WITH the Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore, this week announcing she won't stand at the next election, long-time Labor stalwart and retired lawyer Paul Hoolihan yesterday put his hand up for the job.
"I think Kirsten did a good job representing our electorate which is a vast electorate and she did her best to get around and meet with as many people in all of the communities that she could," the former Member for Keppel said.
And what are the issues he thinks need addressing and what will he do if he is to win pre-selection and stand for Ms Livermore's seat?
"Health and education really are the two staples of whatever persuasion the government of the day is," Mr Hoolihan says.
"To be on an even playing field we all need access to education and good education but at present the standard of education in Australia is poor and here in Queensland we are behind most of the other states and we people still struggling with the basics and that's not good.
"And health is still not given the priority it deserves and as far as I am concerned it needs to be far better managed and even bigger amounts need to be injected into it.
"And people with disabilities also need to be looked after more especially in regional centres where sometimes services are less than those in the cities.
"That is a big problem of governments too, no matter which Party they belong in that Australia doesn't begin and end in Canberra or begin and end in Brisbane.
"Then there is the issue of our roads needing a lot more funding."
The other big issue he says that needs fair dinkum focus is the environment.
"All of us have become environmentalists to some degree because it is crucial to our existence and we all have our dislikes about certain things that are being done but we do need to act responsibly but at the same time there should be no room for extremist views either," Mr Hoolihan said.
"And the proposed installation of more coal ports should not go ahead at Keppel Bay because the community does not want them or at the very least must have restrictions in place to safeguard the environment."
The pre-selection process will start on December 10.
Mr Hoolihan who was born in Longreach is aged 65 and is a retired lawyer.
He previously served in the State Parliament for eight years before losing his seat to Bruce Young at this year's Queensland election.
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