Member for Dawson heralds list of acheivements
IN a final flurry of campaigning before the July 2 election, the incumbent member for Dawson made a visual effort to woo voters this morning.
George Christensen appeared at Pioneer Park in Proserpine holding a three-metre scroll detailing the projects he has been responsible for in the last three years.
The total investment cited was almost $60 million.
The list of achievements came straight after Mr Christensen's visit to Airle Beach today, during which he announced spending of $300,000 to build better walking tracks at Whitehaven Beach.
Mr Christensen said he was "proud to stand by my record of achievement… and my plan to secure the jobs of the future".
Nonetheless figures published by the Australia Institute this week recorded Dawson as having the largest increase in unemployment of any electorate during this current term.
Since the 2013 election and under Mr Christensen's watch, Dawson has experienced a 3.7% rise in unemployment with figures currently at 8.4%.
In his defence, Mr Christensen noted, "we were in the height of the mining boom and since then commodity prices have slowed down".
"If the Australia Institute or the Labor Party or anyone else think that they could have stopped that, good luck to them," he said.
The significantly smaller rise in unemployment in the Capricornia electorate of 1.1% in the same time period was "buffered" by the beef industry Mr Christensen said.
In the coming months once cane growers have been given the ability to forward price their sugar and take advantage of high prices on international commodity markets, Mr Christensen said he expected to see unemployment decrease.
When quizzed about the Australian Energy Regulator overriding irrigation tariffs controlled by Ergon, he said there had been changes but they had not gone far enough.
"There is a bigger fight we need to pick with state governments," he said.
"Labor, Liberal and National have used Ergon as a revenue raiser, a cash cow.
"They have used it as de-facto taxation particularly for the business community and farming community."
Mr Christensen said high rates of return by Ergon were being delivered back to the State Government based on "spurious" investment costs.