« Back to Publications

North Queensland is just at the sharp end of what’s happening across Australia

In the wake of the 2019 federal election, at which Queensland voters swung to the Coalition and Labor’s standing took a hit, Jason Wilson writes in The Guardian (21.5.19) about the conditions and voter sentiment in central and northern Queensland which underpinned those results.

‘As I write, metropolitan journalists are doubtless making their way to north Queensland, whose voters have been cast as a principal actor in Labor’s defeat.

‘I’m from Townsville, my family still lives there, and I visit as often as I can. I can easily imagine the articles coming our way. Reporters will certainly find people who are less guarded in expressions of racism than white Australians in metropolitan areas. Others will utterly deny global heating, or perhaps talk in dark or conspiracy-minded terms about opponents to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine.

‘This kind of quasi-anthropological trekking to conservative rural areas is depressingly familiar fare in Trump-era America. Calling it fetishism won’t stop it happening.

‘But this prospect has some people offering a pre-emptive defence of Queenslanders. On Twitter, some have insisted that these people are no different to other Australians, sharing similar attitudes and anxieties.

‘It seems to me that both of these perspectives are wrong but in complex ways.

‘There clearly is something quite specific going on in north Queensland. It’s obviously partly related to the mine, which local media obsessively highlighted as the only real issue. Just look at the numbers.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.