If you didn’t know Goondiwindi was a LNP heartland, you would after Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, came to Goondiwindi and was swamped by supporters at a Community Cabinet afternoon tea at the Goondiwindi Community Centre.
Perhaps it’s all because he’s huggable?
Local Member and Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg welcomed the Premier to town.
“He’s like 10 Energiser Bunnies tied together,” Mr Springborg said.
Or perhaps it was because he told the more than 300 residents he was “determined” to address their concerns.
Number One on the list was the amount of crime caused by NSW residents of Toomelah and Boggabilla.
“We are determined to end this misery,” he said.
The “merry hell” created by thieves must stop.
He said Police Minister Jack Dempsey would continue discussions with the NSW Government.
Earlier while talking to the Argus he had committed to writing his own letter to the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, not only raising the issue of crime but the social plight of Toomelah itself which many believe is a major cause of the problems faced by Goondiwindi homeowners. However, Premier Newman said that in the end, NSW has to fix it.
“There’s only so much we can do,” he said.
“We (Queensland) have plenty of problems of our own.”
One of which is ensuring communities such as Goondiwindi thrive.
“The wealth of Queensland comes from its regions,” he said.
“We (The Government) are keen to get behind you.
“That’s why we are here.”
He was referring, not only to the Queensland Government, but the visit by the Cabinet – the first in a quarter of a century.
Ministers met with 93 deputations from throughout southern Queensland.
They heard concerns about crime, the Inglewood-Texas Road, that junior soccer players at Redmond Park don’t have access to shade, a canteen or toilets, how Queensland Health doesn’t take into account the number of NSW patients when it comes to Goondiwindi staffing levels, how Police of smaller stations no longer can take driving tests which instead have to be conducted by Transport Department officers who travel out from Warwick or Toowoomba, public service job losses… and the list went on.
A number of these concerns and more will be covered in the Argus over the coming weeks.
We met the Premier Campbell Newman briefly on Sunday.
We raised a number of issues and have passed on many more. Some of these were questions given to us by readers.
We’ll publish those answers as soon as we get them.
(Some of our questions have been printed on Page Four.)
Government insiders have called the welcome by Goondiwindi residents one of the warmest Cabinet has received in years.
It was highlighted by the welcome of Goondiwindi Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu at the meeting opening on Monday.
An emotional Cr Scheu spoke of his pride in the region and the success of its many businesses.
“It impressed many,” we were told.
Minsiters were also impressed by the number of businesses who had welcoming signs in their windows.