QLD Election 2017: What's the plan?

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Election 2017

What's at stake?

On election day, you might see some friendly local GetUp members handing out independent how-to-vote cards. Our how-to-vote cards give voters in key electorates information on how to cast a vote for candidates who want to see a more fair, flourishing and just Australia - and crucially, stop Adani's billion-dollar bailout and stand up for solar power.

The election is on a knife edge: we know it will come down to the wire. That's the perfect moment for everyday Australians to put our issues on the agenda, and ensure everyone knows what's at stake when they walk into the ballot box. Will Queensland vote for a clean energy future, or a polluting coal mine? Will the next Queensland government invest in things the community needs, or hand over a billion bucks to mining company Adani?

To learn more about what's at stake this election, read on.

  • Why are GetUp members getting involved in the QLD election?

    The Queensland election could make or break Adani's billion-dollar bailout.

    Because of the massive people-powered movement to stop Adani, Queensland Labor has finally vowed to veto Adani's $1 billion NAIF loan. In fact, they've promised to use their veto power to scrap the taxpayer-subsidised loan to Adani on their first day of Government if re-elected.

    But, if the LNP takes power, they've said that they'll overturn the veto Queenslanders have fought so hard for. That would leave nothing standing between Adani and a billion-dollar bailout.

    But if we stop the LNP from handing over a billion dollars of public money, we can leave Adani's plans in tatters. The vast majority of Australians are worried about the threat Adani poses to our Reef, groundwater and climate. We want to see that billion dollars go to things the community actually needs, like renewable energy. This is the best chance we've had in years to make our voices matter.

    The election is on a knife edge, we know it will come down to the wire. That's the perfect moment for everyday Australians to put our issues on the agenda, and make sure everyone knows what they're choosing between at the ballot box. Will Queensland vote for a clean energy future, or a dangerous coal mine? Will the next Queensland government invest in solar, or hand a billion bucks to mining company Adani?

    Until very recently, GetUp had no plan to become involved in the Queensland election. Simply put, neither major party was good enough on Adani.

    But when the Queensland Government finally listened to monumental community pressure and vowed to veto the billion dollar Adani loan, we conducted an urgent survey of GetUp members.

    In the survey, we asked for members' feedback on whether and how our movement could work in the Queensland election. Thousands of you answered, and here's what you told us:

    • 93.6% believe that GetUp members should be campaigning against parties that support the billion-dollar bailout for Adani;
    • 91.0% believe GetUp members should campaign against parties who back coal and Adani over renewable energy;
    • 90.4% said stopping Adani's disastrous coal mine was your top priority; and
    • 96.7% support an issues-based Queensland state election strategy, centered around phone-calling parties into key marginal electorates.

    You also provided feedback on what issues mattered most to you and your electorate. All of this was incredibly helpful in mapping out what would be most strategic for our movement to do in the Queensland election.

  • What information will GetUp members hand out on Election Day?

    GetUp's how-to-vote cards will give voters in key electorates information on how to cast a vote for candidates who want to see a more fair, flourishing and just Australia - and crucially, stop the $1 billion for Adani and stand up for solar power.

    These cards are issues-based, independent and underpinned by policy surveys and research into parties' positions on issues like renewable energy, economic fairness, democracy and human rights. The how-to-vote cards feature one or two key issues that resonated most strongly with GetUp members and other voters in that local area, and give people instructions on how they can vote with those issues in mind.

    For example, a local how-to-vote card might show voters how to cast their vote to stop the billion dollar handout for Adani, or how to vote to prioritise renewable energy investment. These two issues have been consistently identified as priority issues by the GetUp movement, and have figured strongly in the conversations that GetUp members have had with voters in the electorate.

    GetUp's how-to-vote cards do not feature every political party, nor do they give a comprehensive review of each candidate's policy positions. Instead, they prioritise the candidates who are strong on stopping Adani's disastrous coal project and investing in renewable energy.

  • Tell me more about the issues on GetUp's How-to-Vote cards?

    To stop Adani's billion-dollar bailout, we need to keep the LNP out:

    • Tim Nicholls has publicly confirmed that he will hand over the billion-dollar bailout for Adani 1
    • We wrote to every other LNP candidate to give them an opportunity to state a different position to Tim Nicholls on the NAIF loan to Adani. None of them did so.

    What about One Nation? One Nation have said that they'll block the billion-dollar loan to Adani, but they have also said that taxpayers should take on all the risk of building the railway to Adani's coal mine, 2 which would mean spending over two billion dollars helping Adani instead! 3

    To keep Queensland's renewable boom going, we need to keep the LNP out.

    Thousands of renewable jobs are at risk if the LNP win:

    • There are now over 7,000 renewable jobs in QLD - this has doubled in just the past four months! 4
    • Almost 6,000 of these jobs have been created by a massive boom in the construction of large-scale solar and wind projects across Queensland. The Solar Council, the peak body representing the solar industry in Australia, says: "the Liberal National Party will turn boom to bust in the Sunshine State...There is a whole lot of investment that will fall by the wayside if we get a change in government." 5
    • Over 1,300 renewable jobs were wiped out under the last LNP government, when Tim Nicholls was Treasurer. 6

    The LNP have no plan to help Queenslanders go solar:

    • Queensland has 300 sunny days a year, which makes rooftop solar a great way to cut power bills and do our bit for clean air and a safe climate
    • But unlike most of the parties and candidates who answered our policy survey, the LNP has no plan to help more households save with rooftop solar
    • And by scrapping Queensland's renewable energy target, the LNP will slam the brakes on the expansion of large-scale solar across the Sunshine State

    [1] 'LNP to block Premier's moves to veto Adani NAIF loan', Brisbane Times, November 3 2017
    [2] Hanson says Adani railway should be built by Australians, not 'foreign investors', AAP, August 3, 2017
    [3]'Federal loan for $2 billion Adani rail line possible: Canavan', ABC, December 5 2016
    [4] Renewable Energy Index, Green Energy Markets, November 2017, http://getup.org.au/rei
    [5] 'Solar Industry launches campaign against LNP in Queensland poll', RenewEconomy, November 17 2017
    [6] 'Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia, 2015-16, ABS, March 17 2017

  • How do we know how-to-vote cards work?

    In the 2015 Queensland state election, the polls showed that Premier Campbell Newman would win by a landslide. But GetUp members were sick of his government selling out our climate and the Great Barrier Reef to big mining interests, so they decided to take action.

    Together, GetUp members are at the polling booths on election day to hand out issues-based how-to-vote cards highlighting the parties with solid or strong policies on the Reef.

    An independent analysis showed that in the last Queensland election GetUp's how-to-vote effort influenced the outcome in 7 out of the 9 marginal seats we targeted, determining who was able to form government in a knife-edge Queensland election.

    We know around 1-in-10 voters won't make a decision about who to vote for until election day. That's enough voters to determine the outcome of almost every electorate in play.

    This election, we can do it again. By handing out our issues-based how-to-vote cards, we can make sure that stopping Adani's awful mine is front and centre of voters' minds on election day.

  • Which electorates is GetUp getting involved in?

    Due to the very short timeframe for the election campaign (just three weeks!), we can't be everywhere this election day. Instead, we have prioritised places where GetUp members can have the most significant combined impact.

    Our first priority is making sure that we have election day efforts in seats that are a tight race. That's where political parties are often paying the most attention, and we want to make sure that MPs and candidates in these seats are hearing the clear message: back a billion bucks for Adani and you'll lose votes on election day. These are also the places where changing the hearts and minds of just a couple of hundred people could change the outcome in that electorate - so these could be the voters who determine whether Adani's billion-dollar handout will go ahead.

    Secondly, we choose electorates with a high number of GetUp members, so that more GetUp members can participate in these election efforts - and we can be sure we'll give ourselves the best chance of having a significant impact on election day.

    Thirdly, we screen parties and candidates to ensure that they score at least 50% or above on the issue featured on the How-to-Vote card for that electorate (such as climate change and energy).

  • Can I volunteer on election day?

    Yes, absolutely!

    On Saturday 25 November, hundreds of friendly GetUp members will hand out hard-hitting, independent how-to-vote cards on important issues — right before voters cast their ballot. One GetUp Booth Volunteer has the power to reach thousands of voters. If we show up in force, we could have a huge impact where just a few hundred votes will make the difference.

    Some members will be asked to volunteer at booths in their own electorate, while many others will be asked to volunteer at strategic booths in neighbouring seats. This approach will ensure there's an even spread of volunteers across all booths and have the greatest possible election impact.

    To sign up to volunteer, fill in in this short Booth Volunteer Form and a volunteer coordinator will be in touch within 48 hours.

Where do the parties stand on the issues?

See below for the results of our policy surveys and GetUp's research of party policy. We have endeavoured to research party policy accurately and to the best of our knowledge -- if you spot any inconsistencies or inaccuracies, let us know at qldelection@getup.org.au.

To date, we have received responses from:

  • Queensland Labor
  • The Queensland Greens
  • Rob Pyne, Independent Member for Cairns
  • Robert Buegge, Independent candidate for Bonney
  • Peter Dowling, Independent candidate for Redlands
  • Bruce Currie, Independent candidate for Gregory
  • Zachary King, Independent candidate for Aspley
  • Sue Mureau, Independent candidate for Everton
  • Anita Diamond, Independent candidate for Maiwar

At the time of writing, the Liberal-National Party, One Nation and Katter's Australian Party have not responded to our survey. We have rated them based on their track records on issues and the research available to us.

To be extra clear about the LNP candidates' position on Adani, on 9 November we reached out to all 92 LNP candidates to ask if their position on Adani's billion-dollar loan varied from their party's position. Only one candidate replied — and it appears his position is in line with the LNP's policy on the loan.

How-to-Vote cards by electorate

Where's my electorate?
Unfortunately, we can't be everywhere this election day. Instead, we have prioritised electorates where GetUp members can have the most significant combined impact. To find out where parties and candidates stand on issues you care about, check out the results of our policy survey.

What's gone into this?

GetUp conducted research and surveys of political parties and candidates on their positions, across over 26 policy areas.

We've combined that with insights from campaign partners, further research, and announcements made over the course of the election campaign.

Any questions? Get in touch! Simply shoot us an email at qldelection@getup.org.au.

Where do the parties stand on stopping Adani's bailout and backing clean energy?

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY* QUEENSLAND LABOR** QUEENSLAND GREENS** PAULINE HANSON'S ONE NATION* KATTER'S AUSTRALIAN PARTY* ROB PYNE Independent Member – Cairns** ROBERT BUEGGE Independent candidate – Bonney** PETER DOWLING Independent candidate – Redlands** BRUCE CURRIE Independent candidate – Gregory** ZACHARY KING Independent candidate – Aspley** ANITA DIAMOND Independent candidate – Maiwar** SUE MUREAU Independent candidate – Everton** RON NIGHTINGGALE Independent candidate – Bonney*
Stop Adani's polluting coal mine X X X X - - - -
Block the billion-dollar handout to Adani X ½ X - -
Rule out any further handouts to Adani X X X - -
Stop Adani robbing our precious groundwater X X - - X - - - -
Commit to repowering Queensland with 100% clean energy by 2030 X X X - - X - - - - - -
Keep Queensland's target of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030 X X - - - - - - - -
Back at least 1400MW of new solar, wind farms and battery storage by 2020 X ½ X - - - - - -
Help more households get rooftop solar X X ½ - - - -
Oppose any new coal-burning power plants in Queensland X X X - -
Create jobs in Northern Queensland by building publicly-owned clean energy infrastructure X X - - - - - - - -
Stronger laws to end deforestation and invest in forest restoration X X X - - - - - -

*GetUp rating, based on research. We did not receive a policy survey response.
**GetUp rating, based on research and policy survey response.
A compilation of the parties' and candidates' policy positions on these and other issues, including detailed footnotes, is available here.

What were the parties and candidates responses to the survey?

GetUp asked all parties and candidates in target seats a range of questions about the issues identified as top priorities by GetUp members – particularly focusing on stopping the Adani coal mine and investing in renewables.

Here's how they responded:

If a party or candidate in a target seat is not listed here, we did not receive a reply to our invitation to participate in the survey. A compilation of all the responses we received to our policy survey can be viewed here.