Pollies stake claim
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.”