Skip to main content

Worried pixies hunt pots of gold

Resource type: News

The Gold Coast Bulletin |

by Sue Lappeman

TO quote Ernie from Sesame Street: “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong, can you tell me which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?”

Organ donor, charity donor, blood donor, political donor.

Yep, three of those types of people give because they want to help others; the other, well, who knows.

The real shame of the millions and millions of dollars given by private developers and large corporations to political parties revealed this week is that Australia’s most wealthy are relatively stingy when it comes to charity and philanthropy compared to their counterparts in the US and UK.

One of the largest donors to charities and medical and scientific foundations in Australia turns out to be an American, Chuck Feeney, who has given hundreds of millions of dollars over the years and has a close connection to the Gold Coast.

Mr Feeney actually developed the Runaway Bay Super Sports Centre to help local youth and athletics, with any profit made to go to building more sports facilities and the Children in Need charity.

Frankly, the corporate world can do what they want with their money.

I would just prefer they didn’t call themselves `donors’.

Unless they want to toss a bit of cash over to the Salvos, St Vinnies, Lifeline or one of the other very deserving charities which are doing it tough at a time when their services are more in demand then ever.

The so-called donations released this week by the Electoral Commission were for 2007/08 when there was a federal election campaign sucking up every penny.

Queensland’s upcoming election campaign does not seem to be generating the same enthusiasm among the so-called donors.

The usually flush Labor Party is apparently not doing as well as it might seem, particularly as it depends greatly on investments.

Candidates have been told they should plan on funding their own campaigns as there is not that much money to spend.

Which would normally come as good news to the Liberal National Party except they are also waiting hopefully with their little hands out to their main benefactor, Clive Palmer, whining: “Please sir, can we have some more.”

Mr Palmer has been very generous to the tune of $559,000 in the past but has not yet committed anything recently except to offer his helicopter and jet for their use.

I think I warned them in this column a few weeks ago that Mr Palmer has other things on his mind at the moment like getting the Gold Coast United soccer team up and running.

As a political reporter I know which one I think is more important – the soccer team.

He is also setting up a $100 million charity for indigenous communities in the Pilbara. Which might be even more important.

With both parties short of cash, it would explain why so many of their candidates are campaigning the old- fashioned way by doorknocking or setting up stalls.

Sucked in.

So if you are worrying about whether you will have a job at the end of the year, and who isn’t, please take some consolation from the fact that there are sure to be some Queensland politicians who will also be out of work after the election.

I know I do.

The LNP’s MPs appear to be divided into two groups at the moment. There are those who think they can continue to do very little and cruise into government – they are sharpening their knives in gleeful anticipation of ending the careers of public servants who have not kowtowed to them enough in the past.

Then there are those who are increasingly worried that the small target strategy that leader Lawrence Springborg has adopted is not working and realise parroting the same line over and over again, no matter what the question, is making them look ridiculous.

As for Labor, there are some very worried pixies out there as well.

This is evident by the number of phone calls journalists have started to receive from angry MPs every time we write something that might be less than flattering.

Because abusing journalists in the lead-up to an election is always a good move. Not.

Now for two of my favourite press releases of the past week.

`Fish gain football fields of protected living space’, was the heading of one from Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin.

Isn’t that a bit of a waste of money? Why would fish need a football field?

Are they a particularly sporty species?

How do they hold the ball?

`More than 120,000 stadium sized football fields of prime fish breeding and feeding habitats is now protected’, written further down cleared it up.

Then there was the only response from the LNP after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released his $42 billion stimulus package which included a promise to insulate 2.7 million homes.

“If Kevin Rudd is fair dinkum about the environment and local jobs, he’ll stipulate his program uses insulating batts made from Australian wool that’s processed here,” said LNP agriculture spokesman Ray Hopper.

“Wool is a natural top-performer. It’s non-itchy, non-toxic and chemical free. It really is a no-brainer.”

Good to know.

Related Resources

Global Impact: