KEPPEL POLL: Big swings recorded against election favourites
THE marginal electorate of Keppel was expected to go down to the wire in the coming State Election, but new polling data has revealed an unlikely contender who could capture it on October 31.
After finishing a disappointing third place in Keppel behind Labor and One Nation in 2017, recent OmniPoll research predicts the LNP to secure a narrow win this time around.
The polling research was commissioned by the New Hope Group, an Australian energy company entrenched in a frustrating 13-year-long battle with environmentalists, awaiting final approval from the Queensland Government to proceed the third stage of their New Acland Mine coal mine on the Darling Downs.
Five hundred Keppel voters were surveyed, with surprising swings recorded against the top two place getters in the last election with incumbent Labor candidate Brittany Lauga suffering a 9 per cent swing against her, and One Nation’s Wade Rothery losing a staggering 16 per cent in support.
The LNP’s candidate Adrian de Groot was the favourite to become the electorate’s next member of parliament, thanks to a 15 per cent swing towards him – but it’s early days yet.
Mr de Groot said he was part of an LNP team that could get Queensland working again.
“The LNP is the only party with a plan that will deliver a decade of secure jobs and reduce the cost of living for the people of Queensland,” Mr de Groot said.
“We want to make Queensland the economic powerhouse of Australia, and I will continue to share the details of our plan with the people of Keppel ahead of the October election.”
Mr Rothery was taking the survey result with a grain of salt.
“The real polling results will be delivered by the people of Keppel on the 31st of October, not by some coal mine outside of Toowoomba,” Mr Rothery said.
“There’s no indication of what questions were asked in this private polling, nor do we know how many people were surveyed.
“The feedback I receive from voters when I’m at the markets or door knocking is what drives me, not some easily discredited polling from a private business.”
Ms Lauga said it was her great privilege to work hard every day for the people of Keppel and she would continue doing everything she could to deliver for the community.
“There’s no doubt the election will be very tight – but Queenslanders have a very clear choice at the election,” Ms Lauga said.
“Labor is the only party which has a plan to keep Queenslanders safe while supporting our economy – while the LNP’s Deb Frecklington ignored the expert health advice and called for the borders to be opened 64 times.
“Deb Frecklington and the LNP continue to whinge and moan about anything and everything but they have no plan themselves.
“Labor has a proven track record of employing more doctors, nurses, teachers and police – while the LNP is refusing to reveal who it will sack to pay for $23 billion worth of unfunded election promises.”
Coal jobs a priority for Keppel according to survey
The New Hope Group said its commissioned OmniPoll research showed Keppel’s voters, much like those in other regional Queensland areas, supported coal mining jobs but didn’t trust the Queensland Government to create them.
It said the research revealed 83 per cent of voters in Keppel believed coal jobs were important to the economy, with 74 per cent agreeing that killing coal jobs puts other jobs at risk.
Author of the research, Martin O’Shannessy said the numbers painted a worrying picture for the State Labor Government.
“The research reveals 41 per cent of voters in the Keppel electorate don’t believe the Queensland Government is committed to protecting or creating jobs in regional Queensland,” Mr O’Shannessy said.
“While almost half (46 per cent) believe State Labor would side with the Greens rather than protect their jobs.
“The figures also highlight only seven per cent of respondents in the Keppel electorate indicating climate change should be prioritised ahead of jobs post COVID-19.”
New Hope chief operating officer, Andrew Boyd, said the research reinforced the company’s view that projects like New Acland Stage 3 had strong community support.
He said shovel-ready project would create 187 new jobs within the first six months, 487 new jobs within 18 months and inject $7 billion into the Queensland economy.
The company was frustrated the project was stalled because anti-coal, green activists had tied it up in court and the Queensland Government was unwilling to step in and resolve it.
Ms Lauga asserted that her government was supportive of the resources sector, not only for the royalties but also the jobs it generated, particularly in regional Queensland.
“Under Annastacia Palaszczuk’s watch, $20 billion has been invested in or committed to resources projects creating 7000 jobs,” Ms Lauga said.
“The New Acland Stage 3 project has received significant community interest and has a protracted legal history.
“The government’s position has been consistent since our commitment before the 2017 election: to accept the decision of the courts.
“We will await the outcome of the High Court processes before finalising the remaining approvals for this project.”