Theodore – Queensland 2024

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  1. The Labor Government both Federally and State have really been emphasising their disaster relief grants and payments following Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the Gold Coast Christmas Storms. I wanted to highlight some of the areas that were worst affected by the Gold Coast Storms and suggest that Labor are likely to benefit from targeting these relief packages to Gold Coast, Scenic Rim and Logan residents. I will not mention Tropical Cyclone Jasper because I do not know first-hand the areas that were most affected by the disaster in the North.

    Starting with the divisions that were most observably impacted by the Gold Coast Christmas storms. The major part of the cell, which some have referred to as “tornado-like” (contested), is reported to have touched down near Jimboomba, roughly around Cedar Vale. This was right on the edge of the division of Logan (Labor margin +13.4%) and Scenic Rim (LNP 11.4%). From there, the storm ripped east, causing extensive damage to the town of Tamborine and then Mount Tamborine including its periphery communities. Power-lines were strewn through this area and power was notably unavailable around Mount Tamborine and its periphery from Christmas, right through to a few days ago (a period of around 10 days).

    From Mount Tambourine, the main cell then descended down through Wongawallan and Maudsland and into more urban communities including Upper Coomera, Oxenford, Helensvale and surrounding Gold Coast & Hinterland communities. Many large trees were uprooted throughout these areas. This damage encompassed the divisions of Theodore (LNP 3.3%), Coomera (LNP 1.1%), Gaven (ALP 7.8%), Bonney (LNP 10.1%) and some of the fringes of Broadwater (LNP 16.6%, Crisafulli’s division) and Mudgeeraba (LNP 10.1%).

    At the State Election, Labor might see increased support in much of the aforementioned divisions. Especially the divisions Theodore and Coomera, which are already both at a close margin. Enough to be considered key-seats and enough for Labor to feasibly pick up the seats. Prior to these storms, it was my assessment that the Labor support in these divisions were anomalously elated following the high-point at the 2020 election and due for correction back towards the LNP. However, this storm and the government’s response introduces a new “x-factor” that’s in play. All this assumes that widespread discontent does not emerge in these communities. Particularly if they begin to feel that there was a lack of action or support following this disaster. Unlikely, considering the stressing of these disaster relief packages. Crisafulli, in close proximity to the disaster area, might attempt to emphasise any discontent in the affected areas.

    Also curious to note the the government highlighting that support for these packages extends to New Zealand citizens. Both Theodore and Coomera are #1 and #2 in the state when it comes to “New Zealand ancestry” – a bit of an emerging voting bloc in the area. Many settled New Zealanders are now citizens and are likely grateful that fellow New Zealand community members are able to access support.

  2. The Labor Government have announced another relief package following the Gold Coast storms. This time in the form of voucher scheme designed to benefit tourism operators and local residents. This entitles South East Queensland residents to vouchers they can use to redeem across various tourism experiences. This includes the two big theme-park complexes situated within Theodore: Dreamworld and Movie World. This special focus on the Gold Coast might keep Labor’s local elated margin up near the highs it experienced in 2020.

    Again, curious to note that this is a support package which will be very-well received in the marginal Gold Coast divisions of Theodore and Coomera. Theodore, as mentioned before, houses Gold Coast’s major theme-parks and many of its residents would be employed in tourism. Coomera is right-next to Theodore (and Dreamworld) and has one of the highest proportions of children and young families in Queensland. That is to say, the constituents of Coomera would be highly represented amongst Gold Coast’s theme-parks’ most regular visitors.

    Since there seems to be a significant focus on the Gold Coast from Labor, particularly its tourism industry, this might also play well in Currumbin. Currumbin is the most marginal Gold Coast division and home to tourism operator: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I’d expect Burleigh, a popular destination for tourists, to also be in play with this emphasised focus on the Gold Coast tourism, but also due to the retirement of incumbent Michael Hart opening up the contest.

  3. The economic recovery package might be a hit with voters and tourism businesses on the Gold Coast but might not help Labor’s electoral fortunes by October, let alone win a marginal LNP seat. Anna Bligh and Labor saw a huge turnaround in poll numbers after the summer floods of 2010-11 but were turfed out a year later. Maybe that was out of the ordinary because of her unpopular privatisation agenda.

    However, there are some examples where an incumbent MP’s vote got a boost following natural disasters. One of them is Janelle Saffin, member for Lismore, NSW. Her primary vote increased by 19% at the 2023 state election whilst the Greens and Nationals suffered double digit primary vote swings. QLD Labor may look to her as a template.

    In the longer term, the tourism industry should seek to boost domestic arrivals and day-trippers and tourists from Brisbane throughout the year to compensate for the missed Christmas-New Year trading period.

  4. Like Coomera, Theodore is one Labor should be winning when they’re headed for landslide wins. I was surprised they didn’t pick this up last time given the very strong result in Gaven – but it seems the local MPs on the GC have a strong local following (other than Ray Stevens).

    Either way, LNP to retain fairly comfortably this time.

  5. Agree PRP
    Also i think Theodore will be easier in the next period of Labor government to win compared to Currumbin/Burleigh as it is away from the Pacific Ocean so has cheaper real estate.

  6. Labor has preselected Afghan-Australian Rita Anwari, a community advocate and multicultural ambassador with Cricket Australia as their candidate for Theodore. Theodore probably is another example of Labor failures to make inroads into the Gold Coast. I’m not suggesting conservative Gold Coast is easy pickings for Labor, it’s not. But Nevertheless it hasn’t been a seat that Labor has been able to get over the hump to make inroads into LNP’s blue urban territory. The seat was previously part of Albert which was more marginal. But the Labor friendly parts of Logan got cut off to form the seat of Macalister.

    Mark Boothman was one of the eight of their LNP MP’s who voted for Voluntary Assisted Dying laws. Probably due to his constituency. It’s not reported much but Gold Coast may be more affluent economically, but like Brisbane its more socially moderate despite LNP’s domination in the coastal region.

    LNP to increase their margin and retain.


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