By JR on Sunday, April 29, 2012
The Brisbane municipality is huge so control of it is the biggest municipal prize in Australia. Its budget is comparable to Tasmania's
Queensland Labor’s "thugs and villains" should fall on their sword following the ALP’s drubbing in Brisbane City Council elections yesterday, retiring councillor David Hinchliffe says.
The long-serving Labor figure last night warned the ALP had become the "personal fiefdom of a few egomaniacs" and renewed calls for the party’s state secretary, Anthony Chisholm, to resign.
Labor was reduced to six - possibly seven - wards in Brisbane City Council’s 26 wards in last night's emphatic win by the LNP, with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk also returned with a higher share of the vote than LNP predecessor Campbell Newman achieved in 2008.
It means twice in five weeks Labor in Queensland has been routed by a resurgent Liberal National Party, given the comprehensive state election loss on March 24.
Mr Hinchliffe called for elder Labor statesman Wayne Goss, Jim Soorley and Peter Beattie to play a senior role in re-shaping the Labor party at a state conference to be held "as soon as possible".
Mr Hinchliffe, who has served as a councillor since 1988 and was deputy mayor between 2004 and 2008, said he had been threatened over the phone last night after making earlier comments to brisbanetimes.com.au. "I have already had them on the phone to me tonight," he said last night. "They will be loading up the guns to shoot the messenger."
Mr Hinchliffe believed the party administration needed to stand down. "The executive of the party that has been responsible for the two disastrous campaigns - and the third of those campaigns will be on its way as soon as the federal election is called - those people should tender their resignations and get out of the way," he said.
Mr Hinchliffe described Saturday’s Brisbane City Council loss as "a tsunami on top of a wipe-out".
Mr Hinchliffe said he felt entitled to have his say because he had been in office for a quarter of a century and in the party for one-third of its history. "And that is what I am doing, as vocally and as loudly as I possibly can," he said. "This is not the time to sit idly by and wait for some mythical pendulum to swing back. "