INDEPENDENT candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow has penned a letter to The Morning Bulletin, outlining her preferences position and detailing the straw that broke the camel's back, prompting her decision to run as an Independent.
I KNOW that some people (including some in the Labor Party) believe that my intention has always been to direct preferences back to Barry O'Rourke. It is not.
Yes, I missed out on Labor preselection. There is a long story to that.
And I was frustrated that the process paid no attention to candidate capacity but only to what faction someone was in.
There are some great people in other factions, or non aligned, who won't ever get a chance.
But I love being Mayor.
I would not have considered nominating just because of the lost preselection.
Watching the various candidates perform for the first week of the campaign certainly got me thinking about it though.
And after seeing what the Premier has done in relation to the Adani loan and the jeopardy in which she has placed 1700 jobs for Rockhampton, I was very pleased that I was not the endorsed candidate in the end.
Toeing the party line may have been too big an ask for me in light of the circumstances.
After I travelled to India with the Premier and seven other Mayors I felt comfortable in putting our community's expectations and hopes in our bold bid for jobs.
Love or hate the Adani project, our community has put its reputation on the line and felt safe to do so (no money has changed hands at this stage).
And now the shenanigans in relation to the Adani project have left us not sure of the way forward.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
I still admire the Premier but I can neither understand nor support her dealings on this.
That said, I sincerely hope that Adani will continue to press forward with their project.
We need the jobs and there is good reason for us to build strong relationships with India generally.
They are a rising powerhouse.
This one thing I promise you.
If I am elected as the Independent Member for Rockhampton I will put Rockhampton's interest, and Rockhampton's interest only, front and centre of whomever forms parliament.
We have missed out long enough.