By TCCI CEO Michael Bailey
The Scott Morrison-led Liberal National Coalition has been returned to form Government and lead the nation.
To quote Prime Minister Morrison: “I have always believed in miracles.”
I’m not sure this result was down to miraculous intervention. I am extremely sure that a lot of the result can be levelled at the relentless energy of the Prime Minister.
He was everywhere across Australia, including on the day of actual polling, in Tasmania again.
And Tasmania delivered for the Government with the electorates of Bass and Braddon changing hands.
The TCCI’s policy push – “Make it affordable to employ people in regional Australia” – got national coverage.
The ACCI and Queensland Chamber also worked very hard in that State’s marginal electorates; their Small Business is a Big Deal campaign really cut through.
Bass has only been won by a sitting member when now State Labor member Michelle O’Byrne held the seat in 1998-2004.
You have to go back to Warwick Smith (1984-93) and Lance Barnard (1954-75) to see when the people of Bass enjoyed long-term representation.
What is also clear is that we cannot trust the opinion polls anymore.
Right up until Saturday night, when the results started streaming in, the polls were pointing to a Labor victory.
In fact, SportsBet paid on a Labor win in the week of the election.
Listening to post-election analysis on Sunday, it emerged that Labor’s own polling showed that they were in trouble in Queensland.
And it was in Queensland where the Liberal National Coalition cleaned up.
We often talk about the disparities between states in Australia and how people in Victoria think differently to people in Queensland for example.
What is a constant is that people don’t like political parties telling them what they should do. In Queensland, the Adani coal mine is a huge issue … as many people see it being an important issue for the whole country, depending on which side of the coal-fired power debate you sit.
And that’s what happened in Queensland, where the electorate rejected absolutely the Labor campaign.
In simplistic terms, the Liberal National Coalition said to Australia: the economy is going well, trust us.
Labor had a campaign of change, which was exploited on issues such as new taxes and franking credits.
The TCCI argued strongly for a Government which understands and supports small and medium-sized business, the backbone of the Tasmanian economy.
We will be watching carefully that all the funding promises are delivered for Tasmania, particularly for Bass and Braddon.
We wish the new Government well, so too our newly-elected members, Gavin Pearce (Braddon) and Bridget Archer (Bass).
Congratulation to the returned members in Julie Collins (Franklin), Brian Mitchell (Lyons) and Andrew Wilkie (Clark).
What Tasmania and Australia now has is Prime Minister Scott Morrison elected in his own right and with his own mandate.