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The Forum > Article Comments > Queensland, the Smart State > Comments

Queensland, the Smart State : Comments

By Scott Prasser, published 10/7/2008

The Smart State, ten years on and what have we got? Was it good politics or good policy?

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I make what I consider to be a reasonable statement - that the basis of a 'smart' state/country must be that the the standard of education in the schools is high.
On that score Queensland fails abjectly. The levels of competancy in reading and writing are low, the standard of Mathematics to the end of Year 10 is remarkably weak, participation levels in numerical science and rigorous mathematics in years 11/12 are low and much much lower than they used to be even though the standards have been lowered to take into account the feeble standards to Year 10 exit, assessment systems are now dependent on 'assignments' whose provenance is unknown, no student knows how much a piece of work is worth, the performance of boys is weak and getting weaker because the teaching/assessment systems are sexually discriminatory, the children of lower socio economic groups are doing poorly for the same reason etc etc. The fact is that the subject syllabi and the assessment systems make all the problems above inevitable. The Queensland Studies Authority produces all those syllabi, they are hence responsible for the problems.
To call Queensland the "Smart State' is false advertising, it is simply a lie. If any private company made such a palpably false claim they would be taken to court and charged. Only when the State government sacks the QSA holus bolus can there be any hope for improvement. In the meantime we should have car number plates saying 'Queensland, State of Vacuity'.
The author of the article is right. There must be a full parliamentary inquiry into the situation, especially the disgrace that is school education. The worst thing of all is that nobody in the parliament gives a damn about what is happening to our children.
Posted by eyejaw, Thursday, 10 July 2008 2:18:45 PM
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what's smart about incompetence ?
Poor old Queensland hasn't recovered from the Keating-Goss era & the other corruption ignoring goose hasn't helped and neither does the present Premier.
Posted by individual, Friday, 11 July 2008 6:50:26 AM
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Massive problems with water in southeast Queensland….but still an unfettered high rate of population growth. No effort whatsoever has been put into slowing this growth rate. Apparently not even a thought of it from anyone in the state government (only from a couple of local govt mayors – Bob Abbott on the Sunshine Coast and Ron Clarke on the Gold Coast).

Massive increases in congestion. Various other infrastructure that is falling way behind the ever-increasing demand….and unfettered very high pop growth!

A constant rate of conversion from natural environments to humanised environments all up the coast…. and no sign whatsoever of population growth slowing one iota.

Strategic plans being developed for coastal development that are supposed to strike the right balance between all things human and natural values, but which have to take as a given that there will be very large population increases within the timeframe of those plans….and even then no cap, but rather, continued growth.

An increased emphasis on sustainability, but absolutely no sign that real sustainability will even be attempted. How can it possibly be with an endless rapid increase in the number of consumers and polluters?

“Increased spending on research and development, education and special research centres…”

But is this effort really directed towards protecting the future of existing Queensland residents or is it primarily geared towards facilitating ever-more people, thus threatening the future wellbeing of us all?

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb!
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 11 July 2008 8:32:06 AM
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Thanks Scott Prasser, for another helpful and informative article (although I am not wildly keen on establishing 'competitive frameworks' when the whole world is crying out for more cooperation, rather than competition, in order to fix the problems we all face). Scott's article puts into perspective the only remotely 'smart' thing about the supposedly 'Smart State', that is, its support for scientific research including biotechnology.

Other than that, the ineptitude and poor judgement on display from the State's political leaders is beyond belief. I doubt if even Joh Bjelke-Petersen could misgovern this state as badly if he were around today.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh infamously justified further population growth in a State running out of water with congested streets, overwhelmed government services and failing infrastructure as necessary in order to keep people in the construction sector employed. (See Age article "Qld govt rejects population cap" of 22 April 2007 at Is the Queensland Premier that clueless as to not have recognised the logical contradiction in what she said? If we import more people to keep existing residents of Queensland employed, how are those people to be employed?

How are we supposed to fight global warming if we keep increasing our coal exports? see ("Qld coal exports to double to 370m tonnes by 2030" in The Courier Mail of Thursday reported that coal exports were to triple.

Anyhow, I have put some of my own thoughts about the "smart state" in these articles:

"Bligh Government tramples on community rights to impose over-development" at

"Redland City to pay with increased water charges for population growth" at

"How to end the Queensland economy's addiction to population growth?" at

"The Australian laments outcome of Queensland local government elections" at


When I moved back to Queensland in 2004, my instinct led me to select a car registration plate with the old "Sushine State" motto rater than the newer "Smart State" motto and I am glad I did.
Posted by daggett, Saturday, 12 July 2008 8:48:44 PM
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Queensland certainly is NOT the "Smart State" more like the "Dumb-assed State"!

With poor educational standards being the norm, let us list some the "acheivements" of this arrogant and recalcitrent bunch of political failures who seem to stagger from one self-created crisis to another:

Gradual reduction of funding to the State`s Local Government Councils, resulting in the debacle of the "Forced Shire Amalgamation" process, thus forcing the resulting surviving Shires
to financially fund themselves ( at the expense of their Ratepayers )
and with a very convenient boost from the Unimproved Valuation Increases, applied at the time that the "Forced Amalgamations" became law!......A double/treble whammy for a lot of disillusioned Queenslanders!
This part of the excercise simply to force Local Councils to raise their own funding for ongoing infrastructure and day to day activities, administered and implemented at local level by a bunch of grassroots folk generally inexperienced and ill-equipped to take on such a mammoth and financially responsible task,.....whilst saving the State Government vast piles of money to be squandered away on other questionable and nefarious projects!

Implementation of the Traveston Crossing Dam debacle with land and home aquisitions and buy-backs, creating a devisiveness between the Urban and Rural communities in the area, whilst at the same time gobbling up vast tracts of some of South East Queensland`s prime farming and grazing land. This continuing against questionable E.I.S`s and in the light of the fact that a large quantity of the land to be inundated will be immersed by only a few feet and subject to massive evaporation forces!

The ridiculous continued influx of people from overseas and Southern States, at a time when the Queensland infrastructure is to say the least "faltering" with road gridlock in the city, the parlous state of the country roads, failing water and electricity supplies, rapidly escalating levels of violent crime and adding to all that the increasing incidence of homelessness, affordable rental accomodation,
affordable home purchase, presenting to all concerned the prelude to a State social collapse!

In this "Smart State" a lot of people are "smarting"!
Posted by Cuphandle, Sunday, 13 July 2008 9:45:50 AM
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