Queensland Premier denies March 28 election

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Despite fuelling speculation of a March 28 election, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has indicated that she will serve a full term. The Courier-Mail reported that the premier was moving to "tie off issues that could hurt Labor's prospects" in the election.

However, Anthony Chisholm, Australian Labor Party state secretary, has indicated that it does not mean an early election would be called.

"I've got no idea on timing - the Premier has indicated she intends on going full term," he said.

The government move to set up a lobbyist register, a 1998 election promise, and to reined-in judicial entitlements that involved magistrate Di Fingleton.

An inquiry has also been set up to address continuing concerns at Bundaberg Base Hospital. The inquiry was announce by health minister Stephen Robertson a day after he said that the issue was dated.

The quick actions to quell these issues encouraged fresh conjecture from the opposition Liberal National Party that the election would be held next month, possibly on the 28th. This would be legal as the Queensland Electoral Act (1992) requires the election campaign to last between 26 and 56 days.

Early election or not, several minor parties have already nominated candidates for a number of electorates. Notably, The Greens will run environmental lawyer Larissa Waters in Mt Coo-tha against treasurer Andrew Fraser, the Socialist Alliance will run Sam Watson in the premiers South Brisbane electorate and Daylight Saving for South East Queensland will run candidates in South East Queensland electorates only.

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