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Queensland election: Campaigning in turbulent times

18 Mar 2009
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AT FIRST, after my plane touched down in Far North Queensland, I couldn’t see much evidence of either financial or climatic turbulence. Towering banks of purple-grey cloud clung to the forested slopes that surround Cairns, but there wasn’t even a tail wind from cyclone Hamish, which was whipping up ferocious seas to the south. My flight from Melbourne had been full and Cairns international airport appeared to be a hive of noise and activity. Disembarking passengers were directed to the terminal through a makeshift walkway of shipping containers, opened out at both ends like empty tin cans and joined together to shield us from tropical downpours. The occasional break between containers gave a glimpse of an army of workers in fluorescent shirts and white hard hats, labouring away on a $200 million airport upgrade. “Three million reasons to build a better airport,” the signs said ... 

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2009
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