Voting Nastco

Candidates talk mines, reef, tourism, education and health

LNP candidate, George Christensen

LIBERAL: George Christensen. Photo contributed.
LIBERAL: George Christensen. Photo contributed. Contributed

Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

Like many businesses and residents in the Whitsundays, I support the Carmichael Coal Project because of its ability to drive jobs and growth in our local economy.

The project will create thousands of jobs and thousands of pay packets in our regional drive market catchment.

Some of the families employed by this project will either be living in the Whitsundays or will move here as Adani has committed to using both Mackay and Bowen as workforce and business hubs.

Families with good jobs in the mining industry will be looking to spend time and money in the Whitsundays and that is great for local business, local workers, and the local community. 

Great Barrier Reef

The Liberal National Government has allocated $461million to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Funding goes to projects which address water quality and gully erosion, as well as those that tackle crown of thorns starfish and illegal fishing.

We have also just announced that we will make the Great Barrier Reef even greater with a $1 billion Reef Fund to drive water quality improvement and support job-creating renewable energy projects along the Great Barrier Reef coastline.

An example is that the Whitsunday Regional Council for instance would be able to take advantage of this Reef Fund by accessing low cost loans to finance a waste-water recycling plant for the Whitsundays.

This could stop nutrient outflows onto the reef, and instead direct treated waste water onto local farms. 


In our recent Budget, the Liberal National Government announced the most significant package of education quality reforms in a generation and they are the reforms which, the evidence shows, have the most impact on student performance.

Total Commonwealth funding to all schools across Queensland will be $907.6 million, which is a 27.5% increase from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

Our funding plan for schools will be needs-based, and tied to the implementation of key reforms which include improving literacy and numeracy, increasing engagement with STEM subjects, enhancing teacher quality, and ensuring students leave school prepared with the skills necessary for the jobs of the future.

Let's not forget that ensuring we have more jobs in the future is just as important as ensuring our children get a good education. 


There are a number of health initiatives which work to improve health care.

The big picture is that the Commonwealth will provide an estimated additional $2.9 billion in funding for public hospital services from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020, with growth in Commonwealth funding capped at 6.5 per cent a year.

I was also happy to secure a District of Workforce Shortage classification for three areas in the Whitsundays - Proserpine, Mount Julian and Hamilton Island - recently.

This means that it will be easier to attract doctors to those areas. I am also advocating for this region to be one of 12 chosen for a new initiative to establish and run community-based suicide prevention. 


This week I have been in Airlie Beach to announce that a re-elected Liberal National Government will invest $300,000 towards a walking track at Whitehaven Beach to address issues of overcrowding at this beautiful tourist destination.

A hardened circuit walking track and a lookout deck at the southern end of Whitehaven will provide another viewing area and a better experience for the thousands of people who come to holiday here every year.

I have also been working with the marine tourism industry to advocate for greater superyacht access in the Whitsundays.

A superyacht spending a week in port potentially injects $50,000 into the local economy.


ALP candidate, Frank Gilbert

ALP: Frank Gilbert. Photo contributed.
ALP: Frank Gilbert. Photo contributed. Contributed

Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

I support the project providing it meets our environmental and financial standards and provides local jobs for local people.

Coal will continue to play a significant role in the world's energy mix for years to come due to its relative low cost compared to other energy sources.

There is plenty of coal in the world. If we do not supply our thermal coal, India will source dirtier burning coal from other parts of the world.

This seems to be cutting our nose off despite our face.

You can't blame global warming on the coal industry alone.

Labor's sensible market-based emissions trading scheme will in time allow greater investment in renewable energy technology. 

Great Barrier Reef

Labor will act to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and the 70,000 jobs it supports, from the disastrous effects of climate change and other threats.

Our Great Barrier Reef plan - a long term, coordinated and resource strategy will be supported by a fund of $500m over five years, including $377 million of new investment.

We will also work with the Queensland government and local stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce report.

Our plan to protect this delicate ecosystem has three pillars covering research, management, investment and preservation.

The best way to help the reef and to boost tourism and economic growth is to take serious action on climate change. 


As a former teacher, I know how important it is to parents to know their children will get the best possible education, no matter what school they go to.

That's why Labor will invest $3.8 billion more than Mr Turnbull in Australian schools.

This includes $725 million more in Queensland and $35 million extra in the Dawson electorate in 2017 and 2018, compared to the LNP.

Every school, private and State, in the Whitsunday region will benefit from this investment in our kids future.

Labor will honour the Gonski agreements on-time and in-full.

Labor's Your Child Our Future plan will drive the most significant improvement to our education system in a generation - through needs-based investment in the programs that make a difference in our classrooms. 


