Bur­nett hope­fuls hit the hus­tings

Meet the can­di­dates who want your vote on Jan­uary 31:

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

AN IM­POS­ING record in lo­cal gov­ern­ment dur­ing his time in Eng­land should make La­bor can­di­date Bryan Mustill a tough chal­lenger for Stephen Ben­nett.

But the 62-year-old will start his cam­paign well be­hind the eight-ball after Premier Camp­bell New­man called for the state’s first Jan­uary elec­tion.

Mr Mustill said he had a de­tailed itin­er­ary sorted with a March elec­tion in mind, but that was blown to smithereens by the LNP’s tac­ti­cally clever move.

The ra­di­ol­o­gist, who works at Bund­aberg Hos­pi­tal, was caught so far off-guard he said he did not have any ma­te­rial printed more than a week into the cam­paign.

How Mr Mustill will make up for lost ground is not yet cer­tain, but the for­mer four-term coun­cil­lor and for­mer mayor has tar­geted health, jobs and as­set sales as his ma­jor is­sues.

It was cuts to the health in­dus­try that com­pelled Mr Mustill to re­turn to the po­lit­i­cal realm, years after he com­pleted univer­sity as a ma­ture stu­dent.

“I wasn’t go­ing to run for par­lia­ment again,” Mr Mustill said.

“I spent 16 years in gov­ern­ment in Eng­land and got out of it to do ra­di­og­ra­phy, so I went back to univer­sity.

“Uni was very dif­fi­cult. You knuckle down and just make sure you keep your dead­lines.

“But when Camp­bell New­man started cut­ting the health ser­vice, sack­ing nurses and threat­en­ing doc­tors with new con­tracts that didn’t work, it was time to get back into pol­i­tics and do what I do best.”

Mr Mustill be­gan his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as the chair­man of his lo­cal ratepay­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion, where he said he spent most of his time “fight­ing the coun­cil”.

But when you can’t beat them, you join them, and that’s ex­actly what Mr Mustill did.

“The best way to do it is to get on the coun­cil so I went in, as I could help the pop­u­la­tion bet­ter than I could be­fore,” Mr Mustill said.

“Only rea­son I went through four elec­tions was I re­lated to the peo­ple.”

It is that pedi­gree that Mr Mustill be­lieves can de­liver a lo­cal vic­tory for La­bor.

When Town & Coun­try spoke to Mr Mustill, he could not iden­tify any is­sues raised by Isis res­i­dents but said he had peo­ple on the ground in the area to bring him up to speed.

In the mean­time he will em­bark on dis­cov­ery tours, with trips to the north­ern end of the elec­torate (Agnes-Wa­ter, Miriam Vale) be­fore he gets to Isis.

“It’s a very wide elec­torate – prob­lems in Childers aren’t prob­lems in Miriam Vale or Bur­nett Heads,” Mr Mustill said.

“They’ve all got their lit­tle things, so it’s a lot of work.

“All I need to do is get out on the streets, get the face out there and meet peo­ple.

“Camp­bell New­man promised much at the last elec­tion, de­liv­ered noth­ing, and he’s promised much this elec­tion again.

“Catch me once, shame on you.

“Catch me twice, shame on me.”

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT BUN080115BRYAN9

IM­PRES­SIVE RECORD: La­bor can­di­date BryanMustill be­lieves his pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in lo­cal gov­ern­ment should help de­liver him vic­tory in Bur­nett.

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