Labor has pointed to a ‘secret plan’ as proof that it is ready to govern, after a high-profile attack from a former Labor treasurer. Are they really ready for prime time?
Keith De Lacy, who was Queensland’s treasurer from 1989 to 1996 under former Labor premier Wayne Goss, has raised a red flag about the inexperience of Labor’s potential ministers.
Labor has won 42 seats to LNP’s 39, and looks set to form minority government, even if they can’t claim the magic number of 45 seats needed for outright victory.
But Mr De Lacy believes Labor were not prepared or expecting to win, given the size of the LNP majority, and are not ready to govern.
“I don’t mean that in any negative way, but I think even the Labor Party didn’t expect to win this election and when oppositions are close and are expecting to win they put a lot of work into transition-to-government sort of policies,” Mr De Lacy told 612 ABC Brisbane this morning.
“So the big concern, I think, speaking on behalf of the business community is a period of paralysis where very little gets done while the government works itself out and how to take itself forward.
“The very important game in this country, in a democracy, is being a minister and nobody tells you how to do it.
“I remember, a long time ago now, the best part of 30 years, going into the treasurer’s office, you know, the big mahogany desks and red leather armchairs and just shaking my head and saying ‘what the hell am I doing here?’”
Mr De Lacy said Labor’s inexperienced ministers will need to build strong relationships with their departments.
“There’s a lot of intelligent people there with a lot of experience. There’s a lot of good advice in the department. Make sure you utilise and consider it.
“Don’t surround yourself with ‘save the world teenagers’ and think you’re going to get all the advice from them.”
In response to Mr De Lacy’s criticisms, Fairfax reports a spokesman for Labor said the party was prepared to win the election, and had been secretly working on a hush-hush plan for that very eventuality.
“Labor’s plan was developed by those with extensive experience in administration at the state government level,” the spokesman said.
“The plan includes administrative arrangements giving effect to Annastacia Palaszczuk’s commitment to reduce cabinet from 19 to 14 and reduce assistant ministers from 12 to one assistant minister to the Premier, for northern Queensland.
“The plan was finalised in the weeks leading up to polling day. Its existence was known to only a handful of people.”
Labor stalwart Terry Mackenroth, a former deputy premier and treasurer, is on the committee preparing the party’s transition-to-government plan. He says he has been working alongside Ms Palaszczuk for six months, and has enough experience to get the job done.
“I think that people who say that we don’t have the plans and we won’t be able to operate with business and we won’t be able to do different things, they are the same people who said before last Saturday that Annastacia would never be the Premier,” Mr Mackenroth told The Courier-Mail.
“I think that she’s proven in the time that she’s been the leader that she’s a very resilient person who’s able to work very hard and she did that right through the campaign and was very successful.
“We’ll know in the next week if she will become the Premier. I say to all the people who doubted her, they need now to look and see that I believe she can really do the job and be a good premier and she will get out and she’ll listen and deal with people right throughout the state.”
Labor’s Jackie Trad has insisted the Labor party has a clear plan.
“If Labor forms government, what you will get is maturity, you will get discipline and you will get jobs growth,” the South Brisbane MP told 612 ABC Brisbane.
“We will roll up our sleeves and we will get to work, working, listening, collaborating with everyone, business, unions, the community sector, everyone.”
Do you think Labor are ready to govern? Vote in our poll or have your say in the comments below!
UPDATE: This poll has closed, and it’s not good news for Annastacia — 49 per cent of you don’t think Labor has enough experience to govern. 28 per cent of you said you believed in Annastacia, 19 per cent said only time would tell, and four per cent of you said you’re still trying to figure out how to spell ‘Palaszczuk’.
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