The Inside Word
State Politics Update 2024
While the starter gun won’t be fired for months, state politics in Queensland has kicked-off the year on an election footing.
The Miles Government has a slight spring in its step, enjoying the spike in public support that usually follows a leadership change. The Crisafulli Opposition is doubling down on the discipline displayed in 2023, focusing on unity, candidate selection and consistency of message. The positive way the LNP Shadow Cabinet have been engaging with industry and community may have also influenced the Premier’s instructions to his Cabinet.
Wild weather impacting Queenslanders may have kept political leaders on the hop through January, but behind the scenes campaign machines have had its wheels in motion.
When State Parliament resumes on February 13, ministers will be looking to make early portfolio announcements while they still enjoy the spoils of incumbency. One immediate observation upon taking control, was the tone of engagement from the Premier’s team. Ministers have been tasked with being more transparent about budgeting and project expenses and urged to be more responsive.
However, with more details released the more opportunities there are for the Opposition to take advantage of project cost blowouts and delays. You can be sure to hear how these blowouts will hurt Queenslanders.
Through February, ministers and departments will continue to prepare for the 2024 Budget in June. This is an election year Budget, likely funding a series of key announcements. Now more so than ever, getting in early with your budget submission is key to influencing this process.
The outcomes of the Ipswich West and Inala by-elections on March 16, along with who controls Brisbane City Council by the end of the day, will determine how the Government responds to any swings. Changes in seat margins will be seen by the Miles’ Government as a reflection of voter sentiment towards Miles’ leadership and potentially retaliation against Federal Labor’s changes to Stage 3 tax cuts.
At the end of the day, Miles takes the reins of State Labor at a challenging moment in the electoral cycle and Crisafulli leads an energised State LNP who can smell ministerial leather. And while oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them, the LNP has a long history of robbing itself of victory. Keeping a cap on complacency ought be the focus for the Opposition. Amidst it all, a hung Parliament controlled by the crossbench is not outside the realm of possibility. Brace yourself! It’s set to be a big year!