DAWSON: What are the big issues for the environment locally?
Brendan Bunyan, Katter's Australian Party: We want to protect the environment but currently we have some inner city politicians making decisions based on a blind ideology and have no experience. We have vegetation management laws in Queensland that are putting our native animals, people property and, ultimately when a fire breaks out, our people's lives at risk. This is happening because we have locked up and are not maintaining our wildlife parks.
It is also vital that we install integrity back into the science underpinning environment funding and that we put 1% of funding towards "testing” the science that is being presented to us. We need to make sure people like Peter Ridd are listened to and that our tax money is spent correctly.
Debra Lawson, One Nation: The Great Barrier Reef is one of our greatest assets in this region and one of the main issues is the crown of thorns star fish destroying the coral.
There are innovative ways of destroying this species and one of those is an underwater drone operated from above the water. The drone is able to see the star fish and spear them alleviating intervention by man under water.
Water supply to Townsville is another issue where water is having to be piped from the Burdekin.
The current dam is unsuitable as it was never designed in the first place as a dam. The hybrid Bradfield Scheme will enable Townsville to have properly designed and constructed dams and pipelines ensuring adequate fresh water supply.
Imogen Lindenberg, The Greens: Nationally, Adani is a big issue, and it's our issue here locally.
The mine will affect the people of Dawson first and foremost. Queensland is experiencing one of its worst ever droughts. Adani plans to extract billions of litres of water from our rivers and underground reservoirs every year to run their mega coal mine - threatening the livelihoods of farmers and regional communities who rely on water to survive. Adani's water licence allows unlimited access to associated groundwater for 60 years for free and will drain huge amounts of water from the Great Artesian Basin.
We were lied to about the 10,000 jobs, and we remember the boom-bust cycle.
Colin Thompson, United Australia Party: Balancing growth and the environment is a delicate task.
While we fully support industry we recognise that we need to take steps to conserve our natural environment. We need to ensure validity and integrity of the review processes are in line with community and environment standards.
George Christensen, Liberal National Party: There has been a failure to recognise the great work being done by our cane farmers and their representative groups when it comes to caring for the environment (which is after all what supports their livelihoods). There are a range of programs which support practical environmental work such as CANEGROWERS and their Smartcane BMP program and Project Catalyst and Reef Trust Partnership's Project Bluewater. We've just announced funding for these groups through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, but only the Liberal National Government will follow through on this because Labor wants to rip money out of this program.
Belinda Hassan, Labor: The Great Barrier Reef is our backyard. For Australia, it's an environmental treasure that's sadly in real trouble.
The reef needs our protection and it needs it now.
Labor will implement our $500 million plan to support better research, co-ordination and reef management.
We know that a healthy reef means a healthy tourism industry and, importantly, jobs in our region.