TA­NIA WANTS BILLY GONE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Daniel Bate­man

A FOR­MER Young Aus­tralian of the Year has an­nounced she will be seek­ing pre-se­lec­tion as a La­bor can­di­date for Billy Gor­don’s seat of Cook.

Ta­nia Ma­jor is seek­ing en­dorse­ment from the Aus­tralian La­bor Party for the Cape York based seat, ac­cus­ing the cur­rent in­de­pen­dent MP of “wast­ing” a historic op­por­tu­nity when he was elected as one of the first indige­nous mem­bers in a gen­er­a­tion, two years ago.

In Jan­uary, the indige­nous politi­cian re­port­edly ex­pressed an in­ter­est in want­ing to talk to Queens­land One Na­tion leader Steve Dick­son about a pos­si­ble deal to help him re­tain his elec­torate.

One Na­tion leader Sen­a­tor Pauline Han­son, how­ever, has had a his­tory of crit­i­cis­ing Abo­rig­i­nal wel­fare de­pen­dency.

Ms Ma­jor, who is a proud Kokoberra woman from Kowanyama, said Mr Gor­don’s “flir­ta­tion” with the idea of a pref­er­ence deal with One Na­tion had fo­cused her mind on the need for rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Far North that could be trusted to do the right thing and ex­er­cise good judg­ment.

“Billy was given a historic op­por­tu­nity when he was elected,” she said.

“He has wasted that op­por- tu­nity through a se­ries of poor choices.

“I wish him the best with his fu­ture but that fu­ture isn’t as the MP for Cook.”

The Table­lands-based con­sul­tant said she and her part­ner Lyn­don had a long his­tor­i­cal and tra­di­tional fam­ily con­nec­tion to Ma­reeba, Moss­man and Cape York.

“I un­der­stand what it is like to live in an area that strug­gles to get the ba­sic ser­vices we de­serve,” she said.

Ms Ma­jor said with 30 per cent of vot­ers within the vast elec­torate liv­ing in re­mote Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der com­mu­ni­ties, they needed a rep­re­sen­ta­tive that did them proud and “doesn’t cause them shame.”

Pic­ture: BRIAN CASSEY

Ta­nia Ma­jor, a for­mer Young Aus­tralian of the Year, in Kowanyama

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