Backwater one day, powerhouse the next

From today’s Crikey email:

In reflecting on the Labor policy launch last week, I wrote:

Rudd is banking on the fact that there are future-oriented Australians out there in sufficient number who believe that as far as John Howard is concerned, they’re the forgotten people.

Kevin Rudd has now released a new “chapter” in his home town pitch. While the best mates of the Coalition leadership might take some time out of their ongoing love-fest to rubbish Rudd’s aspiration to make Brisbane a financial hub for the Asia-Pacific, all that proves is how out of touch they are with the Sunshine State.

It’s not all battlers, stupid.

In a sharp piece of analysis at the ABC’s Unleashed, former Keating advisor Bill Bowtell looks at the four components of the progressive coalition which has formed behind Kevin Rudd:

The 2007 election will cap Queensland’s transformation from provincial backwater to a powerhouse of Australian politics and economics. The Australian political system will finally catch up with the hundreds of thousands of people who have voted with their feet and made Queensland the youngest and most dynamic growth region of Australia.

To no one’s surprise, bar the Liberal leadership and the national punditariat who rarely venture north of the Tweed, Rudd and Swan are honing in on a vision of the new economy as the provider of high value-added services to the region, to supplement the folksy “boy from Nambour” theme.

It might come as a shock to Howard and Costello, but there are lots of people who can see beyond digging stuff out of the ground and realise that a highly educated workforce is our best bet for a sustainable future.

The Beattie and Bligh governments have known that for a long time – hence the “Smart state” policy suite, which goes far beyond rhetoric. Queensland now has the benefit of articulated education and training policies and institutions which seek to capitalise on our smarts – in key areas like creative industries, biotech and aviation. Queensland led the way with an agenda to ensure that all young people of senior school age are either in education or training, if they’re not in the workplace. And the government has invested innovatively to build on and develop existing knowledge strengths.

It’s a very strong contrast with the “3 Rs” nostalgia and culture wars carping that have characterised the Howardian approach to education, and with largely non-existent industry, innovation and research policy.

Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan have learned their lessons well, and have cleverly covered both modernising and traditional bases in their appeal to voters in their home state. That’s why Labor is looking to pick up a swag of seats in Queensland.

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Posted in education, federal election '07, sociology
7 comments on “Backwater one day, powerhouse the next
  1. hannah's dad says:

    In his speech to the Press Club today,Rudd referred to “BrisVegas” as such.

  2. kimberella says:

    Yeah noticed that!

    However, “Brisvegas” is a bit passe. I like “Brisneyland”. But he has to keep the nerd image going!

  3. boredinHK says:

    The choice of the Howards to live at Kirribilli House offends even enrages some people.
    Ms Tigtog even went as far as to say that the PM living at the Lodge was a “no brainer “.
    But think about this without such slavish devotion to convention and precedent please ,I mean this is a the age of instant communications and 24/7 contact with the entire electronic world so why can’t the PM reside in Nambour ?
    ( I have no idea where the Rudd’s have chosen to live by the way – they might live in Noosa for all I know).
    “To no one’s surprise, bar the Liberal leadership and the national punditariat who rarely venture north of the Tweed, Rudd and Swan are honing in on a vision of the new economy as the provider of high value-added services to the region, to supplement the folksy “boy from Nambour” theme.”
    It would seem to be just and paying repect to Queenlanders for the PM to be able to live among them. Sure at times when Parliament is sitting Canberra is the place but not otherwise.

  4. mbahnisch says:

    ( I have no idea where the Rudd’s have chosen to live by the way – they might live in Noosa for all I know).

    Norman Park.

    As I understand it, both Rudd and Swan have indicated that they’ll be operating out of Brisbane commonwealth offices at least part of the time – both have kids who are still teenagers and I think they want to maintain some semblance of a normal life. I’d expect that Rudd would base himself at the Lodge when in Canberra and Kirribilli would only be used for ceremonial purposes.

    They’ve also indicated they’d like to host major international events (eg summits, conferences, etc) held under the auspices of the federal gov’t in Brissie.

  5. Ambigulous says:

    Good post,

    It’s about bloody time Qld “found it’s place in the sun”.
    😉

  6. Joh says:

    There are two reasons why I oppose the policies of this upstart Kevin Rudd and his so called education revolution:

    Firstly they would be wrong.

    Secondly, they wouldn’t be right.

  7. Gaz says:

    Comment by Joh — November 24, 2007.

    As Tommy Cooper would say “Just like that”

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