Australian state of Queensland will go to the polls on March 21

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The regions of Queensland, Australia.

The Premier of the Australian state of Queensland has announced that the state will have its election on Saturday, March 21. In an address on YouTube, Anna Bligh of the Australian Labor Party said that she called the election due to the state of the economy and to stabilise the government.

"It's time for Queensland to settle this election. It's time to settle the speculation. So that government, business and the community can get on with the task at hand and not be distracted and destabilised by looming elections," Ms Bligh said in the statement.

Ms Bligh has recently denied that she would call an early election.

"I have always said that I want my government to run the full term and I have not changed my view on this lightly," she said.

"After 11 years in office, Ms Bligh only cares about one job: her own," said Lawrence Springborg head of the Liberal National Party (LNP) and the Leader of the Opposition. "Queensland deserves better. Over the next 27 days, the LNP will build on our vision for the Queensland we all deserve."

Anna Bligh in 2007.
Image: David Jackmanson.

The Opposition need to pick up at least twenty seats from the government to overcome the significant Labor majority and a number of independents.

"It is a sad legacy of economic management and mismanagement of the Labor Government that after 11 years of the rivers of gold, our state is broke," Mr Springborg said. "It's a little bit like lighting a fire and then running around and wanting credit for putting it out."

A March 21 election gives candidates twenty six day to campaign. This is just within the legal requirements. The Queensland Electoral Act (1992) requires the election campaign to last between 26 and 56 days.

The Queensland Greens nominated an environmental lawyer to run against treasurer Andrew Fraser.

"We can tackle climate change and create long-term jobs, but Labor can't see that because they are blinded by the interests of their big donors - the urban development and coal industries," says Larrisa Waters, the Greens candidate for Mt-Cootha.

"The Greens want to give the community and the environment a voice back in State Parliament."

"The current stance taken by both major parties, in relation to Daylight Saving in Queensland, is outdated, out of touch and inflexible. South East Queenslanders are frustrated that neither major party is currently prepared to explore options on the issue of Daylight Saving", DS4SEQ party leader Jason Furze told Wikinews on January 30. DS4SEQ is a single-issue party, focused on the debate on daylight saving time.

Indigenous activist Sam Watson will be contesting the South Brisbane electorate which is currently held by the premier. He will represent the Socialist Alliance. Watson campaigned heavly for indigenous rights since the 1970s and was a community spokesperson following the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004.