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Queensland politics: What to expect during 2017

Felicity Caldwell reports in the Brisbane Times (18.1.17) on the events likely to dominate Queensland politics in the coming year, including the role that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation may come to play.

‘We are only a few weeks into 2017 and it is already shaping up to be a blockbuster in Queensland politics, featuring all the drama of an election, legislation likely to divide and a growing crossbench.

‘And of course – One Nation will never be far from mind in #qldpol in 2017.

‘You can expect bipartisanship from politicians on one issue, as they are set to spend a lot of time in regional Queensland to shore up credentials in the bush.

‘… Katter’s Australian Party MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth will also be determined to see movement on rural issues, including the Farm Business Debt Mediation bill and the Fair Milk Price Logos bill.’

2017 will test whether Turnbull can rise above times that do not suit him

Michelle Grattan writes in The Conversation (26.1.17) on how this year is shaping up in federal politics, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull still under pressure to impose his own agenda on a Coalition government struggling with internal divisions and facing several policy challenges.

‘For Malcolm Turnbull the new political year brings the prospect of strong headwinds that will make it even harder for his government to take firm and effective steps and secure voters’ respect.

‘With the uncertainties the Trump presidency presents for Australia, the volatile mood in the Liberal Party, the challenges of many domestic issues and a dyspeptic electorate, 2017 will indeed be a most exciting time to be prime minister. It will be the excitement of multiple risks.

‘… To adapt a decades-old phrase of John Howard, the times simply do not suit Turnbull.

‘Despite it not being a federal election year, this is a hazardous one for Turnbull. He could face pressure on his leadership if the government is looking a loser as 2018 looms.’

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