CANDIDATE: Clive Palmer (right) announces Ian Ferguson as the United Party candidate for Dawson.
CANDIDATE: Clive Palmer (right) announces Ian Ferguson as the United Party candidate for Dawson.

Dawson becomes a five-horse race

A QUEENSLAND nickel director has been announced as the newly formed Palmer United Party's candidate for Dawson.

Ian Ferguson, who was Clive Palmer's first boss, was endorsed on Monday in Townsville.

Mr Palmer said that if elected, Mr Ferguson would bring good common practical business expertise to the country.

Mr Ferguson is the fifth candidate to announce his intention to stand for Dawson and joins sitting member George Christensen (LNP) along with Labor's Bronwyn Taha, the Greens' Jonathan Dykyj and Katter's Australian Party candidate Justin Englert.

Mr Ferguson believes his experience in the resource and international trade sector will be an asset to Dawson and he is expecting to win the seat.

"I believe here, like everywhere else in Australia, they're wondering who to vote for," he said.

"There isn't really a good choice anymore [and] I think we're a viable alternative."

Mr Ferguson said he would focus on the sugar, tourism and mining industries and youth issues.

Sitting Member for Dawson George Christensen said all he knew about Mr Ferguson was that he worked for Mr Palmer and lived in Townsville.

"The reality is, the main game is between Labor and the Liberal National Party," Mr Christensen said.

"[And] if you think the Gillard Labor Government needs to be changed, you must vote for the Liberal National Party."

Greens candidate for Dawson Jonathon Dykyj welcomed the diversity but said there was little that separated PUP from the other major parties.

"The Greens are the only point of difference in terms of a long-term sustainable society and economy," he said.

Labor candidate Bronwyn Taha said she looked forward to hearing Mr Ferguson's policies, particularly his plans for education funding.

Katter's Australian Party candidate Justin Englert said he welcomed any contribution by an alternative to the two major parties.

"And as far as Ian Ferguson's concerned I look forward to seeing what he's got to offer," he said.


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