Wide Bay to have its own election
GYMPIE’S Wide Bay electorate will face its own election next month, with issues of its own that will not always gel with those advanced by Prime Ministerial candidates Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.
While the influential national polls suggest it is all about “economic management, climate and border protection,” most would expect voters here to see these and other issues from our own particular perspective.
Sitting National Party MP and National’s leader Warren Truss says the vote “will give the electors of Wide Bay a clear choice between a Labor Government that is out of its depth, or a Coalition that will take real action to improve the lives of all Australians”.
Labor’s Nikolee Ansell, a landscape architect from Black Mountain, near Cooroy, is a mother of three and a former Victorian local government representative who says she is particularly concerned about health and education.
The Greens Jim McDonald was probably the first to announce his candidature, when he started his campaign last month - despite assurances from then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that there would be no early election.
From a Wide Bay federal election perspective, many issues will take different forms.
Wide Bay’s perspective on economic management will have a lot to do with how our regional economy is performing.
The Canberra perspective, assessing the nation’s finances in terms of the booming mining economy and the never faltering public sector, may not give adequate weight to the real concerns of people living in the rest of Australia, where things do not seem so booming or stable.
Climate is said to be an issue by the pollsters, but in many cases, the debate seems to be more about an Emissions Trading Scheme and the immediate effect this is likely to have on us. Health, highways, telecommunications, population, the environment and education are all issues which will count in the election.
While Mr Truss seems more than comfortable with his majority, but the debate is likely to have more meaning when it comes to the Senate.
The make-up of Queensland’s Senate representation could be less predictable, with a Greens-Labor preference deal aimed at achieving balance-of-power status for the Greens.
With an unpopular state Government, Queensland’s Senate vote could be a crucial factor.