George Christensen has called for major changes to the Coalition superannuation policy or he will cross the floor.
The Mackay-based MP did not express his concern in the party room, choosing instead to announce his opposition on Facebook.
“These policies are Labor-style policies which hit those people who have worked hard all of their lives; those who have scrimped and saved and done the right thing.
“These policies penalise success. Principally, these policies hit small business owners and farmers who have retired, sold their assets and transferred their wealth into superannuation.
“More importantly, I hate it when government fiddles with super. It’s not the government’s money, it’s YOUR money. We in government need to remember that.
“If the government’s superannuation policy does not change, I will be crossing the floor and voting against these measures.”
Aside from the questionable practice of using social media to disagree with your own party’s policy just taken to an election, just how many people in George’s electorate would be affected by the changes?
The 2011 census gave the following results for the electorate of Dawson.
The median/average age of the people in Dawson is 36 years of age.
The median individual income is $666 per week and the median household income is $1401 per week.
The median rent in Dawson is $295 per week and the median mortgage repayment is $1950 per month.
The main occupations of people living in Dawson are 18.9% Technicians & trades workers, 13.9% Professionals, 12.9% Clerical & administrative workers, 12.1% Labourers, 11.4% Managers, 11.4% Machinery operators & drivers, 9.0% Sales workers, 8.7% Community & personal service workers, 1.8% Occupation inadequately described/ Not stated.
According to the ABS, the median sale price of houses in the Mackay region in 2013 was $425,000 and the median total income was $53,099.
In other words, George has chosen this crusade for reasons other than representing the concerns of his constituents.
And why make the threat to cross the floor publicly before any discussion or negotiation?
Christensen is also demanding the backpacker’s tax be abandoned.
Also disturbingly, Bob Katter, in an interview on Sky, said he doesn’t have an opinion on the same sex marriage plebiscite – he’s “not a specialist in this field” – but he will take his lead from his good friend and neighbour George Christensen because he’s right up on it and he was the one to expose the Safe Schools program, something Mr Katter apparently saw as an outstanding piece of investigation by George which saved the moral fibre of the country. One wonders about the future of the plebiscite considering Christensen’s opposition to marriage equality.
George is flexing his muscles in a very tight Parliament and the way he has chosen to do it is an open challenge to Malcolm Turnbull. What remains to be seen is if Malcolm can assert himself as Prime Minister or will he be forever susceptible to threats from of the likes of Christensen.