recycling scheme for the Liberal and National Party cannot be allowed to stand. We can't allow our country to become a chequebook democracy."