The Labor cause
Malignant mischief makers
In July 2012 the Prime Minister challenged ALP conference delegates to do more to reform that “unique force in Australian politics”, the Australian Labor Party. But electoral defeats in Queensland and the Northern Territory were understood to be portents of what would follow federally. Kevin Rudd’s leadership challenge, the Slipper and Thompson debacles, Health Services Union mismanagement, the carbon and mining taxes and Indigenous intervention proved greater diversions than the Queensland flood inquiry and compensation for the ban on live exports.
Premier Anna Bligh and Chief Minister Paul Henderson were unable to beat the combined effect of their respective opponents, ‘Can Do’ Campbell Newman and Terry Mills. When the electorate overwhelmingly voted in the Liberal National Party in Queensland and the Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory the ranks of the conservative states swelled.