'I'm moving down today': LNP candidate for Gladstone
YOU can't fault his enthusiasm.
Despite taking on the 'Mt Everest of seats', LNP candidate for Gladstone Chay Conaglen has his sights set on toppling incumbent MP Glenn Butcher come November 25.
But before he does, the 20-year-old CQUniversity student has to move to the electorate he's hoping to win.
Mr Conaglen was flanked by Senator Matt Canavan at his campaign launch on Tuesday morning, held adjacent to the Gladstone Power Station with the issues of job creation and electricity prices high on his agenda.
The LNP candidate wasn't deterred by answering the hard questions, although the biggest issue was how he was hoping to win the seat of Gladstone despite never having lived here before.
"I'm a third generation Central Queenslander so it's not like I'm coming in from Brisbane," Mr Conaglen said.
"I'm just 90km down the road and have been an active member of the community up in Rocky - I was the vice-captain of Rockhampton State High School and I've always had a passion for this part of the world."
However, getting to this part of the world has caused some headaches for the fresh-faced candidate.
"I'm moving down today," he said.
"I planned to come down last night but my car wouldn't start - the battery was a bit dead and my brother got bogged so we couldn't come down last night," he said.
"I'm going home back to Rocky, packing up my little Ford Fiesta and moving to Kin Kora and this is where I'm going to be for four weeks."
As far as policy is concerned, Mr Conaglen says his passion is seeing jobs created for families in the Gladstone region.
He cited recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing only 51 per cent of Gladstone students are finishing grade 12.
"As a young person I want to be a beacon of light for our region's young people," he said.
"That's the reason I'm putting my voice forward - I want to give the people of Gladstone another option from Glenn Butcher and the other candidates.
"I wish them well and the best of luck, but I want to be a strong voice for this part of the world because we're dying - we need industry, we need jobs for the future and we need someone with a vision.
"Not just for this election - we need someone with a vision for long-term, big-picture stuff."
Mr Conaglen says he supports the job-creating Rookwood Weir project, the coal industry and local industry.
"We're a beacon of economic opportunity here in Gladstone," he said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher currently holds the third safest seat in the state, enjoying a 25.3 per cent margin, with the electorates of Woodridge and Bundamba holding margins of 25.8 and 25.9 per cent respectively.
Mr Conaglen says he's ready for the monumental challenge.
"I'm fired up ready to take it to the Labor Party," he said.
"The LNP has a plan for this part of the world. We're the party for regional Queensland and I'm backing the LNP for Gladstone.
"I know it's going to be hard, but I'm not someone who is going to sit back and watch this part of the world die and go down the gurgler with Labor Party politics.
"I see so much good and so much light that can be brought into Gladstone and I want to be their local voice."
Meanwhile, Mr Canavan said Mr Conaglen was no stranger to him, having done part-time work with him in the past.
"We recognise that this is the Mt Everest of seats in Queensland... It's a tough ask for the Liberal National Party to win this seat, but we're out fighting for every seat and every vote here in Queensland," he said.
"It's great to have Chay here, who has done some part-time work with me, and I know he is a great young fella who's passionate about the economic opportunities and issues that face young Australians.
"It's great to have him so committed, so committed to the seat that he's moving down.
"He'll commit himself 100 per cent for the next four weeks to listen to the people of Gladstone."