Don’t risk another political Maverick

By Tom Marland

I read with interest an article in last week’s paper about QUT Adjunct Professor John Michel who described ex Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey as a “political maverick” who could cause an upset at the upcoming Hinkler Federal election.

Michel, an ex Labor MP, stated “Jack Dempsey has all the hallmarks of a political maverick and they resonate with the Australian electorate especially in Queensland. Just look at Bob Katter, Clive Palmer and Pauline Hanson.”

Everyone loves a political maverick who tells it how it is, shoots from the hip and speaks before they think.

It feels nice to hear someone repeat to us our own frustrations and give us that feeling that they are going to do something about it.

But history has proven that many of these so-called Mavericks are good at talking but not so much when it comes to the actual walking.

For instance, Bob Katter has been in politics for nearly half a century, and you could list his actual achievements on the back of a postage stamp.

Clive Palmer has a lot of money and spent over $100 million on the last federal election and didn’t win a seat.

Pauline Hanson has made a career of preying on division and prejudices and campaigns on a false hope of an Australia returning to a bubble that disappeared in the 1950’s.

If you look at Bundaberg’s own political maverick Jack “the Hammer” Dempsey – he has made campaign promises on everything other than a cure for COVID and peace in the Middle East.

He has championed causes from gender equity, climate change, defence, advanced manufacturing, the housing crisis, renewable energy, removing the cashless card and changing the date of Australia day just to name a few.

It is quite a list for a Mayor who achieved very little in his 6 years in office other than increasing everyone’s rates and frustrating the $172.9 million Hinkler deal obtained by the LNP’s Keith Pitt.

While it might be tempting to back a so-called “outsider”, the reality is that we don’t need more political mavericks in our Federal Parliament who are beholden only to their own political interests and will say anything to get elected and do very little once they get there.

Tom Marland is a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland.