Chalmers visits Bowen as part of listening tour
LABOR'S most senior Queensland political figure has stopped in Bowen as part of a listening tour into the "disappointing result" at the federal election.
Opposition Treasurer Jim Chalmers visited town on Tuesday as part of a four-day, 2800km tour through regional Queensland which included stops in Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton.
Hailing it as a trip of 'politics in the pub', Mr Chalmers was joined by Senator Anthony Chisholm to talk to people in regional centres about "where they can regain the trust" for the Labor Party.
Labor suffered a dramatic defeat in regional Queensland last month, particularly in the Dawson region where MP George Christensen enjoyed a very healthy 11.2% two-party swing, the second-largest for the Coalition nationally.
"We've recognised that we let down the people of regional Queensland this election, and we're here to see what we can do better," Mr Chalmers said.
"There are obvious lessons to learn from this election, clearly in regions like Dawson and Herbert we didn't resonate with voters. You'd be mad to not be out on the ground of these regions and seeing why that was the case."
Mr Chalmers said that Labor planned to champion North Queensland moving forward, and give it a much larger voice.
"There's a lot of the countries wealth coming out of North Queensland, and we want to recognise that," Mr Chalmers said.
"Regional Queensland is so different from town to town, but everywhere we go there's the same talk. People are telling us that just because they're a long way from the capital, they shouldn't expect less."
Asked if both the federal and state Labor Parties stance on Adani and the mining industry was to blame for the poor poll results, Mr Chalmers said that "the election didn't turn on one issue".
"Clearly our position on Adani didn't resonate with the people of Dawson, but it wasn't the sole reason for the loss," he said.
Labor candidate for Dawson, Belinda Hassan, suffered through a campaign plagued with uncertainty in regards to her party's stance on the controversial Adani mine, however Mr Chalmers said that Ms Hassan was a strong candidate for the region.
"Belinda Hassan was a good community orientated candidate for the Dawson region," Mr Chalmers said.
"Clearly we didn't cut through to the extent that we wanted to up here though.
"We need to recalibrate our tax issues, push back on lies told about our policies but yes, we do need to look at mining as it is clearly a very large issue up here.
"We didn't expect another three years in this position, but we will be using all that time wisely to see where we went wrong, and how we can win back that trust from the people of North Queensland."