When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Friday, March 23, 2012

Qld State Election 2012. Calm Before the Storm. How My Election Scoop was Thwarted!

Placemats set for the radio broadcasters, tallyroom Qld State Election 2012.

What's a blogger to do? I want a 'scoop' photo of the tally board before election night, my money shot is the results for the seat of Ashgrove, with Jones and Newman on zero. I make a few phone calls to no avail and  am directed to a media enquiries email address,  so I rattle of my plight thinking that's the end of that. But no, within minutes and just long enough to be walking the dogs, I get a phone call from the Queensland Electoral Commission. Seems it's my lucky day, I'm told I have a 90 minute window of opportunity to get myself to Hall 2 at the convention centre, and a photo won't be a problem, they're about to fire up the board for a test.

The board these days is actually a large screen with four individual panels that display results from individual seats, gone are they days of the manual hoisting of results and flipping of boards by a busy team up in the scaffold behind the board. The first 3 panels left to right will show results from seats as they are updated from the electorate counts, the fourth panel is reserved for seats of interests and I'm sure the seats of Ashgrove, South Brisbane and Mt. Cootha will feature prominently on that fourth panel tomorrow evening.

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre isn't an official venue for the tally room, being available at short notice is the major determining factor in the choice of venue from election to election. In past years the tally board has made appearances at The Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, The Sleeman Sports Centre, the Executive Building on George street and in 1938 it was hung outdoors from buildings in Queen Street facing the G.P.O.

Tally board goes outdoor., and drew quite a crowd, hats and all, in the middle of the night. Queen Street, 1938.

View from the bleachers. The tallyroom opens to the public from 5pm Saturday.

As for my money shot, it was never to be. The data used for this afternoons rehearsal was from the 2009election and we won't see this years candidate names until they debut with their first results tomorrow night.Why so? As it was explained to me by my contact from the QEC, they didn't want to add any fuel to the punditry fire with fake election result screen shots running hot on Twitter election eve. With random bloggers in the house, who'd ever take that chance. Scoop nil, press pass, one of.

Caloundra and Burnett results from 2009.

Images from the John Oxley Library, SLQ.
Original Images by The McWhirters Project.

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