Who’ll win the next state election
WHO would have thought a little black-throated finch - you can buy them for $40 on the web - would determine the outcome of the federal election on May 18?
I have no doubt whatsoever that Queenslanders - particularly those north of Noosa - sealed Bill Shorten's fate on May 18.
I also have no doubt their antipathy was fuelled by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's comments that miners should re-skill as she readied herself for a Shorten government and the end of the Adani mine project.
Labor needed a rout in Queensland. They lost two seats. End of story.
The two biggest stories of the year were unquestionably Trad's self-immolation as a political force, triggered by an appalling lack of judgment over a house purchase at Woolloongabba and, secondly, Queensland deciding to proceed with a 2032 Olympics bid.
Trad's imbroglio sparked a Crime and Corruption Commission probe, which censured her behaviour and sparked a public and parliamentary apology.
The rules on pecuniary interest register obligations have now been changed, and the next politician to do what Trad did will finish in jail.
The Olympics are a no-brainer. We are a very good chance of getting the nod, the likely result not known until 2022.
So with the festive season upon us, it's time for my annual gongs as we look back on 2019 and take a look into the crystal ball on what may happen in 2020.
Here are my brickbats and bouquets for 2019, and a few tips for the coming 12 months.
Shocker of the year
As my colleague Steven Wardill put it, Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has had an annus horribilis in 2019, giving her an F in his recent political ratings.
By any measure, Trad has gone from rooster to feather duster. Before the May 18 federal election she was the most powerful person in Queensland. Emboldened by the unshakeable belief that Bill Shorten would be elected Prime Minister, she uttered those ill fated words about miners re-skilling and it was all downhill from there.
Since May 18, she's been engulfed by firstly the Gabba house purchase integrity crisis, then allegations she had a role in the appointment of a principal within her electorate. She was rolled last week by the premier on Queensland's Olympics bid, the first time she's been stared down by Ms Palaszczuk on anything.
Hubris, arrogance and an inability to read the tea leaves has torpedoed a promising political career. She is no hope of winning South Brisbane on October 31, with the LNP preferencing against her. My suspicion is she will try to find a safer Labor seat although she's running out of friends fast within the ALP and I've never met a politician prepared to gift wrap their own safe seat to anyone.
Queensland will emerge as the clear frontrunner to host the 2032 Olympics. Our bid is compelling, and with the Commonwealth-State-local governments all rowing in the same direction, the International Olympic Committee will acknowledge at Tokyo in July next year that Queensland has the credentials to win. The only complication will be the traditional political argy-bargy that must be negotiated. China will do us no favours. But it's ours to lose.
Deb Frecklington will lead the LNP to a narrow election victory later in the year. The Trad factor in the regions is too big a mountain for Labor to climb, despite a feel-good factor attached to a likely Olympics win. You reap what you sow, and the Left faction of the Queensland Labor Party has been a colossal albatross around this government's neck, with underperforming ministers and poor policy and decision-making.
The LNP will shake up the Queensland judiciary. Expect a broom to go through the Labor-dominated judicial ranks. Soft sentencing will be a big focus for new LNP attorney-general David Janetski.
Karl Stefanovic's return to Today will reinstate the Nine flagship breakfast show to the top of the commercial network ratings. Stefanovic remains among the best broadcasters in the country. He's never been happier, and that will show. Aussies will forgive him the sin of leaving his wife for a younger woman. Mind you, his brother Peter Stefanovic and Laura Jayes on Sky News are developing quite a following at breakfast, so there will be plenty of sibling rivalry. Karl's wife Jasmine is expecting a baby in June.
You read it here first in this column last year when I said a young Brisbane swimmer named Ariarne Titmus was going to be a superstar. Well she beat the legendary Katie Ledecky in the 400m at the world championships and is now set for a rematch with the American in Tokyo. She's the real deal and may well emerge as our new Golden Girl.
Titular head Eric "Serge'' Herbert will be arrested and arrested and arrested next year for gluing himself to bridges, roads and train tracks. He will do a TV ad for Tarzan's Grip. The judiciary will continue to slap him on the wrist, until somebody dies in the back of an ambulance because they can't get to a hospital after the CBD is closed down by these idiots.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese will struggle to cut through in Queensland. He says he supports coal but struggles with Adani. While Labor has a member of the Left faction as its leader, they can't win Queensland. The Left faction of the Labor Party have done more harm to the Labor Party than anything in the history of the party. Their ideology is divisive and dangerous. Queenslanders yearn for the days when Labor looked after its traditional base - the workers, not latte-sipping Socialists.
Bird of the year
The black-throated finch. Don't take my word for it. That bastion of Australian journalism, The Guardian, recently voted it bird of the year. Go figure. It cost the Shorten family a spot at The Lodge.
4BC's Alan Jones and Ray Hadley will continue to dominate the AM ratings in Brisbane, at the expense of the ABC, which has lost direction because of its obsession with the climate change hoax.
NSW will continue to dominate State of Origin. Queensland haven't got the cattle. The Cowboys will make the eight. Not so sure about the Broncos and Titans.
Trump is a moral to win in November 2020, with an increased majority. The Yanks who voted for him last time will back up again, whatever they throw at him.
Animal activists, in bed with the ABC, will continue to agitate for the closure of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound industries. This will necessitate even stricter rehoming policies by welfare authorities within racing, which is a good thing. The hypocrisy and deceit deployed by these activists knows no bounds.