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Newman government pushed too hard, too fast: Jeff Seeney


Amy Remeikis

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney. Photo: Glenn Hunt

"Too much, too quick."

Facing a poll showing support for the LNP had dropped behind Labor for the first time since the party's historic landslide win in 2012, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney admitted that the government may have pushed its massive change agenda too hard, too fast.

It is the strongest reaction the government has had to polls, which have been showing successive drops in support for the past few quarters, to date.

"I think in retrospect, it is arguable that our change agenda was too much, too quick," he said.

"Not for us it wasn't. I'd been 16 years in opposition, 16 years in parliament, 14 years in opposition, I was, like so many of my colleagues, very keen to embark on the change agenda we believed the people of Queensland wanted.

"We now face the challenge of catching up, in terms of explaining to the people of Queensland, what we did and why we did it and the benefits to them."

Mr Seeney said the government did not regret its policies, but conceded it had not done enough to explain what it was doing and why.

The 'bikie laws', which are about to face a High Court challenge, changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, political donation rules, and electoral laws have all elicited a negative reaction from the public, including from Tony Fitzgerald, who is held in the highest esteem in Queensland for his role in exposing corruption within the Joh Bjelke-Petersen government.

Mr Seeney reiterated he would be "happy to meet" with Mr Fitzgerald and discuss his concerns.

But he said the public should be more concerned by the actions of Clive Palmer, who has emerged as a growing political force in Queensland while simultaneously acting as the albatross around his former party's neck.

A former Liberal National Party supporter who established the Palmer United Party, Mr Palmer is suing Premier Campbell Newman and Mr Seeney for defamation.

"I am happy to go into an election campaign against Clive Palmer and the political party that he bought," Mr Seeney said.

"And I am happy to make the case on every single day that Clive Palmer would take Queensland back to the 1970s and the sorts of things that Tony Fitzgerald has been warning about.

"No question about that, because that is what Clive Palmer tried to do."

Mr Seeney, who took the press conference as the Premier is on holidays, ruled out both a Cabinet reshuffle before the end of the year and a leadership challenge.

He said the premier had "done the job that the people of Queensland elected him to do" and that he would  "support Campbell Newman forever and a day".

"I think Campbell Newman has been a great premier, he has been a great leader, he's certainly inspired all of us in the Cabinet to pursue the changes that the people of Queensland voted for at the last election," he said.

"... There is no question that the premier will be the premier for as long as he likes and I hope it is for a long time and he will have my support for a long time, because I understand the extent of the job that he has done.

"To come into a situation where a government was in complete meltdown ... and to turn that around in two years and two months to the extent that we have, is an achievement that few people will ever understand and a lot of people will benefit from."

144 comments so far

  • Oh please. I have eyes, ears, and an IQ. I know exactly what you've done. Which is why I'm going to do everything I can to vote you out.

    Date and time
    June 30, 2014, 1:50PM
    • I notice Seeney has gone back to the criticise Palmer at every opportunity speeches his overlord has demanded. The dyed in the wool conservatives will never vote Labor, but a hell of a lot of them will vote for Palmer, as will the swinging voters who have not yet gotten over Labor's lies in 2009.

      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:08PM
    • and where were the check and balances along the way the non-existent committee system simply ticked off on all the 'really good' ideas due to the government stacking the committees with stooges who were afraid to speak up. no sign of restraint for electoral changes, dredging, bikie laws, doctors contracts, cmc nobbling, boot camps, plannign laws,donation laws, ruining national parks....and all the rest it has all been ticked off as mighty fine policy.

      If there was a proper house of review or independent scrutiny of laws, this mob might not be in the trouble it is in. but with unfettered power they have dug themselves into a whole that they can't get out of.

      Maybe Mr Carmody can save them when they are brought before the courts in years to come.

      Craig B
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:54PM
    • It is interesting that even Seeney's attempt to justify the poor results implies that Queenslanders don't really understand what the government is doing. It is this type of paternalistic attitude that has helped alienate people. Just admit you were wrong, ditch Newman and start again.

      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 4:03PM
    • The real issue is that they were elected on a range of promises, yet embarked on sweeping reforms (some good, some bad) that they failed to disclose during the election campaign.
      Had the public known what to expect the LNP would probably still have won the election, just with a smaller majority but we would not be complaining so vehemently about it had they been up front.
      That is the same reason Labor got booted out, because of the likes of Bligh (& Gillard) making major policy changes so soon after being elected.
      The LNP were obviously too long in opposition to have the necessary experience to be ready to govern.

      Date and time
      July 01, 2014, 10:11AM
  • Please Mr Seeney , explain to Queenslanders like myself what the benefits are of all these changes. Higher electricity prices, tolls, public transport costs, asset sales, job cuts, I just don't feel any benefit! Obviously I need more education.

    Date and time
    June 30, 2014, 1:55PM
    • But you won't be getting any more educated because the LNP have decided that the people of QLD didn't want it...

      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:04PM
    • There was never meant to be any benefit for the likes of you and I and the 99% of the population that we are part of. That's why the corruption watchdog is being muzzled, so that the exchange of riches can't be questioned.
      Seeney is the most dangerous person in Queensland politics. Basically the 21st century Minister for Everything.

      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:12PM
    • Done too much too quickly????
      Some people have yet to catch up with the requirement to wear seatbelts while in a car.

      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:59PM
    • Rebecca: spot on! Slimy Seeny is doing his best to sound like a premier, since it's almost certain that Newman will be gone. In reality, it's well known that he is the puppetmaster who manipulates Newman.

      Secrets and lies
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 4:57PM

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