Mayors put Kennedy candidates' policies under the microscope

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
Updated May 10 2022 - 7:12am, first published 7:00am
North West ROC chairman Jack Bawden welcomes attendees to the Kennedy candidate Q&A at Mt Surprise. Pictures: supplied

Zone tax reform and incentives for businesses to relocate to north west Queensland were among the issues put to candidates contesting the seat of Kennedy at the upcoming federal election, at a Q&A session in Mt Surprise last week.

Hosted by the North West Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, it was an opportunity to break through campaign noise and enable candidates to meet directly with the north west's local government leaders.

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Stepping up to the mark were LNP candidate Bryce Macdonald, Peter Campion from the United Australia Party, and incumbent MP Bob Katter, Katter's Australian Party.

The ALP's Jason Brandon was unable to attend due to commitments on Mornington Island.

The session, in one of Australia's largest electorates, was hosted as part of the NWQROC board meeting dinner, and was also an opportunity for candidates to address their response to the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils election platform.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter takes his turn addressing the north west Queensland local government representatives.

Spokesman Greg Hoffman said north western mayors believe there needs to be proactive policies for industry to expand in the region.

"They don't want workforces to be FIFO - that's why there needs to be action around housing, connectivity and transport networks," he said.

These points formed a large part of the election platform provided to candidates last month for formal responses, which can be viewed on the Invest in the West website, to see both who has responded and how their commitments stack up in terms of delivering for the region.

Mr Hoffman said WQAC would shortly do an analysis and scorecard for all to view, prior to casting their vote.

"We won't endorse any candidates, we're just providing this information to voters," he said.

LNP candidate Bryce Macdonald stepped up to the microphone as well.

Between 40 and 50 people attended the Mt Surprise evening, largely local government representatives.

Mr Hoffman said while changes to the zone tax rebate would need to be costed, it still includes large centres such as Mackay, whose allocation could likely be redirected to more rural and remote areas.

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Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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