Who you should vote for in the Blair electorate
THE candidates for Blair have shared their thoughts on a series of questions sent to them by the Gatton Star. Each candidate received the same questions and was asked to provide a response, however candidates John Quinn and Sharon Bell did not respond by our deadline.
This week's questions are:
1. What do you believe is the major issue facing the electorate of Blair?
2. Why do you believe you are the best person to represent the electorate?
3. What will be your key goal for the electorate should you be elected?
Simone Karandrews - Independent
BLAIR with its metropolitan and rural sectors is projected to grow and welcome a diverse population in the next 20 years. Blair needs proactive community- focused leadership at Commonwealth level that advocates for the provision and investment in infrastructure and services. In recent years there has been lack of foresight, disregard of community concerns and little action on issues that affect the electorate, stifling future prosperity. Safe seats receive little attention federally.
A CAREER in healthcare, volunteering on a professional committee and advocating for review of Postcode 4306 demonstrates committed service to the region. These developed my resilience and determination to fight on behalf of our electorate on issues that matter. As a strong independent I work without a party agenda and do not cow-tow to corporate donors. I have a forward focused approach to provide community-focused leadership working across all tiers of government to exact solutions.
BRINGING community focus back into politics. I want this community to have an active voice in national parliament. My goal is to have Blair regarded as a place that people and business are excited to be part of. I envision a prosperous, liveable region, balancing lifestyle, economic growth and natural assets.
Peter Fitzpatrick - Conservative National
IT IS WIDELY predicted that the region's population will more than double over the next 20 years, and not just in Ipswich, but in our rural communities. We need to plan for this now - be proactive and not reactive once it is too late.
I AM AN approachable family man who is looking towards the future for our children. I understand farming first hand - coming from a farming background myself and the struggles associated with it. I am not afraid to speak for the people and for what I believe in. It is easy for a person who sits behind a desk to lose touch with the outside world.
FOR the Blair electorate to receive as much attention as possible for funding to assist with road development, affordable housing and attracting and supporting small business to the area. This is why Fraser Anning's Party is lobbying for a development bank to be put in place. This provides the lowest interest possible funding for the infrastructure.
Shayne Neumann - Labor
THERE are many issues affecting Blair and its residents, these include fixing schools and hospitals, easing pressure on family budgets, standing up for workers, building a strong economy that works for all of us and investing in cheaper, cleaner, renewable energy. Blair should be getting a fair go on infrastructure spending.
I'M AN Ipswich local through and through. Living here my whole life means I understand the issues which affect regional and rural Queenslanders. I have a record of delivering for all of Blair from the Eastern parts of Ipswich to the entire Somerset Region. I've delivered a cancer clinic for the Mater Hospital in Springfield, Ipswich Motorway upgrades and the Blacksoil interchange. I know what our region needs to keep being the best place to live.
FUNDING for quality education, health and hospitals, jobs and infrastructure are my key goals. Labor is making education more accessible and funding more doctors and nurses. We'll restore funding for training and apprenticeships, and fund vital infrastructure projects. We'll achieve this by not looking after the top end of town and reversing tax cuts for banks and multinationals.
I've made a number of local funding commitments and delivering those will be another priority if Labor forms government.
Robert Shearman - Liberal
PUTTING downward pressure on energy prices is a major issue facing the people of Blair. The Morrison Government has already acted by abolishing the loyalty tax and the misleading use of discounts to attract customers.
Our plan includes a price safety net to protect customers, big stick legislation to stop energy company rip offs and supporting small businesses to improve their energy efficiency.
During six years of Labor Government, power prices doubled and went up each year.
I HAVE a proven track record of serving my community through my term serving in the armed forces that included several overseas deployments. My recent experience working for a family-owned manufacturing and equipment sales business means I also understand the challenges facing small business.
ENSURING we build a strong economy that backs small business and secures Australia's future. The government is delivering tax relief that would see every single resident in Blair earning over $40,000 a year better off compared with Labor. By getting the Budget back into surplus we're able to invest more money into local schools, hospitals and roads. Contrast this with Labor who want to whack Australians with billions of dollars in higher taxes.
Majella Zimpel - United Australia Party
THE cost of living. People have a fundamental and equal right to food, water, housing, electricity, education and medical care which under our government system are becoming "luxury items". Our policies of tax-deductible mortgages, cheaper electricity, increasing pensions by $150 per week, changing provisional tax which will support small business and create jobs will begin to address this immediately. The major parties and extra taxes will just continue to compound the problem.
I HAVE a genuine desire to serve the public. I am here to represent the community and work towards having their needs met, I'm not a career politician, or a banker or a lawyer, I'm someone who has spent their career listening to, advocating for and empowering others which is exactly what our community needs. The policies we have are based on practical solutions to the issues that affect our daily lives.
AN INCREASED quality of life for all - addressing the issues noted above. For our community to thrive, for people's needs to be met, for Blair to be a desirable and safe place to live and raise a family. Infrastructure that meets or even surpasses the community's needs. For the area not to be known as the location for super dumps or incinerators for everyone else's rubbish. Public service to be about serving the public.
Michelle Duncan - Greens
BLAIR residents are being let down by all levels of government who are no longer representing their community. They are beholden to the big corporations who make huge donations to them. As such we see huge developments everywhere with no infrastructure to go with it. Our roads, schools and hospital aren't coping and people have to travel long distances in order to find employment. In Ipswich we are facing the proposed super dumps and incinerator.
MYSELF and the Greens do not take donations from corporations. We are only beholden to our employers: the residents of our own electorates. I am not a career politician. I face the same struggles as everybody - unaffordable childcare and education, long waits in the public health system, the rising cost of living, and frustration at my questions to our local representatives going unanswered. I want to address these issues and fight for our community.
I HAVE already been able to attend many community meetings around Blair and I would continue to do so. Hearing about the local issues from the people facing them is the best way an elected member can truly make informed decisions for the electorate. We need to stop the proposed super-dumps, improve the federal roads that so many of us rely on to get around safely, and start creating sustainable jobs for the future.
John 'Sandy' Turner - Independent
THE major issue facing the people in Blair is the loss of industry and jobs. The flow on effect is witnessed in the empty shop facades and an unemployment rate of just under 7%. To counter this we need to bring manufacturing back to this country. Australian industry, being encouraged and stimulated by a government that will be seeking to build these infrastructure projects using Aussie ingenuity and locally made parts/ components.
BEING born here and lived, worked, and raised my family here I know the local issues and have witnessed the region become what it is today. We need a conservative that lives in the real world to bring the region back to a prosperous region where small and medium businesses are able to thrive. My taxation policy will enable this by way of a simple 2% debit tax instead of the 125 we currently pay.
THE aims I have are to promote family businesses and repair decrepit infrastructure. Small to medium businesses are the life blood of our economy and must be fostered and encouraged. Our two main highways, the Cunningham and the Warrego desperately need work done to make them safe to use. The current federal member has failed to achieve this. No more lives should be lost through these unsafe thoroughfares being substandard.