Election gloves are off
Battle for Burnett heats up as PUP candidate comes out swinging
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.
PACE PICKS UP: Palmer United Party candidate for Burnett Richard Love.