Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

The Dam Simple Road to Getting Re-Elected

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

The Dam Simple Road to Getting Re-Elected

Article excerpt

Byline: WITH Michael Burlace

IF ANYONE ever bothered to map the fortunes of various local members or for that matter the fortunes of the ruling party over many decades, they would discover a very simple pattern. It goes something like this.

Falling votes for that member in the key electorate of Mugwump, "heartland of our party".

Promise of big project (dam, road, airport, mine or fast train connecting Mugwump and the capital).

Calculation of the number of jobs (usually rounded up to the nearest 50,000) of which 97.3% are guaranteed to go to locals or to people who work locally (even though they actually fly in and out from Perth every week).

Total the amount of money it will inject into the local economy - about umpty billion dollars, give or take a few hundred million. We're still trying to find the departmental calculator to add it all up, it's such a huge boost.

Numerous releases of snippets of information.

Team of surveyors spotted in the area wearing appropriate logos.

The election. Local member returned. Member thanks the electorate for its loyalty. Now it's time to get on with the business of keeping Mugwump vital.

Deafening silence.

Budget time comes then passes with the project not funded.

Minor local outcry.

Surveyors reappear. Local member photographed with them and a large sheet of paper (an 11-year-old's school project - but at least it looked like a map until said kid spilt the beans on social media).

Some random celebrity is caught somewhere with clothes on. Shock. She normally has wardrobe malfunctions. Is she well? Does she have a baby bump? Media attention diverted. Public diverted.

Personal reality sets in for voters. Work. Raising kids. Finding out how to get around the latest restrictions on downloading Game of Thrones or similar without paying for it. …

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