Harry Bruce cartoon.
Harry Bruce cartoon.

SNAPSHOT: This week’s political news in five minutes

THE race to the state election is really heating up, with just over 60 days to go until Queenslanders head to the polls.

Here are five things our pollies said and did in Mackay and surrounds this week:

Collinsville power play

THE LNP needs to come clean about its “real position” on coal-fired power in Queensland, Katter’s Australian Party leader Robbie Katter said.

Fronting media in Mackay this week, Mr Katter urged the party to make clear its stance on the future of coal-fired power.

The call came as Labor and the Greens tried to block federal funding for a business case into a proposed new coal-fired power plant in north Queensland.

The Opposition this week tabled a notice of motion flagging its intention to disallow a $3.3 million funding injection for a feasibility study into a high-efficiency, low-emissions coal plant at Collinsville.

The Government pledged funding in February but required a green light from parliament.

The motion is expected to be voted on next week.

Robbie Katter and KAP candidate for Whitsunday Ciaron Paterson in Mackay.
Robbie Katter and KAP candidate for Whitsunday Ciaron Paterson in Mackay.

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Former Whitsunday candidate claims she was pushed to resign

Proserpine business owner and former Whitsunday Labor candidate Tracey Cameron has claimed her decision to bow out from the state election race was forced.

Earlier this month, Ms Cameron announced she would withdraw from the election race, citing personal reasons for the decision.

But the former candidate this week revealed she had a discussion with a representative of the party before her resignation was announced.

“There was phone discussion with someone and I was informed that the Premier didn’t want me as a candidate here and didn’t think I could win the seat and didn’t like who I was,” Ms Cameron said.

She has since resigned as a member of the Labor Party and has thrown her support behind Katter’s Australia Party Whitsunday candidate Ciaron Paterson.

Former Labor candidate for Whitsunday Tracey Cameron.
Former Labor candidate for Whitsunday Tracey Cameron.

New cop shop promised for Walkerston

NQ First has pledged $8.5 million for a new police station at Walkerston if it secures the balance of power at the October 31 state election.

NQ First leader Jason Costigan made the announcement as part of its “war on crime” alongside the party’s Mirani candidate Jason Borg.

“We want our police officers working out of first class facilities and at the same time, ensure they have the right numbers to serve a growing population and that is certainly the case at Walkerston and nearby areas,” Mr Borg said.

The party has already committed to building new police stations at Proserpine, Clermont and North Mackay.

Sugar industry in favour of LNP’s water price cuts

The Australian Sugar Milling Council has thrown its support behind the LNP’s water policy.

LNP Mirani candidate Tracie Newitt said the council’s backing came in addition to endorsements already received from Cangrowers, AgForce Queensland and the Queensland Farmers Federation.

“A near-20 per cent reduction in water costs will be a major job-creator for regional Queensland … an LNP Government will help farmers create jobs, improve food security and secure Queensland’s future,” she said.

Canegrowers Mackay chief executive Kerry Latter said he welcomed the policy announcement.

“Water is critical, you may grow a lot in mud, you grow nothing in dust,” he said.

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CFMEU splits from Labor’s left faction

Support for the Labor Party in mining communities is under threat after the CFMEU’s shock decision to split from the party’s left faction, a political expert says.

In a statement issued earlier this week, the union said both the mining and the construction divisions had decided they could be “more effective advocates for workers as a voice totally independent of a faction that has lost touch with its core values”.

CFMEU Moranbah. Picture: Tara Miko
CFMEU Moranbah. Picture: Tara Miko

“The leadership vacuum in the left has seen a once powerful voice for working Queenslanders atrophy to the point where today it is little more than a creche for party hacks,” union boss Michael Ravbar said in the statement.

University of Queensland political expert Chris Salisbury said the union’s move could impact votes for Labor in mining regions like Mackay, where a proportion of voters may have previously backed the party due to its ties with the CFMEU.


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