Pauline's postcode lesson for O'Dowd: Will he get message?
OPINION by Adam Wratten
THE modern politician has access to a world of information. Internal polling, focus groups results, media monitor reports and government data are all at their fingertips.
So, why do so many not get the simple messages?
Clearly not because of a lack of information, more than likely they don't know which pieces to act upon.
Case in point... Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd.
At a time when the major parties are hurting in this region, Mr O'Dowd missed a trick on Gracemere's push for a new postcode.
Love or hate her, Pauline Hanson seems to have done more in this space in a few hours than Mr O'Dowd has since the issue surfaced a fair while ago (let's not forget Rockhampton Regional Council has run a very public survey on this matter in recent months and this paper was reporting on a petition more than 18 months ago).
Yesterday, Ms Hanson launched a public offensive against Australia Post, calling for it to change its postcode position. Within hours she was meeting the top brass in Canberra and releasing a statement saying Australia Post would now "conduct a review”.
Although the wording on what would actually be done has been disputed by the Australia Post bureaucracy, by ruffling feathers in the corridors of power she has put this issue on the radar.
Who cares if she hasn't followed proper protocol?
She's an effective operator offering a voice for disullisioned regional Australians when she isn't shamefully marginalising minority groups.
To rework a line from Senator Murray Watt, what our region needs are representatives delivering a voice for CQ in Canberra, rather than politicians being a voice for Canberra in CQ.
Mr O'Dowd, 67, is now in catch-up mode with his office reassuring us today that this issue is important to him. We were told he has been working on it since February and met affected residents six weeks ago.
A representative from Mr O'Dowd's office met with the same officials as Ms Hanson shortly after her yesterday.
They (Australia Post officials) apparently apologised that action had not already happened, citing a big turnover of staff for the delay.
But, why did they meet with Ms Hanson first? Waiting to go through official channels may be one path, but it's not necessarily an avenue that's going to reassure voters that their voice is being heard.
Whatever happens from here, Ms Hanson has positioned herself as a crusading champion for this cause.
It's going to be interesting watching the catch-up game play out.