LNP reveals young gun Rockhampton candidate
WHEN Douglas Rodgers describes himself as a Rockhampton local, he's not joking.
His family have lived in the city for 145 years.
The family's long association with Rockhampton and their love for the region is part of the reason Douglas is now gearing up to contest the seat at the Queensland election.
Douglas, who works as a media advisor to Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd, has been announced as the LNP's candidate for Rockhampton.
He will go head to head with Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne, who has held the seat since 2012.
Although he didn't grow up in Rockhampton, Douglas said he had a deep understanding of life on the land having spent his childhood on cattle and sheep properties near Barcaldine and in the Darling Downs.
In the 1990s, Douglas and his parents moved back to Rockhampton and into a home which has been owned by the Rodgers since 1909.
As well as working in Federal politics as a media advisor for over a year, Douglas also operates a small photography business locally.
He said working across a diverse range of industries had given him a good understanding of the range of problems faced by people in Central Queensland.
But the biggest issue he sees, and has heard about from locals, is a lack of attention from governments.
It's a political concern which has played out in various ways across the globe, from Brexit and the election of Trump overseas to the rise of One Nation in Australia.
"I think this election serves as a good opportunity for an electorate like Rockhampton to let its voice be heard,” Douglas said.
"I think Rocky has often perhaps not flexed its democratic muscle in the past.
"There's a culture of change about and there's a lot of change in politics in general at the moment.
"I think what all that comes down to is people at the ground level, I suppose for want of a better word the battlers, feeling like they're not being heard, they're not being listened to.
"That's something I hear a lot around Rocky.”
For Douglas, the most important element of running for Rockhampton is to get out and understand the changes people want to see from their political representatives.
"I've still got a lot of people to talk to get a better feel for where people stand,” he said.
"I'm looking forward to meeting more people, shaking more hands and getting down to what people want.
"People are going to vote for politicians, but they don't necessarily want someone who is going to be a politician.
"They want someone they can relate to and that they can talk to.”