Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

I AT­TENDED a busi­ness break­fast with five of the seven po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates for our re­gion the other day.

They all had 15 min­utes to speak, and then there were some ques­tions.

What struck me was the lazi­ness and con­tempt by the two main par­ties for our re­gion.

The sit­ting LNP mem­ber, Ge­orge Chris­ten­son kicked off by telling us “what he won’t do”.

This was in­cred­i­bly cyn­i­cal, but lucky be­cause if he told us what he would do, he would have fin­ished within 15 sec­onds.

He then con­fi­dently went on quot­ing the same ut­terly dis­cred­ited fig­ures on La­bor debt and other La­bor atroc­i­ties ac­cord­ing to the script from LNP HQ. The pin­na­cle of his pitch was to fix a road he promised to fix at the last elec­tion.

The La­bor can­di­date, Bron­wyn Taha was equally unin­spir­ing. It was as though she had the La­bor party talk­ing points mem­o­rized, but didn’t feel pas­sion­ate about it.

What struck me was the lack of a vi­sion. If this wasn’t a mar­ginal seat, held by 2.7%, I don’t think they would have both­ered to turn up.

No se­ri­ous men­tion of the things that do af­fect peo­ple’s lives here like ed­u­ca­tion, health, men­tal health, shrink­ing govern­ment ser­vices and op­por­tu­nity for the kids grow­ing up here.

No clue on how to bal­ance the com­pet­ing in­ter­ests of min­ing, farm­ing, tourism and the en­vi­ron­ment. Ge­orge Chris­tensen, the sci­en­tist now, re­peated that he doesn’t be­lieve in cli­mate change, bring­ing a groan even from this tame busi­ness au­di­ence.

Are th­ese the peo­ple you want to rep­re­sent you, and your in­ter­ests into the fu­ture in Can­berra? Is this all we have to choose from? We de­serve bet­ter than this.

If an Op­po­si­tion can sit back be­ing neg­a­tive, not pro­duc­ing a co­her­ent, costed pol­icy in six years and wait for their turn in of­fice why would they take us se­ri­ously.

Maybe it’s time a strong in­de­pen­dent stood up and gave real rep­re­sen­ta­tion to our area, be­cause this “ain’t” work­ing. Paul Catts CAN­NON VAL­LEY

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