READY TO FIGHT
No matter what happens, Callide will have a first time MP after the November 25 election. Who will come out on top?
LNP CANDIDATE COLIN BOYCE
says he’ll be standing up for farmers’ rights and will do his best to represent the North Burnett.
“I will continue travelling throughout the electorate of Callide, listening to the concerns of locals, and communicating the LNP’s plans for regional Queensland,” Mr Boyce said.
He believes that cost of living is a huge concern for those in Callide.
“Residents in Callide are most concerned about the cost of living, in particular sky-rocketing power prices,” he said.
“They are concerned about job security, opportunity, and safer communities, and they are crying out for a government that has a plan for infrastructure, to deliver the roads, bridges and dams we need.
“Our primary producers are concerned about Labor’s attack on them through their anti-farmer vegetation management laws and Labor’s inability to provide land tenure security and water security.”
Mr Boyce said his party, if elected, would create more jobs and reduce the cost of living.
“The LNP has so far released 58 positive polices for Queensland, which will create jobs, drive down the cost of living, support families, and foster safe and livable communities,” he said.
GREENS CANDIDATE JAIBEN BAKER,
as a fifth-generation farmer in the region, says he knows the importance of supporting rural Queensland.
“I’m proud of my roots in this region and want to be a real alternative to the old parties,” Mr Baker said.
“Firstly I want to be part of the move to turn around rural decline. I have seen it firsthand and want to be part of the solutions for people, towns and the environment.
“We need to support our farmers with incentives to diversify, to become more ecologically sustainable and protect their livelihoods from mining exploitation.”
Mr Baker said he intended to visit as many towns in the electorate as possible in order to listen to the ideas and concerns of the electorate.
He has already identified three core ways the Greens can support Queensland communities.
They include supporting farmers with incentives to diversify their businesses, bringing down high energy pricing and investment in renewable energy, and providing alternative representation in State Parliament.
“Only the Greens will ban corporate donations from for-profit corporations like fossil fuel and gambling corporations, financial institutions and property developers,” Mr Baker said.
LABOR CANDIDATE DARREN BLACKWOOD
said the election was one of the most important ones for Queensland.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for,” he said.
“This election is one of the most important that Queensland will probably see, because there is a clear choice.”
Mr Blackwood said he felt outgoing MP Jeff Seeney had not delivered for the better part of two decades.
“Callide has been taken for granted for far too long,” he said.
Mr Blackwood cited cuts to services and jobs as a big issue he wished to address once elected.
“It’s the cuts to frontline services and the abuse of casualisation in the workforce that worry me,” he said.
“Because I’ve seen firsthand what that can do to families.”
Mr Blackwood said people had been telling him they were feeling forgotten about, compared to other areas of Queensland.
“We need good, secure jobs for local people,” he said.
Mr Blackwood is passionately opposed to the LNP.
“People are telling me they are not happy the LNP voted against important legislation to protect workers,” he said.
“Like stamping out dodgy labour hire practices.”
KATTER’S AUSTRALIAN PARTY CANDIDATE ROBBIE RADEL
said he was pleased the election would come before Christmas.
“I think the smart thing to do is to get it over and done with. There has been a lot of talk and I think the public has reached a point where they are sick of hearing when the election might be,” he said.
Mr Radel will be hammering home the important issues over the coming month.
“Some of the most important issues for Callide are things like serious investment by the State Government in our roads,” he said.
“We have virtually 100 per cent agriculture and we still struggle to get things to market and to port because the roads aren’t up to standard.
“There also needs to be investment in water infrastructure and encouraging more tourism, which ties into the roads.”
Mr Radel said the issue of electricity prices would also be a major focus for the party.
“The burning question is electricity prices and we have real and quick ways of being able to drop power prices to consumers that doesn’t involve spending a fortune,” Mr Radel said.
“We have proven that we can and will deliver for rural Queensland, that is 100 per cent of our focus.”
ONE NATION CANDIDATE SHARON LOHSE
says her background in cattle and a life in the North Burnett has equipped her with the knowledge of what is most important to the Callide electorate.
“I’m a grazier and we have a property near Biggenden and down in the Brigalow Belt on the Western Downs,” Mrs Lohse said.
“As a rural grazier I know what it’s like to try and operate and earn a living for your family.”
Mrs Lohse has been touring Callide and speaking with farmers and land owners about the issues that matter most to them.
“We have held landholder meetings and rural people are looking for an alternative because for too long they have been struggling,” Mrs Lohse said.
“And especially with issues like vegetation management, blue trigger mappings and all those things that stifle their production.
“Labor and the LNP have both had their chance in opposition and in government to address those issues and they haven’t done it.”
Mrs Lohse said as a long-time grazier she had experienced a definite lack of action from all major parties.
“Things like CSG issues and the frustration with vegetation management,” she said.
KAP: Robbie Radel.
ALP: Darren Blackwood.
LNP: Colin Boyce.
One Nation: Sharon Lohse.
Greens: Jaiben Baker.