Labor will increase funding for Queensland hospitals.

Hospitals in Queensland can expect to receive about $400 million more over the next four years than they would under the LNP.

This will mean reduce hospital waiting times, more beds, more doctors and nurses.

Labor's Medicare guarantee will also abolish Mr Turnbull's GP tax by stealth which will cut bulk-billing and see more patients paying higher fees to visit their local doctor.

We will also scrap his $5 increase in prescription costs, and most importantly legislate to ensure Medicare remains in public hands.

Only Labor believes access to basic healthcare should rely on your Medicare card, not our credit card. 


The Whitsundays is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marin Park, one of Australia's premier domestic and international tourism destinations.

Labor will allocate $1 billion to a Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund to boost partnerships with the tourism sector and provide incentives for investment in new and upgraded tourism infrastructure across the north.

A commitment by a Shorten Labor government, the Whitsunday Regional Council and myself to the $13.2 million Airlie Beach Foreshore Development will revamp the area and be a key driver for further tourism development.

It is a solid indication that I am totally committed to enhancing and improving the viability of our local tourism industry.


Greens candidate, Jonathan Dykyj

GREENS: Jonathan Dykyj. Photo contributed.
GREENS: Jonathan Dykyj. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

I do not support this project.

It is cruel and dishonest to give people false hope that this project will be some kind of knight in shining armour saviour.

The opening up of the Galilee Basin will be an economic and environmental disaster.

Massive mines carving up grazing and cropping land, threatening and destroying ground and surface water; dredging and shipping threatening the reef; and enormous increases in emission that will make climate change much worse.

Thermal coal is in global structural economic decline and it makes no sense for us to expand this industry, there are plenty of better alternatives for electricity production.

If most of the world's and Australia's biggest banks won't fund this project, why should us taxpayers? 

Great Barrier Reef

The Greens are the only party with a strong and clear track record of reef protection.

We will act rapidly on global warming, with 90% clean energy by 2030, a ban on new thermal coal mines and fracking projects, abolition of fossil fuel subsidies and a just transition for workers; slash water pollution with a $2 billion fund over five years; stop damaging port expansion and ban all offshore dumping and capital dredging for fossil fuel port expansion by closing the loopholes in the federal and state government's existing rules, strengthen the reef's champions, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and; address illegal fishing with better compliance, modern technology and education campaigns. 


The greatest responsibility a society has is to educate is its young.

Education is the best investment we can make into our future, into our economy, into our healthcare system, into our justice system, and into our well being as a community.

Right now, our schools are chronically underfunded, putting pressure on teachers, students and parents.

It is for these reasons that The Greens support the immediate funding of the needs-based, sector-blind, Gonski education funding model, in it's entirety.

The Green's also acknowledge that learning is a life long journey.

That is why we believe a similar emphasise needs to be put onto our early care and education services; as well as TAFE/VET and University sectors 


The Greens support a world class, publicly funded health system.

We believe in investing in preventative health measures. We will restore the funding model where the Commonwealth and the states share the rising costs in delivering hospital services evenly.

We will develop a National Rural Health Plan focusing on meeting the workforce needs in rural and regional Australia.

We will invest $280 million for rural mental health, including the development and implementation of a workforce plan and funding for step-up, step-down support services and accommodation.

We will make dental services part of Medicare. 


Tourism is critical to our economy. Investment in tourism will bring jobs and economic growth.

The Greens would contribute $60 million to regional tourism grants to be awarded to local tourism businesses, community groups and local governments on a competitive basis.

We will provide $40 million over four years to Tourism Australia to market us to the world.

Only the Greens will take the action necessary to protect the Reef and its 69,000 jobs and $6billion of economic benefit to our economy to mostly small to medium, locally owned businesses.


KAP candidate, Ashley Dodd

STANDING: Katter's Australian Party candidate Ashley Dodd. Photo contributed.
STANDING: Katter's Australian Party candidate Ashley Dodd. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

I support the Carmichael Mine, however I do not support the expansion of Abbot Point.

Instead I will advocate that infrastructure funding should be redistributed to the development and implementation of the Dawson Inland Rail Project (DIRP).

The DIRP will create jobs and redirect the transport of base commodities and agricultural commodities inland towards the Darwin Port, furthermore shipping will be directed away from the Great Barrier Reef.

The DIRP has many economic benefits such as, but not limited to;

• reduction in transport and shipping cost

• opportunities to develop value adding industries in regional communities

• protects the social and economic benefits derived from the Great Barrier Reef

• opens up Western Queensland for further economic development; and

• creates employment in regional communities. 

