Nine candidates vie for your vote

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

NINE candidates will fight for the seat of Flynn at the 2016 Fed­eral Elec­tion on July 2.

The Lib­eral Na­tional Party, La­bor, the Greens, Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party, Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion and Fam­ily First have all put candidates up at this elec­tion.

Three in­de­pen­dents are also run­ning.

In­cum­bent LNP MP Ken O’Dowd, who holds the seat on a 6.5% mar­gin, said one of his proud­est achieve­ments for the North Bur­nett over the past three years was se­cur­ing fund­ing for the dis­as­ter co-or­di­na­tion cen­tre in Gayndah.

“The dis­as­ter cen­tre and the fuel fa­cil­ity that is a part of the dis­as­ter co-or­di­na­tion cen­tre is prob­a­bly the big­gest achieve­ment we’ve had,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“The align­ment of some bridges, lift­ing road works above the river level (are also some achieve­ments).

“We’ve got a long way to go in the re­gion though.”

La­bor can­di­date Zac Beers said he could bring a voice to a re­gion he be­lieved was of­ten for­got­ten about in Can­berra.

“The Bur­nett re­gion has long been for­got­ten by politi­cians over the years,” Mr Beers said. “It’s an area that has al­ways been there, but it has been ne­glected for a long time.

“My fo­cus is to take the fight up for the is­sues that mat­ter to the peo­ple of the Bur­nett the most.

“If we work to­gether and en­gage with peo­ple in the area, we can de­liver good re­sults for peo­ple that have been for­got­ten for a long time.”

At the 2013 elec­tion about 20% of the Flynn vote went to mi­nor par­ties or in­de­pen­dents.

Nathan Fletcher, 29, is run­ning as an in­de­pen­dent as he said he be­lieved peo­ple were dis­il­lu­sioned with the ma­jor par­ties.

“There are three reasons why I de­cided to run. One was the ob­vi­ous frus­tra­tion and dis­il­lu­sion­ment with the ma­jor par­ties,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The sec­ond was to re-connect peo­ple to an un­der­stand­ing and the rel­e­vancy of pol­i­tics and politi­cians, to get back to grass­roots, lis­ten and show gen­uine care for those we rep­re­sent.

“When ap­prox­i­mately 400,000 young peo­ple be­tween the ages of 18-24 in the 2013 elec­tion weren’t en­rolled or didn’t vote, we have a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

“Num­ber three was I knew a lot of peo­ple were hurt­ing, strug­gling and just wanted a fair go and I couldn’t stand by and just watch, I re­ally wanted to help make a gen­uine dif­fer­ence.”

Mr O’Dowd said he had to fight to keep his seat, as other peo­ple with higher mar­gins than his had lost seas in re­gional ar­eas in the past.

“In the last three years we’ve been like a gov­ern­ment in ex­ile. We haven’t been able to make any de­ci­sions as the de­ci­sions were knocked back by the Se­nate,” he said.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing a part of a gov­ern­ment that can ac­tu­ally rule.

“I’m part of a team that will get Aus­tralia back on track, think­ing ahead not to our sons and daugh­ters, but to our grand­kids.

“I don’t want to leave them with a lot of debt.”

Fam­ily First can­di­date Heather Bar­nett is the only fe­male can­di­date on the Flynn bal­lot.

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

ON THE ROAD: Se­na­tor Chris Ket­ter and Flynn can­di­date Zac Beers were in Mun­dub­bera cam­paign­ing last week and were shown in­fra­struc­ture is­sues in the re­gion, like the Boyne River bridge.

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