ROCKHAMPTON MP Bill Byrne's critical health condition was a key driver for Annastacia Palaszczuk to call the much anticipated state election date.
As the campaigning is set to kick off prior to the November 25 election, here are the three candidates in the running for the seat of Keppel and their big issues for the region.
LABOR- Brittany Lauga
Keppel veteran and current member Brittany Lauga will still be fighting diligently to keep her seat in the upcoming election she won back in 2015.
Growing up in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, Mrs Lauga prides herself as a strong voice for locals to ensure residents are given a "fair deal".
The former town planner dealt her first big hand for the Capricorn Coast in her attempt to secure the $600m Great Keppel Island project with Tower Holdings.
The project still remains dormant after a boutique gaming license was declined by State Government with Mrs Lauga saying the developers could start work at any time without this license.
Mrs Lauga has endured the aftermath of two cyclones and floods in the electorate and prides herself on always being Keppel's "voice in desperate times".
Her vision for the region includes stepping up mental health services, rebuilding the health system and bring more local jobs to the region.
"Our prospects are strong, our future is bright. Central Queensland is a region that thrives on positivity and is renowned for the optimism of its people," she told The Morning Bulletin late last year.
"I'm always of the view that Central Queensland is at its best when we all work together.
"My plan is to make sure we continue doing just that."
Mrs Lauga is an active member of the community who is known to grace even the smallest events with her political presence.
The 31-year-old has just become a new mum to daughter, Odette, and vows to show the Keppel electorate she can still be a dedicated mum and fight for her region.
LNP- Peter Blundell
AFTER a rocky entrance to the political arena in Keppel, Peter Blundell has promised a number of bold plans for the electorate if he is successful in the upcoming election.
The former Southern Downs mayor announced he was running for the seat of Keppel in July and prides himself on 19 years experience in politics.
Now living in Cooee Bay with his wife, Mr Blundell believed the LNP had the best policies to allow the region to develop saying he would focus on fighting hard to create jobs "putting Keppel before the capital".
"There are a lot of businesses and organisations working hard to keep the region alive and the economy strong but they are being let down by the city-centric Palaszczuk Government with crippling price rises, increasing compliance costs and lack of investment in industries that create real job growth," he said upon successfully securing his candidacy.
Mr Blundell is passionate about pushing local developments including Great Keppel Island and Rookwood Weir saying the current government showed a lack of commitment to investment.
He also raised his concerns on the rising electricity and fuel prices and the lost sense of liveability in the region.
"The LNP can certainly can deliver on those issues and we have a commitment on developing this region," he previously told The Morning Bulletin.
ONE NATION- Matthew Loth
ANNOUNCED as the controversial party's Keppel candidate back in December last year, Matthew Loth has been patiently waiting for his chance to step up and represent the coast electorate.
Mr Loth, 26, is an former Emmaus College student currently working in the retail and hospitality sector with a passion for his home town and Viking re-enactments.
The Rocky man, turned Viking, turned politician, initially said in his post-announcement interview the One Nation party had caught his attention through their policies and passions, which aligned with his family background in agriculture.
Mr Loth says his experience in the local jobs sector as an "average Australian man" gave him the boost among Keppel residents as not just another politician.
He said his focus would be aimed at bringing CQ into the spotlight as he believed the south-east corner of the state dominated in funding and opportunities.
"Our region is not growing and offering enough any more... we are always near the bottom end of the list," he said as he secured his One Nation candidacy.
"In this day and age we focus on coal, but the reality is we can't eat coal.
"There is no focus on the farmer any more, and I think we need to get people in who want to get farming going.
"I don't feel that Keppel is growing the way it should. I don't think there are enough jobs or industry. I just want to help."