Canegrowers ready to talk election issues

ELECTRICITY tariffs, a sugar tax and research and development funding.

These are the three big issues Canegrowers Proserpine manager Mike Porter says should be on the agendas of the seven candidates standing for Dawson in the federal election of July 2.

And Mr Porter said he expected to meet with the candidates prior to polling day to gauge their views.

"It's really about how the candidates respond to those priorities," he said.

"We highlight the issues for the candidates, highlighted by the issues for our members, and in doing so it is hopeful the candidates will respond to those issues," he said.

The numbers in the race for the seat of Dawson have continued to grow.

Last week Ashley Dodd of the Katter Australia Party was the last of the seven candidates to throw a hat into the ring.

Incumbent MP George Christensen has long positioned himself as a champion of the local sugar industry and last week he met with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, announced funding of $3.5 million for the development of more efficient harvesting technology.

"(But) we still need a further commitment from George and some of these other politicians that our issues will be dealt with," Mr Porter said.

"Electricity is a burning issue for our organisation and there has been a lack of will from the State Government to do anything, so we are hoping the federal candidates can move that along."

Some commentators are making the call that Mr Christensen's seat looks relatively safe, while others predict Dawson could be one to watch.

Some are betting on an interesting outcome depending where Michael Hall of the Glenn Lazarus Team and Ashley Dodd of the KAP direct their preferences if they manage to snag between 20 and 30% of the vote.Mr Porter said Canegrowers would have discussions with candidates over the next few weeks "to get their views", noting, "we have not really seen a response to our priorities at this point".

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