Elec­tion gloves are off

Bat­tle for Bur­nett heats up as PUP can­di­date comes out swing­ing

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

A BOOT up the back­side got Palmer United Party can­di­date for Bur­nett Richard Love into pol­i­tics and the Scot­tish-born farmer has wasted no time in paint­ing a tar­get on cur­rent Bur­nett MP Stephen Ben­nett.

“Who? I don’t know who that is,” Mr Love said. “I’ve never seen him be­fore in my life.”

Mr Love’s swing at the LNP mem­ber may be a glimpse of what we are in for as the next two weeks of the cam­paign un­fold on lo­cal bat­tle­grounds.

The PUP can­di­date, who ran for the Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party in Flynn at last year’s fed­eral elec­tion, put the blame of the re­gion’s high youth un­em­ploy­ment rate squarely on Mr Ben­nett’s shoul­ders.

He quoted fig­ures from the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic and In­dus­try Re­search 2014–15 State of the Re­gion re­port, which showed 28.3% of 20–24year-olds were not study­ing or work­ing.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of peo­ple there who will say they’ve seen him on the news once a month but he’s never done any­thing else,” Mr Love said.

“All Stephen Ben­nett has done is con­trib­ute to the high­est level of un­em­ploy­ment in Aus­tralia right here in his elec­torate.

“That is dis­gust­ing to me and I want to make sure peo­ple un­der­stand that, and they un­der­stand why it’s like that.

“We’ve had enough, it’s time for a change and that’s why I’m here.”

Mr Love re­vealed he be­came in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics from an early age but “never did any­thing about it”.

“My wife was sick and tired of me jumping in front of the tele­vi­sion. She said, ‘For God’s sake Richard, go and do some­thing about it’,” he said.

“I’ve got the nous and know-how to make it work in the real world, not the false po­lit­i­cal world where you get your uni de­gree and just straight into a seat and do noth­ing else.”

While Mr Love didn’t re­veal any PUP poli­cies, he said he had plans to re­vi­talise the elec­torate.

One of those is to cre­ate a large farm­ers’ mar­ket that would op­er­ate out of popular hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion Bar­gara.

He ex­plained the plan would al­low more farm­ers from the re­gion to sell their pro­duce and make money, which could open the door to more jobs.

“I’ve almost man­aged to bring a farm­ers’ mar­ket here,” Mr Love said.

“I know Childers may say it’s the epi­cen­tre but Bar­gara is for this par­tic­u­lar plan.

“I’ve been push­ing it for two years but we’re at that point we can get things done.”

More de­tails of Mr Love’s plans and poli­cies will be re­vealed in the re­main­ing two weeks be­fore the elec­tion.

After leav­ing KAP on good terms, Mr Love said the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent PUP was a “great hon­our”.

“I re­ally do see PUP pick­ing up the pace and I think we can win this one.”

PUP can­di­date Richard Love All Stephen Ben­nett has done is con­trib­ute to the high­est level of un­em­ploy­ment in Aus­tralia right here in his elec­torate.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

PACE PICKS UP: Palmer United Party can­di­date for Bur­nett Richard Love.

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