Chris­tensen re-elected with in­creased mar­gin

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood

DAW­SON MP Ge­orge Chris­tensen says it feels like “the straight-jacket has been taken off”.

His comment refers to the fact that he was our Fed­eral Mem­ber for the last three years but he was in op­po­si­tion.

Mr Chris­tensen, a mem­ber of the Lib­eral National Party, was re-elected to the seat of Daw­son on Satur­day night with more than a five per cent swing in his favour.

But while the re­turn­ing MP says he is “hum­bled by the re­sult” he also ad­mits there is much work to be done.

Firstly, an elec­tion prom­ise by the Aus­tralian La­bor Party (ALP) to up­grade the Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port run­way is now no longer as­sured.

“It’s still go­ing to hap­pen and I’ve got to say it’s pretty high on my list of pri­or­i­ties [but] there’s go­ing to be a bit of hard work in get­ting fund­ing from the Fed­eral Govern­ment for the air­port up­grade,” Mr Chris­tensen said.

“It’s a pro­ject that ticks all the boxes for fund­ing cri­te­ria, so let’s get it go­ing.”

Mr Chris­tensen says an­other pro­ject he in­tends to fight for is a wa­ter park for Air­lie Beach.

“I think that will be a good tourism/com­mu­nity as­set for the peo­ple of Air­lie Beach and the Whit­sun­days,” he said.

Mean­while, the res­i­dents of Daw­son have some­thing tan­gi­ble by which to judge the per­for­mance of their re­turn­ing MP.

Be­fore the elec­tion, Mr Chris­tensen drew up a “con­tract with the Whit­sun­days” promis­ing the Lib­eral National Coali­tion would start the plan­ning work to flood-proof the Goor­ganga Plains sec­tion of the Bruce High­way, fund a green army to clean up marine de­bris, axe the car­bon tax, fund the Reef Res­cue pro­gram and fight for up­grades to lo­cal bridges in­clud­ing those on Dingo Beach Road and at Kelsey Creek.

He also pledged to give $15k to help build Lo­gan’s Ad­ven­ture Play­ground in Cannonvale.

Other is­sues loom­ing large in­clude how Mr Chris­tensen in­tends to pro­ceed over the pro­posed ex­pan­sion of the coal ter­mi­nal at Ab­bot Point.

“I hon­estly don’t be­lieve that this pro­ject is an ei­ther/or pro­ject in that we ei­ther have it or we have the reef. I think we can do the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion and make sure all of the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­trols are in place,” he said.

Mr Chris­tensen was sched­uled to meet with mem­bers of the lo­cal char­ter boat in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion last night.

Dis­cus­sions in­cluded the pro­posed ex­pan­sion of Ab­bot Point.

STAND­ING STRONG: Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen has been re-elected to the seat of Daw­son for the sec­ond term and stands be­hind his con­tract with the com­mu­nity about his elec­tion prom­ises.

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