Pollies stake claim

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

VOT­ERS will have to choose from five can­di­dates stand­ing for the seat of Cook at the next State elec­tion on Satur­day, March 24.

The five can­di­dates stand­ing are the One Na­tion can­di­date Jim Evans, the Queens­land Greens’ Ge­orge Ri­ley, La­bor’s in­cum­bent Ja­son O’brien who is look­ing for re-elec­tion to his seat, the LNP’S David Kemp­ton and the Aus­tralian Party can­di­date Lach­lan Ben­sted.

Mr O’brien said he lives in Port Dou­glas and cares in­trin­si­cally for the re­gion “and I have worked hard for past eight years to achieve pos­i­tive out­comes right across the elec­torate”.

“La­bor also has a proven track record of en­v­i­ron- men­tal and eco­nom­i­cal strate­gies for the Dou­glas re­gion,” he said. “And La­bor is the only party that has guar­an­teed fund­ing for the Port Dou­glas Waterfront Mas­ter Plan and in our next term we will be de­vot­ing a lot of time to de­vel­op­ing an eco­nomic mas­ter plan for Moss­man.”

Mr Kemp­ton said he has a life­time of ex­pe­ri­ence to bring to the elec­torate.

“I am pas­sion­ate about the po­ten­tial of the peo­ple in Dou­glas to re­gain their sense of com­mu­nity iden­tity and strong val­ues.

“The LNP will pro­vide the mech­a­nism to hold a ref­er­en­dum on the re­turn of the Dou­glas Shire, if sup­ported by the ma­jor­ity.

“I will be fight­ing for the up­grad­ing of boat ramps on the Dou­glas coast from Port Dou­glas to Cape Tribu­la­tion and the con­struc­tion of a round­about on the Cap­tain Cook High­way at Port Dou­glas.”

Mr Evans said he is stand­ing in the elec­tion “be­cause I know the state is not be­ing run in an ac­cept­able man­ner”.

“We must repeal the forced amal­ga­ma­tions of the Ma­reeba Shire and the Dou­glas Shire,” he said.

“The road sys­tems are also in a de­plorable state of re­pair.”

Mr Ri­ley said the Wild Rivers leg­is­la­tion is nec­es­sary “to pro­tect our land and beau­ti­ful coun­try up on the Cape (York Penin­sula) with­out tak­ing away our right to gov­ern our own land”.

“We need to get the right bal­ance be­tween Abo­rig­i­nal self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and pro­tect­ing Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tural her­itage and pro­tect­ing our amaz­ing wilder­ness and nat­u­ral her­itage val­ues, es­pe­cially con­cern­ing some of the last wild rivers in Australia,” he said.

Mr Ben­sted said the Aus­tralian Party has en­shrined in its core val­ues and prin­ci­ples the right for mem­bers to put their elec­torate first.

“I do not have to have to toe the party line at the ex­pense of the peo­ple of Cook,” he said.

“My abil­ity to put my elec­torate first means that many of the ma­jor is­sues in Cook can be fixed or will never hap­pen.”

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