ROCKHAMPTON CANDIDATES: Dominic Doblo (Independent), Tony Hopkins (LNP), Mick Jones (Greens), Barry O'Rourke (ALP), Yvette Saxon (IMOP), Christian Shepherd (KAP), Torin O'Brien (ONP), Paul Crangle (UAP) and Laura Barnard (LCQ) are the nine candidates contesting the seat of Rockhampton.
ROCKHAMPTON CANDIDATES: Dominic Doblo (Independent), Tony Hopkins (LNP), Mick Jones (Greens), Barry O'Rourke (ALP), Yvette Saxon (IMOP), Christian Shepherd (KAP), Torin O'Brien (ONP), Paul Crangle (UAP) and Laura Barnard (LCQ) are the nine candidates contesting the seat of Rockhampton.

Rocky’s candidates discuss economy, employment

EVERY election The Morning Bulletin provides candidates the opportunity to inform Rockhampton region voters how they would address some of the region’s key issues.

From improvements on road safety and healthcare, to how they each plan to tackle the staggering crime rate, learn more about your local candidate’s take on five pressing issues across this final week of the Queensland Election campaign.

This was today’s question:

“What is your vision for stimulating economic activity and employment in the Rockhampton region as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Barry O’Rourke – Labor’s candidate for Rockhampton

Labor's incumbent candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke
Labor's incumbent candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke

The Palaszczuk Government’s response to COVID-19 has kept Queenslanders safe and allowed our economic recovery to begin. Our economic recovery is only possible because of the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing public health response.

We have more than $8 billion in recovery initiatives to keep the economy moving and Queenslanders in jobs – ranging from targeted support for industry and small business, to cost of living relief for households.

Nothing the other parties have offered comes close to matching our local economic plan when it comes to job creation.

In Rockhampton we are even better placed to rebuild following commitments during this campaign which will see more manufacturing jobs, more tourism jobs and more young trainees and apprentices.

I’m proud to be part of a Palaszczuk Labor Government which will bring rail manufacturing jobs back to Rockhampton. We’ll establish a rail manufacturing hub locally to create around 500 local jobs and benefit local businesses.

We’re also delivering Rookwood Weir and the Capricornia Correctional Centre Upgrade – the latter of which will create more than 230 ongoing full-time local jobs from next year. There are still positions going if anyone reading this is looking for good secure work.

But what I’m most excited about is providing the people of Rocky with the skills to fill those jobs through our investment in training and apprenticeships. Under the $21 million initiative free TAFE and free apprenticeships will be provided to all Queenslanders under 25. That will mean hundreds of young people in our region will get a leg-up in life and be ready to take advantage of jobs which will be created by our economic recovery plan.

Yvette Saxon – Informed Medical Options Party candidate for Rockhampton

Did not respond by deadline.

Christian Shepherd – Katter’s Australian Party candidate for Rockhampton

KAP candidate for Rockhampton Christian Shepherd
KAP candidate for Rockhampton Christian Shepherd

Central Queensland’s economic slump started a long time before COVID-19, despite what the current government would try to have you believe.

My plan for the economic recovery is to focus on a blue collar, working class economy that will provide entry level jobs to the largest swathes of the population.

Rockhampton is hundreds of millions of dollars per year worse off than Mackay and Bundaberg on agricultural revenue alone. The major cause of this is lack of water infrastructure. I will push for additional dams and weirs to remedy this. Increasing our agricultural revenue is the most readily available way to add money to the Rockhampton economy. Just add water – the farmers will do the rest.

Manufacturing is the next best sector to invest in, as it provides similar employment opportunities and feeds off the agricultural sector. The current government suffer from such a narrow vision and closed mind that they promise to increase our PPE storage several-fold when in fact we should be building a PPE factory. This would create ongoing jobs in Rockhampton instead of China and provide a local market for our cotton to the west and paper materials to the east. Creating things, however simply doesn’t enter the wildest dreams of the major parties. Projects like this would be well complimented by the trade prowess provided by the CQ TAFE Centre of Excellence – which only Katter’s Australian Party has committed to fully funding.

I have also committed to establishing a State Development Area in the Gracemere/Stanwell industrial corridor with a $20M investment into infrastructure and capital works. This will replace some of the jobs lost in the region from Labor’s sale of QR National, which devastated Gracemere especially.

Lowering electricity prices is what needs to happen for our true economic potential to be realised. Everything we consume or create is done so at an inflated cost which chokes productivity and destroys local buying power. Lowering power prices is a major policy goal of the KAP and I would not stop short of reversing the corporatisation of our state energy assets to achieve this.

Torin O’Brien – One Nation’s candidate for Rockhampton

One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien
One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien

Perhaps one of the most neglected and costly mistakes of the last election was not following through with making Rockhampton the sporting capital.

I’ve spoken to most sporting community leaders and upgrading major sports facilities will bring millions and millions of dollars to town, this is because we can finally hold state titles and sports carnivals here.

On average most state titles or carnivals bring over 1000 people to town for a long weekend and potentially $5m to our local economy per sporting code. Not to mention the construction and upgrade jobs it would create in the interim.

This is an enormous downfall of the last term of government that’s cost us big time, not to mention another pre-election empty promise from 2017.

