VOT­ERS OUT TO BEAT RUSH

PRE- POLL PLACES GET WORK­OUT

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK danielle.shafik@news.com.au

NORTH Queens­lan­ders have of­fi­cially started to cast their votes, with pre- polling be­gin­ning yes­ter­day.

Hyde Park Cen­tre has been set up with booths for all elec­torates, with the cen­tre sur­rounded by sup­port­ers look- ing to tempt early bird vot­ers as they en­ter the site.

Alan Rut­land from Kir­wan was in and out within min­utes and said he was get­ting in early to avoid the queues on Novem­ber 25.

“Be­cause it’s on a Sat­ur­day, you have to plan your day around it, and it spoils your week­end rou­tine,” he said.

Mr Rut­land said he thought a lot of peo­ple would be us­ing their vote to re­ject the ma­jor par­ties.

“There are just so many balls up in the air and we are try­ing to get things done to cre­ate more jobs but I don’t know what’s go­ing to change,” he said. “I think jobs are the most im­por­tant thing.”

Mr Rut­land said that, although wa­ter was also a pri­or­ity, un­em­ploy­ment was a more re­cent is­sue.

“Wa­ter has been an is­sue for some time but it’s just taken four no-wet sea­sons for some­body to re­alise we should have done some­thing,” he said. “The jobs are very im­por­tant be­cause we have got ways of get­ting the wa­ter but you need third par­ties to get the jobs. They can’t man­u­fac­ture them them­selves.”

First- time vot­ers Cooper Plath and Bai­ley Sim­mons, both 18, took to the polls as soon as they could as they are due to fly out to Canada this week for a sea­son in the snow.

Mr Plath, from Pim­lico, said his sis-

ter was an avid Lib­eral Na­tional Party sup­porter and he had been given a full run- down on her pre­ferred party.

“I’m not too fussed about pol­i­tics, so it’s good my sis­ter gave me some in­for­ma­tion for my vote,” he said.

Mr Sim­mons, from Mys­ter­ton, said his vote re­flected the need for mar­riage equal­ity and a push to­wards get­ting the DriveIT NQ pro­gram off the ground af­ter 13 years of cam­paign­ing.

“I got a lot of ad­vice from Mum and as an ad­vo­cate for the DriveIT NQ project, I have sup­ported One Na­tion and the Lib­eral Party,” he said.

Early vot­ing is now avail­able at Hyde Park Cen­tre on Wool­cock St for all dis­tricts from 9am to 5pm Mon­day to Fri­day and 9am to 4pm Sat­ur­day.

The pre- poll site will be open un­til 6pm the day be­fore the elec­tion.

On Novem­ber 25, polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm at sites through­out Townsville.

FIRST- TIMERS: Cooper Plath of Pim­lico and Baile have cas t their v otes ahead of an o verseas trip. y Sim­mons of Mys ter­ton Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

EARLY BIRDS: Vot­ers cast their bal­lots at the pre- polling sta­tion at Hyde Park yes­ter­day. Below, Kir­wan’s Alan Rut­land.

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