ELECTION BATTLE FOR DAWSON BEGINS
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.