LNP candidates announce their policies in the coming election
JOBS, cost of living, the Great Keppel Island resort, and tackling CQ's horrendous child abuse problem are top of the agenda issues for the region's LNP candidates.
Peter Blundell and Douglas Rodgers yesterday fronted media to outline their visions for the area after Premiere Annastacia Palaszcuk announced Queenslanders will go to the polls on November 25.
"I think the biggest issue for Rockhampton is employment,” said Mr Rodgers, who will take on Labor's political rookie Barry O'Rourke.
"We've seen our unemployment rate balloon to 7.1 percent ... We haven't seen that sort of rate for 14, 15 years.
"This is usually a very strong employment region, and this government and the policies that they've got has seen that dwindle.”
Mr Rodgers said there needed to be a focus on economic infrastructure so that the economy could be rebuilt and provided more jobs to locals and more people bought locally.
"But that takes a bit of government investment and that's why I've been so keen on projects ... like getting the duplication between Gracemere and Rockhampton for the Capricorn Highway done.”
Mr Blundell, who is contesting Keppel, said that he was passionate about seeing Great Keppel Island resort developed.
"I'm determined that we'll see that resort up and happening in the next term with an LNP state government,” Mr Blundell said.
"The LNP's policy is that we have two integrated resort development (casino) licences that will be available. Expressions of interest will be called for those licences within the first hundred days of an LNP government and then of course the prohibitory issues and the transparency will occur to assess those applications and expressions of interest and I'll be fighting really hard to make sure Great Keppel Island is at the top of those lists.”
Mr Blundell said the resort development's infrastructure will help provide long term jobs and the most effective way to avoid tax payers having to fund the resort was to get the Keppel resort up and happening and "let the private sector pay for the infrastructure”.
"There are also other projects that bring long term and real jobs to this community, for instance, Rookwood Weir. It's a really important one that's been on the table for too long.”
The LNP candidate noted that the cost of living pressures were a huge concern for people.
"We need to put real downward pressure on power prices, we need to freeze registration, which an LNP government will do for the next term of the state parliament. And we also need to look at things like child safety,” Mr Blundell said.
He said an important part of the child safety platform was mandatory reporting of child abuse, which would be a "major step forward” in ensuring initiatives were successful..
He also said development of Keppel Island would help combat the region's high rate of unemployment.
Mr Blundell also admits that One Nation will be a tough contender in the coming election.
"One Nation is going to be a very interesting part of the mix of this election... you would be foolish not to admit that they have do have a groundswell of support across the state and particularly in regional areas at the moment.”