ELEC­TION BAT­TLE FOR DAW­SON BE­GINS

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Rory Sheav­ils

THE fed­eral elec­tion has been called and the race for Daw­son has be­gun.

The LNP’s Ge­orge Chris­tensen has an­nounced his in­ten­tion to stand again, go­ing up against La­bor’s Frank Gil­bert and The Greens’ Jonathan Dykyj.

All three men agree on one thing – job cre­ation is go­ing to be a make or break is­sue.

Mr Chris­tensen has come out swing­ing on this front, say­ing he is “a pas­sion­ate fighter for our re­gion, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to lo­cal jobs”.

“I have a clear plan to re­store lo­cal jobs,” he said.

“That plan in­volves get­ting the Carmichael Mine and Ab­bot Point Coal Port Ex­pan­sion up and run­ning by end­ing th­ese green court chal­lenges.

“It in­volves the con­struc­tion of Uran­nah Dam, which will open up new agri­cul­tural op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It in­volves get­ting in­ter­na­tional flights into our re­gion as well as su­per yachts and a new tourism man­age­ment plan for the Whit­sun­days.”

Mr Gil­bert also re­solved to cre­ate jobs for the peo­ple of Daw­son, claim­ing the LNP had failed in this re­gard on a na­tional scale.

“The past two-and-a-half years have seen an un­prece­dented as­sault on jobs, on fam­i­lies, on young peo­ple – the list goes on,” he said.

“Mal­colm Turn­bull has sup­ported th­ese dev­as­tat­ing cuts, which have un­fairly tar­geted those who least can af­ford it.

“And in the Whit­sun­days, we’ve seen hun­dreds of jobs dis­ap­pear.

“There is not a sin­gle achieve­ment

“You can en­rol con­ve­niently on­line at aec.gov.au on your com­puter, tablet or smart­phone.” – Elec­toral com­mis­sioner Tom Rogers

of any sub­stance that our lo­cal mem­ber can point to that has been re­alised in the term of the Ab­bott-Turn­bull Govern­ment.”

Mr Dykyj agreed job cre­ation was es­sen­tial, but re­futed the claim that ex­pand­ing min­ing op­er­a­tions was the an­swer.

“There is great op­por­tu­nity (in Daw­son) that we’ve seen else­where to em­brace in­no­va­tion to cap­i­talise on ex­ist­ing skill sets we have here,” he said.

“In terms of the port ex­pan­sion, it’s op­er­at­ing un­der ca­pac­ity at the mo­ment, so why it needs to be ex­panded is be­yond me.

“Mr Gil­bert and Mr Chris­tensen are scrap­ing the bot­tom of the bar­rel for ideas.

“There are pos­i­tive ways for­ward, and that’s what I’ll be talk­ing about dur­ing this cam­paign.”

Mr Dykyj said the pro­tec­tion of the Great Bar­rier Reef would also be a ma­jor point of his cam­paign as it was both a nat­u­ral won­der and an eco­nomic driver.

Can­di­dates have one more month to sub­mit their in­ten­tion to run, with nom­i­na­tions clos­ing on Thurs­day, June 9.

Elec­tion day has been set for Satur­day, July 2.

The Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion has re­minded cit­i­zens that vot­ing is com­pul­sory, with elec­toral com­mis­sioner Tom Rogers say­ing every­one 18 years old or over, on or be­fore Elec­tion Day, must be en­rolled.

“You can en­rol con­ve­niently on­line at aec.gov.au on your com­puter, tablet or smart­phone,” he said.

“If you’re not sure that you are cor­rectly en­rolled to vote, go to aec.gov.au/check or, if you need help, call us on 13 23 26.”

En­rol­ment forms are avail­able from any AEC of­fice or Aus­tralia Post of­fice, and must be re­turned by May 23 at 8pm.

GREENS: Jonathan Dykyj.

LA­BOR: Frank Gil­bert.

LIB­ERAL: Ge­orge Chris­tensen.

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