THE people of the Whitsundays will have the choice of five candidates when we go to the polls next month.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on the weekend that the federal election would be on August 21.
The seat of Dawson extends from just south of Mackay to the southern suburbs of Townsville and includes the Whitsundays as well as Bowen, Ayr and Home Hill.
It is held by the Labor Party with a margin of only 2.6 per cent.
This makes Dawson one of 16 key seats in Queensland which will help decide this election.
The seat was held by the National Party from 1975 until 1996 when it was won by Labor's James Bidgood with a 13.2 per cent swing.
Mr Bidgood is not contesting this election.
This year's contest is expected to be close between Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker (Labor) and Mackay Regional councillor George Christensen (LNP).
However, three other candidates have also thrown their hats into the ring.
Greens candidate Jonathan Dykyj is calling for at least three debates within the electorate between now and the election – one in the north, one in the south and one in the middle.
None of these have been confirmed at this stage.
The candidates contesting for the seat of Dawson are:
MIKE BRUNKER - LABOR
- Age: 48
- Former coal miner from Collinsville.
- Currently mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
- Local councillor for 16 years.
- Lived all his life in the electorate.
- Married to Kylie.
GEORGE CHRISTENSEN - LNP
- Age: 32
- Former PR officer, journalist and newspaper publisher.
- Currently Mackay regional Councillor.
- Lived in Mackay all his life except for when he went to university to become a journalist.
ROBERT JAMESON - INDEPENDENT
- Campaigning on single issue of population.
- Been living in Mackay for 4 years.
- Moved to the area to set up recruitment agency.
- Originally from South Australia and previously worked for TAA, AMP and Electrolux.
JONATHAN DYKYJ - GREENS
- Age: 27
- Works with habitat restoration for Mackay Regional Council.
- Lived in Mackay since 2004.
- Joined the Greens in 2008.
- Engaged and has a one year old daughter.
DAMIAN HERRINGTON - FAMILY FIRST
- Age: 34
- Working as School chaplain in Bowen.
- Born in Mackay.
- Lived in Bowen 14 years.
- Married for 11 years – has four children and another one due in September.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.