Dennis Atkins had an excellent column in the Sunday Mail yesterday analysing the return of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, noting that One Nation voters had:
“…rejected the Turnbull mantra of embracing the future because of anxiety about the cost of living and high unemployment.
In the Townsville seat of Herbert, where One Nation came from nowhere to score more than one in 10 votes, the unemployment rate is 12 per cent.”
I have commented previously on the weak economic conditions in many Queensland regions, particularly in my old home town of Townsville, and have suggested that we need to urgently adopt policy settings (and attitudes) that promote economic development and job creation (see my Jobs Growth Summit post from April). As the State and regional economies in particular continue to suffer the after-effects of the mining downturn and drought, the short-term economic outlook is not encouraging. Certainly, job vacancy estimates released by the ABS last Thursday were disappointing for Queensland (see chart below).
Hence it is unsurprising that Queensland has been the source of several surprises in the federal election. We now wait patiently for the final outcome.