The Queensland election has been called for November 25 and the candidates are starting to line up.
In North West Queensland the old seat of Mount Isa has been abolished and most of it has been merged with the also-abolished seat of Dalrymple, centred on Charters Towers, into the new seat of Traeger.
Ballot nominations are open until noon on Tuesday, November 7 – with the ballot draw to take place a half hour after the running of another big race, the Melbourne Cup at 2.30pm that day – but so far five candidates have nominated for Traeger.
They are Robbie Katter (Katter’s Australian Party), Danielle Slade (Labor), Ronald Bird (LNP), Sarah Isaacs (Independent) and Peter Relph (Greens).
The favourite to win is KAP state leader Robbie Katter who has been the member for Mount Isa for five years and who kep his seat in 2015 strengthening his majority by 5% to a 65-35 2PP over the LNP.
The boundary changes have notionally strengthened his majority even further still.
Mr Katter said he grew up in Charters Towers and he admitted that should help his chances.
“I played most of my footy there and arguably I’m better known there than here,” Mr Katter said.
When asked what he thought the KAP stood for, Mr Katter was unequivocal: development of the north.
“We like to see ourselves as pro-development and there is plenty still to develop up here,” he said.
Mount Isa-based Danielle Slade is a first-time candidate for the ALP and she admitted she was hoping for a later election date so she had a chance to get around to see the whole of Traeger.
“25 days isn’t going to give me that chance but I’m going to give it the best that I can,” Ms Slade said.
“What’s good is we’ll start 2018 with a new government and a new member, which is good for the state we know where we are going.”
LNP candidate and Cloncurry resident Ronald Bird was set to visit Mount Isa on Wednesday.
Messages have been left for independent and Mornington Shire deputy mayor Sarah Isaacs and Greens candidate and Tablelands resident Peter Relph.