RACE STILL ON: Belinda Hassan (Labor), George Christensen (LNP), Brendan Bunyan (KAP), Colin Thompson (United Australia Party) and Lachlan Queenan (independent) at the recent Dawson Candidate Debate in Bowen.
RACE STILL ON: Belinda Hassan (Labor), George Christensen (LNP), Brendan Bunyan (KAP), Colin Thompson (United Australia Party) and Lachlan Queenan (independent) at the recent Dawson Candidate Debate in Bowen. Jordan Gilliland

Proserpine on the agenda for election candidates

WITH the federal election on Saturday, the Whitsunday Coast Guardian approached all of the candidates standing for Dawson to ask them what they thought were the most important issues for Proserpine.

Liberal National Party candidate George Christensen spoke of "extreme green activist mobs" trying to shut down and restrict traditional industries that create local jobs, such as sugar, cattle and coal.

Mr Christensen said he would continue to fight for local jobs through "backing in and growing our traditional industries".

Labor Party candidate Belinda Hassan said small business owners were struggling to keep their doors open and residents were still having issues with insurance companies.

She also said Proserpine had a lot of potential and her priority was to "ensure we get our fair share".

Katter's Australian Party hopeful Brendan Bunyan spoke of how he felt the prosperity had left Proserpine, with people leaving and shops shutting.

"We need to get money back into our rural towns and the only way o do that is by lowering the cost of living for everyone, so we get more disposable income back into our towns," he said.

Michael Turner of Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party believes there are several facilities that still need rebuilding after Cyclone Debbie.

He also believes further beautification is needed in beach areas to support growth in the tourism industry.

Independent Lachlan Queenan believes the biggest issue in this election is "accountability in government".

He also said water and power infrastructure building needed to start immediately.

The other four candidates, Ann-Maree Ware (Democratic Labour Party), Imogen Lindenberg (The Greens), Colin Thompson (United Australia Party) and Debra Lawson (One Nation) did not answer the question from the Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Here's what the candidates had to say in full to our question:


Brendan Bunyan

Proserpine isn't the town it once was. When I was growing up in Proserpine our farmers were doing well, the mill was owned by the farmers and helped employ over 300 workers - those numbers are not even close any more.

It was the last place in north Queensland that had a dam built which assisted the town to grow but unfortunately the prosperity has left Proserpine and so are its people, the shops are shut or shutting.

We need to get money back in our rural towns and the only way to do that is by lowering the cost of living for everyone, so we get the disposable income back in our towns.

The cost of power, food and fuel have gone through the roof and our government are proffering off both fuel and power taxes with nothing to show for in North Queensland. Utilising the airport to process food to be sent to markets overseas would help drive industry in the town along with the KAP's plan to start the ethanol industry in North Queensland.


Michael Turner

The council chambers, culture hall, Conway Beach shelter shed and Cedar Creek Falls road all require urgent attention to rebuild after Cyclone Debbie.

This is very disturbing due to the length of time that has passed without these issues having not been fixed. This raises safety concerns in some instances and area beautification.

Main St of Proserpine requires attention for safety issues and beautification with the inclusion of facilities to accommodate RV overnight parking and RV waste disposal and the establishment of truck parking bay on the north and south sides of Proserpine.

Promoting the area as a prime destination for tourists to come and visit, further beautification along the beach areas supporting grow in the tourism industry. Furthermore our police require dedicated support to stamp out the illegal drug trade. However, I'm passionate about every aspect of Dawson. Any area within Queensland needs to be taken care of.


George Christensen

For Proserpine, this election is crucial. There is a horde of extreme green activist mobs trying to shut down and restrict tradi- tional industries that create local jobs - such as our sugar, cattle and coal industries.

They want to shut down coal mining altogether and they want to restrict what farmers do with their land.

Time and again we've seen that these extreme greens have the ear of the Labor Party.

I will always fight for local jobs through backing in and growing our traditional industries. This also keeps revenue flowing to government which can be used to invest in the community.

We've seen such investment for Proserpine from the Morrison Liberal National Government, with $5 million for the rebuild of the Proserpine Entertain- ment Centre, $29.6 million to fix flooding issues at Hamilton Plains, $480,000 for the Whitsunday Moto Sports Club and $194,000 for Gloucester Sports and Recreation Association.


Belinda Hassan

Proserpine has so much potential, and my priority is to ensure we get our fair share.

We've seen small busi- ness owners struggling to keep their doors open, the Proserpine Entertainment Centre left in ruins after Cyclone Debbie and residents still having issues with their insurance companies.

Two years on, it's inexcusable that the Dawson MP has been absent in our region, putting us last.

Labor understands that the entertainment centre is a necessity for the region and we've have already committed $5 million towards the rebuild.

I want to see new tourism experiences at the Proserpine Dam, unlocking its potential to see more travellers play and stay in Proserpine.

We've also announced a $1.4 million investment for the Whitsunday TAFE - providing more training for our kids so they have more opportunity to stay in the region. We'll restore the funding that the LNP cut out of our hospitals and schools and I'll fight for better hospitals and schools.


Lachlan Queenan

The good people of the Whitsundays know that the biggest issue in this election is accountability in government.

We are all aware, the last decade has been atrocious.

We have had government from both sides govern for personal gain ahead of the national interest.

The personality contests have been endless. This has to stop immediately, We must return to a policy debate and delivering real results.

The reality is we are half a billion dollars in the wrong direction, the cheques have been signed and we have nothing to show for it.

We need to build our nation for the future.

Water and power infrastructure has to be started immediately.