One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with the party's candidate for Mackay Christine Keys. Picture: James Ashby
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with the party's candidate for Mackay Christine Keys. Picture: James Ashby

This week’s political news in five minutes

1. Mackay’s One Nation candidate revealed

Former Carmila primary school principal Christine Keys was named as the One Nation challenger for the seat of Mackay.

Ms Keys, who is the party’s new education spokeswoman, has already called for the Department of Education’s respectful relationships school program to be scrapped, saying “the filth in it is beyond belief”.

She said the program made children confused about their genders.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert hit back at the claims, saying the candidate had “misrepresented” what the program was about.

2. Christensen compares China to Nazi Germany

Maverick MP George Christensen stood by his comments comparing China to Nazi Germany on new right-wing social media site Parler.

Mr Christensen, who is the chair of the federal parliament’s committee on international trade, took aim at the country’s biggest trading partner in the social media post.

“The Prime Minister is reminded of the 1930s when looking at global instability today. No prizes for guessing who is playing the role of Nazi Germany,” he wrote.

Harry Bruce's cartoon.
Harry Bruce's cartoon.

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3. Costo’s $8.5m pledge for new Clermont cop shop

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has pledged $8.5 million for a new police station at Clermont, if he is re-elected with the balance of power at the October state election.

The NQ First leader, who has endorsed Carolyn Moriarty as the party’s candidate for Burdekin, said the existing facility was completely inadequate, being almost 80 years old.

Isaac Regional Council division one councillor for Clermont, Greg Austen, has described the announcement as “extravagant”.

Cr Austen said the current facility received an upgrade about 10 years ago.

He said the money would be better spent elsewhere, such as on road, sporting field and showground upgrades.

“We’re not the crime capital of the world,” Cr Austen said.

“It is extravagant – there are more things we could spend the money on.”

NQ First's candidate for Burdekin Carolyn Moriarty and NQ First Leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.
NQ First's candidate for Burdekin Carolyn Moriarty and NQ First Leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.

4. Mirani MP launches KickStart plan

One Nation Mirani MP Stephen Andrew has launched a strategic plan to kickstart the economy post-COVID.

Under his first call to action, Mr Andrew has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to urge them to withdraw taxpayer funding from the Reef 2050 Water Quality program and divert it to industries keeping people employed.

You can view his new KickStart Queensland website here.

5. Local government minister visits Mackay

Upgrades to the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, maintenance on sewerage and water infrastructure, and installing estuary fish habitat reefs in the Pioneer River were just some of the items Mackay Regional Council discussed with Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe when he visited the region this week.

The council submitted these projects under the State Government’s COVID Works for Queensland program.

Mackay Regional Council was allocated $6.93 million from the program, which is aimed toward delivering projects with long-term economic benefits, including thousands of jobs.

An announcement on approved projects is expected early next week.

Mirani MP Stephen Andrew. Picture: Daryl Wright
Mirani MP Stephen Andrew. Picture: Daryl Wright

6. More upgrades flow for River St boat ramp

Additional upgrades have been announced for Mackay’s popular River Street boat ramp.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert made the announcement after boaties raised concerns about strong tidal currents pushing vessels away from the ramp’s floating walkway.

The upgrades will include extending a rock wall to divert tidal currents away from the ramp and some modifications to the existing floating walkway.

“I asked the community to provide feedback on some initial designs, and I’m pleased to announce that many of those minor changes floated will be incorporated into the upgrade,” Mrs Gilbert said.

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7. Dale Last on mining automation

Burdekin MP Dale Last welcomed BMA’s announcement of no job losses at Daunia Mine as a result of automation.

Mr Last said the announcement showed mine automation could occur alongside job protection.

“In fact, this project will create jobs and provide an opportunity for some workers to improve their skills or embrace a completely new set of skills,” he said.

“Given the expectation that automation will make the site safer, there will be no job losses and this will help to prolong the life of the mine, I think BMA should be acknowledged for their initiative in taking this step.”


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