Craig Crangle – United Australia Party’s candidate for Rockhampton

Did not respond by deadline.

Laura Barnard – Legalise Cannabis Queensland’s candidate for Rockhampton

Laura Barnard is the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party's candidate for Rockhampton.
Laura Barnard is the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party's candidate for Rockhampton.

Rockhampton is a proud town, full of people that go out of their way to help those in need. We may not see it in the media everyday, but there is a great deal of pride in our town with many people still upholding Rockhampton’s old town values.

We’re the gateway to the tropics and we best not take that for granted any longer.

It is my vision to reignite our town’s image and improve our tourism appeal.

K is for Kindness is a locally-run, non-political campaign, which promotes Paying It Forward and Random Acts of Kindness.

If you receive a free coffee, you feel good and might return the favour directly, or do it in another way like helping someone in need.

It’s economics and social economics tied together in a remarkable wheel of fortune.

It is my belief that we need to invest in the matters in town that could result in big improvements, similar to this business model.

Public transport in our region needs an overhaul - more services, more shelters, and more operators equals more jobs and more incomes to benefit our community.

Improving access to our region increases likelihood for those unable to drive to gain employment outside of their previous scope.

And if we were to have a moratorium on nonviolent cannabis crimes, we would have an influx of job-ready community members; excited at the prospect of the opportunities now open to them once again.

Cannabis law reform will bring a range of new businesses; biofuel manufacturing to industrial applications, beauty products and plastic alternative packaging. I would love to see Rockhampton as the hub for the hemp industry’s manufacturing capabilities.

We have lost a lot of manufacturing work in Queensland, it’s time to bring long lasting work back home.

Dominic Doblo – Independent candidate for Rockhampton

Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is running as an independent candidate in the electorate of Rockhampton for the 2020 State Election.
Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is running as an independent candidate in the electorate of Rockhampton for the 2020 State Election.

Ten per cent for 10 years.

10 per cent tax rate for Australian citizens working, or Australian companies investing in agriculture or manufacturing in regional Australia for the next 10 years.

Tony Hopkins – LNP candidate for Rockhampton

LNP candidate for Rockhampton Tony Hopkins
LNP candidate for Rockhampton Tony Hopkins

The LNP’s economic plan:

1. Build more dams and water infrastructure including the real Rookwood Weir and the New Bradfield Scheme.

2. Building a four-lane Bruce Highway from Curra to Cairns.

3. Open up the Galilee Basin to develop $50 billion worth of projects that will support 15,000 jobs.

4. Reduce electricity costs and water costs for businesses.

5. Award Queensland Government contracts exclusively to Queensland businesses in three strategic industries (food, manufacturing and medical supplies).

6. Speed up Government payments to small business to help cashflow.

7. Rebuild the resource industry’s confidence to invest in Queensland by freezing royalty rates for 10 years.

8. End Labor’s go-slow on mining projects and mining jobs and fast-track approvals for projects that meet environmental conditions and obligations.

9. Release a budget within 100 days to give business certainty.

10. The $300 Rego Rebate to kick start the economy.

Every one of these measures will have a positive economic and employment impact throughout the CQ region.

They will produce major flow-on benefits to Rocky as the CQ regional capital and goods and services hub.

On the rego rebate, it’s never been more important to buy local and support our local businesses.

If we’re elected, I ask locals to go out and spend every cent of their $300, and please spend it with local businesses.

Spend it on your family, spend it to make your Christmas better, your spending will save local jobs.

If we do that, we will inject $27.2 million dollars into the local economy to support local businesses who are doing it tough.

Mick Jones – The Greens candidate for Rockhampton

Greens Party candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones
Greens Party candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones

Politicians boast about jobs all the time. How often do they keep their promises?

The Greens can keep our promises because we don’t take corporate donations.

The other parties take big money from corporations, and then, in an amazing coincidence, they let those same industries off the hook when it comes to royalties and other revenue.

We need that revenue to rebuild the state, and create those jobs.

The Greens can make big banks, property developers, and mining tycoons pay their fair share in state-based taxes to fund our state’s recovery.

We’ll create more than 2000 new jobs for Rockhampton in manufacturing, health, education, renewable energy, and housing.

We’ll build a wind turbine factory in Rockhampton creating 425 jobs a year, building up to 100 wind turbines a year, with a capacity to manufacture 250MW of wind turbines by 2023.

We’ll build 1100MW worth of public and community owned renewable energy projects in and around Rockhampton, creating 1142 jobs per year.

We’ll implement strict local content rules, requiring 60 per cent locally sourced manufacturing content for all utility scale wind and solar energy projects by 2027.

We’ll construct 1800 well designed, safe, public homes over four years in Rockhampton, creating 364 jobs per year.

We’ll open six publicly owned health clinics around Rockhampton, creating 72 jobs for doctors and nurses. In addition, we’ll greatly expand the number of public hospital nurses and state school teachers in Rocky, and substantially improve their wages and conditions.

These will all be publicly owned projects and services, to keep the profits in the regions, and provide good wages and conditions.

We’ll ban the use of labour hire for renewable energy projects and guarantee leave entitlements and sick pay for every job.

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