Great Barrier Reef

The development and implementation of the Dawson Inland Rail Project will protect the Great Barrier Reef from a possible environmental shipping disaster occurring.

Whilst The development and implementation of the Dawson land and water management Co-operative between First Nations people and the farmers will ensure and maintain a duty of care for the lands, waters and the Great Barrier Reef. 


Education is an absolute must for all Australians.

I will advocate that education should be maintained as a top priority in relation to the distribution of taxpayers dollars.

However I will advocate that a greater distribution of revenue should be allocated to state education and advocate for a sliding scale allocation of funds to private and religious schools.

In relation to the criliculum of state schools, I will be advocating from a federal level that the Queensland Govement should introduce Philosophy as a mandatory subject.

Philosophy will give our future generations the skills and ability to become free thinkers.

It is free thinkers that challenge the status quo and find solutions to the woes of the world. 


Health care services are necessary for society to function at an optimal level of wellbeing.

Medicare provides a safety net for Australia citizens who utilise health care services.

Therefore it is absurd to allow governments to diminish Medicare.

Hence If elected I will then continually advocate for the distribution of tax dollars towards strengthening our Medicare system to optimise the wellbeing of our society.

Because Medicare is a sufficient condition of the health care system and the health care system is a necessary condition to optimise the wellbeing of our society. 


Tourism brings billions of dollars into the Dawson electorate.

A major driver of tourism in Dawson is the Great Barrier Reef.

I am committed to protecting the economic and social benefits derived from the reef; by redirecting shipping away from Abbot Point via the Dawson Inland Rail Project and the creation of a Dawson Land and Water Management Co-operative between First Nations people and the farmers to ensure best practice.

However If the public vote the ALP candidate and/or the current LNP MP into the seat of Dawson; then they both have committed to expand Abbot Point to increase shipping into the Great Barrier Reef.

Increased shipping will be detrimental to the welfare of the reef, which gives the Dawson region economic and social benefits.

Therefore it is absurd to vote for the ALP candidate and/or the current LNP MP.


GLT candidate, Michael Hall

STANDING: Glenn Lazaru Team candidate for Dawson Michael Hall. Photo contributed.
STANDING: Glenn Lazaru Team candidate for Dawson Michael Hall. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

In short, yes I support the Carmichael Mine infrastructure with strict conditions attached: that they have trust funds set up to ensure all workers are paid, the environment is protected and tax payers are not left to clean up a mess in the event of failure.

They meet and continue to adhere to Australia's strict environmental laws

There are guarantees that jobs created will go to locals first

There is NO migrant labour on construction or operation 

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is an important asset for the country and the state of Queensland - as it forms part of our tourism economy.

There is no doubt the Government needs to do what ever it can to protect and support the reef.

The first thing they can do is adopt the Glenn Lazarus Team policy to ensure Australian seafarers are working on all ships operating in our waters.

Currently foreign crews are operating large container ships which are traveling through the reef and they are not as experienced and many do not know how to use their onboard navigation systems.

Foreign ships with foreign crews are being impounded on a regular basis by Australian authorities because foreign crews can not properly operate the ships.

This is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. 


The greatest investment a nation can make is in its people.

Nations that invest in their people through education create social cohesion, innovation, positive communities and strong forward thinking economies.

We believe education should be available to all.

We believe the Australian Government has an important role to play in supporting the delivery of a world class higher education system which encourages participation and enables fair access by all.

We support: Australian Government funding of schools and the higher education system, including the Gonksi reforms, stopping cuts to TAFE and standing against the deregulation of university fees; A national approach to Australia's educational curriculum; A curriculum which enriches our people while celebrating and advancing our great nation; and the delivery of additional assistance to regional and rural Australia and other priority areas 


Charging everyday people more for pathology and prescriptions will hurt families and I fear cause an increase in serious illnesses.

Not being treated early will lead to unhealthier Queenslanders and more preventable deaths.

We are not talking about a few dollars here and there, not that the value should even be an issue, the simple fact is we are talking $100's in some cases.

People will not have certain tests / procedures done, preventative health will go out the window and hospitals and emergency rooms will fill with worst case scenarios placing an even greater strain on hospitals doctors, nurses and the care ratio's.

The Glenn Lazarus Team will aim to reverse the freeze on Medicare rebates, strengthen Medicare and protect bulk billing. 


We will establish an agricultural hub to attract new businesses and opportunities in the agricultural sector.

