Interview transcript ABC AM – Annie Guest – 21st November 2016


 

Macdonald:        Well I think the leadership are doing a credible job, there are some very good Shadow Ministers and they’ll make great Ministers in a future LNP Government but I have to say they don’t have to be very good to be better than the current mob and frankly anything would be better than what we have in Queensland at the moment

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        Well I know George has long had a view about that matter.  I’m one of those that supported the amalgamation. I think it was important for the non-Labor forces to focus their resources against the real enemy which is the Labor Party and the Greens. There’s no real difference in my view between the Liberal and National Parties and hasn’t been for a long period of time. I am a country based Liberal which you may know, I’m one of the few Senators in the Parliament that lives in a small country town well removed from the capital city so I’ve always thought it was a good idea to gather the resources.

 

But of course the Labor Party in Queensland did that super clever action of sneaking in the compulsory preferential voting late one night. They thought that it would help them. It would focus the Greens votes which had been straying a bit from the Labor Party in recent years and so Labor wanted to get them back with a compulsory preferential arrangement.  That was a little while ago and I think they may be regretting it now because with the rise of third parties in the voting atmosphere, I think that it may well favour the LNP.  I can’t imagine Labor would be supporting One Nation at the state election and I can’t imagine One National would be supporting Labor either and providing we come up with a decent set of policies we’ve got a fairly good leadership, we’ve got a great set of Shadow Ministers, I think we can benefit from Labor’s shenanigans in bringing back compulsory preferential voting at state level.

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        I can’t answer that question.  I can only tell you what I think and I do know George has long had a view that the parties were better separate. I’ve long held the view, while being a very strong, proud and long-time Liberal coming from a small country town way up in North Queensland, but I’ve always had a view that our interests were served better when we focused on the common enemy which is Labor and the Green rather than competing with each other.  But with the advent of the rise of the third parties particularly third parties of the right of the political spectrum, I can only see that benefiting the LNP at the next state election whenever it’s held.

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        Well I think it’s more likely to benefit the LNP than any other party.  As I said, I can’t imagine Labor would preference One Nation, I can’t imagine One Nation would preference Labor and because Labor cleverly brought in this compulsory preferential voting, those parties will have to put their preferences one way or the other and I just think the LNP may well be the beneficiary of that clever trick by the Labor Party with compulsory preferential voting

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        George Brandis is a great Attorney General. There weren’t intemperate remarks in relation to the Solicitor General. In fact the evidence at the enquiry show that the Solicitor General was at fault and did some things that no professional lawyer would do and I commended the Solicitor General for doing the right thing in resigning. Brandis comes out of that untouched. I think he has been a great Attorney General, he does a wonderful job in that wider role which involves national security issues as well and of course he is a very bright person and a very good lawyer so I have nothing praise for Senator Brandis.  I can’t understand why the Labor Party continue to try and attack him to try and bring him down when their last effort at it in relation to the Solicitor General ended up with them bringing down effectively the Solicitor General they themselves appointed.  So I mean it is just part of a Labor campaign that I think is going nowhere and nobody takes much notice of.

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        Well look have a look at the opinion polls. I don’t take polls, I think they’re showing that there’s that commentary around but quite frankly I think if the LNP have good leadership, good Shadow Ministers which they have, they have some decent policies and we’re yet to see what policies they’ve got, but I’m sure they’ll be out well before the election, and I think people will gravitate towards the LNP because they’ve had now 3 years of doing nothing under the Palaszczuk Government.  There’s just absolutely nothing happened in Queensland, there’s a lot of opportunities there but the current State Labor Government seems to be incapable of making any decisions or taking any actions.  Of course they’ve got no money so that’s perhaps is the reason why.  But things like the water issues that the Federal Government has put money on the table to get some feasibility studies done, perhaps some opportunities to build dams but of all the States and Territories in Australia, it’s only the Queensland Government that hasn’t jumped upon it and accepted the money and started to do something about it.  And where I’m based in Townsville, we have a water crisis. It’s costing $27,000 a day to pump water because there isn’t sufficient water there. Here’s the Federal Government trying to help out by getting some feasibility studies for better water projects, but the State Labor Government won’t act so in a political sense I think Queenslanders and particularly those in the north would think that by comparison to Labor, the LNP would be a wonderful government, a very exciting government and one that will actually start doing things for the State of Queensland.

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        I haven’t heard any other talks, mind you I’m not close to the powers that be, but it’s not something that I’ve become aware of and I don’t think there’s any truth in it.  I think Queensland’s interests and indeed Australia’s interests are better with a combined non-Labor force with principles of free enterprise, freedom of the individual, working together to get decent governments in both Queensland and Federally.

 

Interviewer:      (Inaudible)

 

Macdonald:        Thanks Annie

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