Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Melanie Whiting
Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Melanie Whiting

Whitsunday candidate ‘ditched’ over coal: Christensen

DAWSON MP George Christensen has aired extraordinary claims about a former Whitsunday Labor candidate, saying she was "pushed" out.

Earlier this month, Whitsunday Labor candidate Tracey Cameron announced she would withdraw from the election race, citing personal reasons for the decision.

But Mr Christensen has cast doubt over this, alleging "months of pressure" on Ms Cameron from within the Labor Party.

"The Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has tried to pull the wool over local voters' eyes in the seat of Whitsunday over what's happening here, but the truth is Tracey Cameron didn't jump; she was pushed," he said in a statement today.

Former Labor candidate for Whitsundays Tracey Cameron.
Former Labor candidate for Whitsundays Tracey Cameron.

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"Tracey Cameron is a respected local businesswoman - a salt of the earth, traditional Labor party member who would support regional coal jobs.

"They've ridden roughshod over the wishes of the local Labor branch, and ditched Tracey Cameron because she's pro-coal.

"It seems the risk of mass resignations and even the collapse of local branches is a small price to pay to silence those would stick up for the workers of Central and North Queensland."

Ms Cameron said Mr Christensen's claims were correct.

The Proserpine business owner said 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.

"He (George Christensen) is right, I was pushed.

"The whole thing is a dog's breakfast."

But Ms Cameron said she was not specifically told the reason why the party no longer wanted her as a candidate.

She also received an updated prognosis about her father's condition, confirming he was unwell, just before the resignation was announced.

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

 

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A Palaszczuk Government spokesman has rejected the claims from Mr Christensen and Ms Cameron.

"The government is a strong supporter of the resources industry," he said.

"This was made clear in the Premier's CEDA 'State of the State' speech.

"The Premier wishes Ms Cameron well."

The allegation comes after Labor announced pro-coal Whitsunday councillor Mike Brunker as its state election candidate for Burdekin last week.


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