We will develop a new tourism plan for the sector to drive tourism growth and establish Mackay as the conference and events hub of North Queensland. Key areas of the waterfront precinct will be redeveloped to establish a vibrant and bustling centre of restaurants, social activity and lifestyle options, ie BBQs, recreational options, etc, all of which will provide jobs, community engagement and improve the region's liveability of the region.


Independent candidate, Steven Large

Independent: Steven Large. Photo contributed.
Independent: Steven Large. Photo contributed. Contributed


Carmichael Mine / Abbot Point

On the 20th of June I went to a forum in Airlie Beach to listen and speak in front of a public audience.

I noticed there were 'fence sitters' who all said they support Adani.

While I support the mine and the infrastructure, I do not support Adani (India) selling our coal to sell to themselves.

The voter needs to open their eyes, and see what's going on around them; Wilmar, Warrnambool Cheese, and Kidman cattle properties.

Our country is being raped by foreigners whilst our government sits idly by.

No banks in the world will finance Adani in its current form.

Have a think about that, there must be a reason for this. I would support this mine if it were Australian owned and run. 

Great Barrier Reef

Looking into the fact that in 1975 the reef was in good health, and the Mackay and Townsville population was approximately a third of what it is now (Mackay at 120,000 and Townsville at 230,000), noting that the Ross River and Pioneer River ecosystems were never meant to cope with the influx of humans and their associated waste/effluent.

My job would be to help implement new waste management on all fronts.

Most people don't realise they use 60 litres of fuel a week, and a house uses two rolls of toilet paper a week, along with its associated other sewer products; not to mention detergents and rural farm additives and because it disappears around the S bend people will not be held accountable for it as they can't see were it goes. 


I can not volunteer funding as I am not currently in a position to (nor is the government financially).

I believe school is about students.

By gathering information from existing statistics, I would look into the quality of senior/sub-senior students that our schools are turning out.

It is important that school leavers are employable, self-sufficient and are aware of car/family/housing and other financial issues.

This way, they are conscious of what is soon to confront them so as to guard them from financial stress.

Interschool mathematics, science ,spelling and grammar competitions would be as common as school sports days, to introduce competitive interaction at all levels of education.

Competition will create an incentive, as well as familiarize students of outside students and school policies, to make them worldlier.

Schools main concentration should be to produce quality young adults that can be assets to society and themselves as a whole person, not just academically. 


1. Add a patient feedback reward system for staff, allowing popular hard working staff to get work based recognition on their uniform and resume updated six-monthly.

2. Get figures and statistics for the CQ Rescue helicopter system and add specialised regional staff to areas of re-occurring health statistics in the Dawson region.

Hospital care is very close to my heart as I had a five-year-old son die waiting for service and another son travelling on five different occasions between hospitals from Mackay, Proserpine and Townsville before he was out of the NICU & Maternity system, which in my mind is completely out of touch with reality of our tax paid for medical care.

If asked I could give this newspaper 5 or 6 close acquaintances who have had similar results, system looks better, service is worse. 


Tourism from Townsville to Mackay (Dawson) could be promoted via government roadside bill boards.

Promoting local attractions and prominent points.

Government help on luring grey nomads and business loans on viable pocket industries interested in the traveller's dollar.

ABC could be made to do large segments on local tourism featuring on Dawson regional subjects every week.


Family First, Amanda Nickson

Family First candidate for Dawson Amanda Nickson. Photo contributed.
Family First candidate for Dawson Amanda Nickson. Photo contributed. Contributed.

"GIVE Amanda a break, she's putting her family first."

That's how Family First senator Rob McGarvie responded to critics of Federal Dawson candidate Amanda Nickson, who despite the looming election, is in Thailand and won't return until after the vote.

He said blame should instead be levelled at the Federal Government, which had indicated the election would be held in September before calling it in early July.

"Amanda's in the same boat as a record number of Australians who are turning out at pre-poll to vote early.

Their family were not expecting a July election during Queensland school holidays," he said, adding the election timing was really about power and control, and that no thought had been given to the inconvenience to families or the billions it would add to the national debt.

Family First state director Simon Green did not appear concerned about his candidate's disappearance, stating the priority for the party was to put up an alternative to Labor and the Coalition in each electorate.

"If someone has a trip booked and paid for and then an election is called, that's fairly difficult to avoid," Mr Green said.

"We urge our candidates to stick around for the campaign but they also have to live their lives."

Even though she has left the country, Ms Nickson does have a Facebook page "Amanda Nickson - Federal Candidate for Dawson", which she last updated on June 26 and 28, with videos about the Senate and Coalition's promised marriage equality plebiscite.

She also pledged support for flat tax rates across the community and compensation for families impacted by the 2011 ban on live cattle exports.

Ms Nickson was contacted for comment.

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