6 men, 1 woman to fight for Gympie’s state seat
ELECTION season is expected to start today with the State Government moving into caretaker mode, and this year there are several challengers for Gympie's seat.
Six candidates have stepped into the ring to challenge incumbent LNP MP Tony Perrett, the highest number to contest the seat in 15 years.
Mr Perrett claimed victory over One Nation in 2017 with 58 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, and 37 per cent of the first preference count.
Labor finished third with 22 per cent support.
These are the candidates on this year's ballot.
Michael Blaxland, ONP
THE former serviceman spent 32 years as part of the Australian Defence Force and is taking his first shot at politics.
Mr Blaxland has put water security at the top of the priority list and advocates for a rethink of homegrown manufacturing and industry, something he believes Gympie is well suited for.
Nicholas Fairbairn, IMOP
MR Fairbairn is an ex-army reservist and holistic health practitioner running on an election platform of free medical choice and calling for an end to "corruption and coercion" in politics.
He has also managed tourism and hospitality services on the Gold Coast.
Party policies of the Informed Medical Options Party include the removal of fluoride from water supplies and legalising medical marijuana.
Lauren Granger-Brown, GRN
THE English language teacher's campaign platforms include a focus on jobs, agricultural sustainability, public transport, education access and skills training.
Education and training is another key focus in light of the fact almost one fifth of the region's students do not reach Year 11.
Ms Granger-Brown moved to Gympie in 2011 and has qualifications in permaculture design and home sustainability assessment.
Tim Jerome, IND
THIS month's election will be the fourth tilt at politics for Mr Jerome and his second this year.
He first stood for the Division 8 by-election in 2018, then challenged Llew O'Brien for the Federal seat last year before throwing his hat into the ring for the mayoral race in March.
Mr Jerome was a teacher for 17 years and his platform is driven by a focus on jobs.
Roland Maertens, IND
MR MAERTENS is standing as an independent on a platform of youth support, pay rises and help for emergency services, and better public transport.
He moved to the region in the 1980s and spent almost two decades in high end customer service roles for Australian travel companies.
Tony Perrett, LNP
THE incumbent LNP candidate has held Gympie's electoral seat since 2015 following the departure of David Gibson.
Last term he was appointed to the Opposition's shadow cabinet as spokesman for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Forestry.
He served as Gympie's deputy mayor before stepping into state politics.
Geoff Williams, ALP
JOB creation and fast-tracked infrastructure are the top priorities for Mr Williams, a crane operator and boiler maker by trade.
The Bauple grandfather's history includes time working in coal mines and on Section C of the Bruce Highway, and he aims to have the region "better recognised through solid representation".