Senator Barnaby Joyce signs a 'Barnaby boot' for LNP supporter Mick Easton (right) at a meeting at the Proserpine Showgrounds, while LNP Candidate for Dawson George Christensen watches on.
Senator Barnaby Joyce signs a 'Barnaby boot' for LNP supporter Mick Easton (right) at a meeting at the Proserpine Showgrounds, while LNP Candidate for Dawson George Christensen watches on.

Christensen slams park purchase

LNP candidate for Dawson, George Christensen, has condemned the Whitsunday Regional Council’s handling of the future sports park issue.

Mr Christensen, himself a current Mackay Councillor, was in Proserpine with outspoken senator Barnaby Joyce to address a group of LNP members and supporters on Friday and said that if he was voted in he would investigate what could be done to stop the purchase of Havengrand – the Mt Marlow land earmarked for a future sports park.

"The sports park is a community issue," Cr Christensen said.

"The Council’s got to listen to the community."

Cr Christensen also outlined his suspicion of the role Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker, Labor’s candidate for Dawson, had to play in Council’s decision to support the purchase of Havengrand.

"What concerns me are the circumstances under which it’s been purchased," Cr Christensen said.

"There are serious question marks surrounding the process.

"Consultants recommended against it and the Mayor acknowledges a conflict of interest.

"Brunker better make sure he had nothing to do with that decision if he had a conflict of interest.

"If he had anything to do with it, it has serious repercussions."

Cr Christensen said he was continuing to fight for a funding commitment for the current sports park, suggesting that an upgrade of the current facility was preferable to a move elsewhere.

"You’ve got to ask – why do we relocate?"

While Cr Christensen was happy to talk about local issues, Mr Joyce used his time addressing the crowd of about 40 people at the Proserpine Showgrounds on a widespread attack on Federal Labor policy as well as the prime minister himself.

The senator, a patron for the Dawson electorate, criticised Labor’s health plan and the ETS and labelled Kevin Rudd a chameleon who Australians could not relate to.

He said that if Cr Christensen was elected, the key changes we could expect in Dawson was belt tightening to get debt under control, a fairer return for resources through re-investment in infrastructure and an end to over regulated farming – starting with an examination of reef protection laws – which he believed had tipped the balance in favour of the tourist dollar at the expense of farmers.


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