Candidate fired up over floods
THE lack of a voice for residents of a central Queensland town during last year's summer floods sparked Rolleston resident Pauline Williams to throw her hat in the ring for this year's state election.
Ms Williams, who has lived in Rolleston for much of her adult life, was one of many residents of the small town left largely disenfranchised by the state government and Central Highlands Regional Council after the summer floods of 2010-11.
She watched as the town was flooded again and again, while little to no help was announced for raising a local bridge over Panorama Creek - which could have allowed easy freight movement through the town.
One of the highways that runs through the town of Rolleston, the Carnarvon Hwy, is also called the Inland Way and is known as one of the chief freight links in regional Queensland.
Less than a month ago, the same crossing was flooded twice in two weeks due to rain upstream.
Ms Williams said that the bridge was raised some years ago, but because the state government had not also raised the approach to the bridge on its southern side, it was repeatedly flooded.
A member of the town's State Emergency Services crew, it was not until there was a tap on the shoulder from Bob Katter's Australian Party, that she thought seriously about putting herself out there as a candidate for the seat of Gregory.
She said: "I'd thought in the past about nominating for the council, but had given it a miss, because I wasn't sure, but when I was approached to give it a go, I thought why not.
"I think for a lot of people out in the rural areas, what has happened to the National Party when it merged with the Liberal Party that has really taken away our voice.
"Initially I was attracted to what Aidan McLindon was doing with the Queensland Party.
"When he joined Bob's party, then I started thinking about it, they really seem to have rural and regional Australia at heart."
She said: "There were places that got a lot of attention, but when they wrote that flood report, Rolleston didn't even get a mention, so I'd like to change that and help get a few things, like fixing the bridge, done for our community."