Passenger Rail

Trad potential casualty of Adani debate

Moreton Bay Rail Link - Queensland Government

Queensland transport minister Jackie Trad will lose her seat in the November 25 election, if enough LNP voters rank the Greens ahead of Labor, a new poll has said.

A Galaxy poll conducted for the Courier-Mail this week suggests Greens candidate Amy McMahon could snatch Trad’s South Brisbane seat, particularly if Liberal National Party (LNP) voters make the Greens their second preference on the ticket.

The LNP currently has the Greens last on its ‘How to Vote’ listings in all 93 seats at the election, but a late switch could be the deciding factor for Trad, who currently serves as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s deputy, and her minister for transport, infrastructure and planning.

The poll predicts that after preferences, Trad currently stands to receive just 49% of two-party preferred votes, while McMahon would receive 51%. Trad’s primary vote in the poll is 38%, down four points from the 2015 election, while McMahon and LNP candidate Simon Quinn sit at 29% apiece. LNP leader Tim Nicholls said his party was unlikely to recommend South Brisbane voters place the Greens ahead of Labor. “We’re not interested in those political games,” he said this week. “What we are interested in is delivering real changes for Queenslanders.”

Despite Nicholl’s steadfast position, South Brisbane is a Greener seat than most, and it would not be surprising to see some LNP voters break from the recommendations.

The Galaxy poll highlights Trad’s difficult position: she must toe the party line and not speak out against the Adani project, but also has to find a way to appease the anti-mining views of many in her electorate.

Trad was the rumoured leader of a group of Labor members who reportedly challenged Palaszczuk earlier this year, over a $320 million royalties deal with Adani, which was eventually signed.

She conceded earlier in the election process that her constituents felt “very strongly” about Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine, rail and port project.

Palaszczuk, who last week said she would veto a $900 million Federal loan for the project, despite being supportive of it in the past, denied her party was sending out mixed messages this week. She also expressed confidence in her deputy.

“I have no doubt Jackie is working incredibly hard,” Palaszczuk said. “I have every faith that there will be no problem retaining the seat of South Brisbane.”

Meanwhile, a senior Labor Party strategist reportedly told the AFR the party was doing everything it could for Trad in South Brisbane.

“We can’t really throw many more resources at the seat because everyone is already there on the ground,” the strategist was quoted as saying. “The only thing more we could do is beg constituents to vote for her.”

McMahon has said the Greens have gained votes in the electorate because they had grown sick of traditional politics, with shifting views on Adani being a key component of this trend.

“We always knew this was going to be close and we know we’re going to have to work incredibly hard over the next few weeks,” the Greens candidate said. “People across Queensland and in South Brisbane have lost faith in politics, and are looking for a genuine alternative.”