My Queensland ferret, who calls himself an ALP offsider, refers to them as the Victorian AFL diaspora. These Southern immigrants follow the alien form of football but live in that Rugby League dominated State. Many are economic migrants who followed the mining and other booms North over the last forty years or so. Many others are retirees, in their place in the sun.
The famous Gold Coast, centred on Surfers Paradise, is their epicentre. These heathens helped to make the Brisbane Lions AFL premiers 3 years in a row. They are now waiting to have their own team in an upgraded stadium at Carrara.
So what’s the connection with the State election on Saturday? Well, the government support helping the stadium with $60 million but the leader of the Opposition, Lawrence Springborg, is strongly opposed. You don’t find many Aussie Rules fans in his traditional rural and regional heartland.
… Liberal National Party (LNP) Leader Lawrence Springborg conceding he may have lost some votes on the Gold Coast.It could be his political health that's threatened if the election is as close as the polls are predicting. Government will be won or lost in the South East. The recent elections in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory showed how important a handful of votes can be.
Mr Springborg says he supports having an AFL team on the Gold Coast, but says upgrading a stadium is not as important as other issues.
Health more important than football stadium, Springborg says
Crikey looked at this issue a week ago (in Free Mode) but it’s had little coverage since:
As Mudgeeraba Labor MP Di Reilly, sitting on a margin of just 2.7%, remarks with some understatement in today's Gold Coast Bulletin: "this is a gift that goes on giving".The oil spill on the other holiday/retirement coast has been a bit of a distractor. Gave new life to the old cliché about a week in politics.
Carrara stadium funding political football raining goals for ALP
Meanwhile an interesting and related sideshow has been taking place. After dining with Barack Obama at Teddy Kennedy’s birthday party, Queensland’s wealthiest man has been in the news:
CLIVE Palmer has poured his first dollars into the LNP in a late boost to the Opposition's campaign to bring down the Bligh Government.Yesterday Palmer’s son Michael was ejected from a public place:
In the same week that he dined with US President Barack Obama, Mr Palmer made his first donation to the LNP since it was formed from the merger of the Nationals and Liberals last August.
Tycoon Clive Palmer donates to LNP in campaign push
Liberal National Party candidate Michael Palmer was today asked to leave Brisbane's Queen Street Mall after he was spotted handing out election flyers.Apparently the nineteen year old was distributing leaflets against the government funding of the stadium. The safe Labor seat he’s contesting is not on the Gold Coast.
Teen candidate learns the hard way
With Queensland’s use of optional preferential voting, the administrators of the Australian Football League may have a tense wait while the votes are counted.
P.S. Apologies to the architects of the amalgamated party. I keep reversing the name. Too many years of the Country Liberal Party in the NT. The ghost of Joh Bjelke Petersen still lingers. I preferred the simpler days when his Country Party was running everything up North. We knew who the enemy were then.