Right on cue:
“Former prime minister John Howard has lent his star power to the Queensland election campaign, but was not on the campaign trail with LNP party leader Tim Nicholls. Mr Howard met voters in the Brisbane seat of Mt Ommaney with sitting MP Tarnya Smith, saying Mr Nicholls was too far away.
That was despite Mr Nicholls visiting a fruit market in the Brisbane suburb of Rocklea earlier in the day — less than 15km away. Mr Howard laughed it was too hard to campaign with Mr Nicholls.
“He’s 1,000km away,” Mr Howard said. “If I’m asked back I’ll come and if he happens to be here in town. I’ll walk down the street with him. I’ll promise you.”
Mr Nicholls also visited Charleville in western Queensland, promising $25 million for cluster fencing to protect agricultural land from pests. The funding forms part of the LNP’s agriculture policy, released on Friday.
Mr Howard praised Mr Nicholls’ approach to the campaign.
“You might think I’m slightly biased because I’m a Liberal,” he said. “But he has got off to a very positive start in the campaign. He sounds very upbeat but he’s not taking anything for granted.”
The former PM also criticised Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her position on the Adani mine in Central Queensland, claiming the Premier was sending mixed messages. “The first requirement of effective leadership in politics … is to know what you believe in and where you stand,” he said.
“In one part of the state she’s for it, in another she’s sort of against it and another part of the state right against it. That is unimpressive, irrespective of where your politics are.”
Yeh, whatever. Guess that six figure public pension does little to wash away the Relevance Deprivation Syndrome.
We all know the real reason Howard is here – the backlash from firearm owners and the backlash against the Nationals. It’s exactly the same reason the LNP wheeled Howard and Tim Fischer out recently at the Cootamundra and Murray by-elections, where the Nationals suffered huge swings against them despite retaining seats.
Nicholls’ feral pest initiative is nothing but hollow words, and has done little to mention his party throwing Queensland farmers under the bus by voting for the new NFA and doing nothing to oppose Cat H licences for farmers being revoked by QPOL WLB.
We’re sure the 1998 federal election also remains deep in the memory of the QLD LNP, where the Nationals were wiped out in Queensland in response to the National Firearms Agreement and Queensland was held to ransom by Howard to pass it when he withheld federal funding.
Give it a rest, John.