Candidates prepare to debate issues in Gracemere

Gracemere fights for school: community demanding to be heard

WITH just over a week to go, five of the nine candidates for the electorate of Flynn are preparing for a debate in Gracemere.

We've met some of the candidates who've popped into town while being bombarded by others, and yet there's even a few who we don't know what they look like.

Several of the candidates have put forward what they believe are the key issues in the Flynn electorate.

Incumbent member Ken O'Dowd strongly proclaimed the main issue was "knock the carbon tax on the head".

"Our biggest problem is the cost of living, and the carbon tax is adding to that," he said.

Katter's Australia Party candidate Richard Love said the duopoly of the main parties had left a mess of mismanagement over the past 20 years.

"Several of the key issues are health, education and infrastructure because you can't have one without the other two," he said.

Independent Duncan Scott said it was about the families of Flynn solving their own problems and "not waiting for funding crumbs to fall off the Canberra table".

"The rich are getting richer and we at the bottom end are just working harder to make those with easy lives even easier."

ALP candidate Chris Trevor said the key issue for Flynn was to have a local member prepared to be a strong voice for the community.

"Flynn has a stark choice in this election between Chris Trevor who has a proven track record of delivery for the Flynn community, or Ken O'Dowd who has not once in the last three years lodged a written submission for funding for Flynn with either the Federal Treasurer of Australia or the Minister for Infrastructure," he said.

Independent candidate Craig Tomsett said the issue for the electorate was that communities all through Flynn had frameworks and plans for future growth and sustainability.

"Local communities know what they need and when they need it; it is the politicians who make decisions based on political aspirations rather than community need," he said.

Click here for our federal election guide to the seat of Flynn, and here for full coverage of the lead-up to the 2013 election.

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This poll ended on 07 September 2013.

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Gracemere fights for school: community demanding to be heard

THEY may only be 12 kilometres from Rockhampton, but the small town of Gracemere is demanding to be heard.

And quite rightly, according to Gracemere Community Voice president Jeff McArthur, who said the town, much like Calliope, was in desperate need of a high school.

Five of the nine Flynn candidates will be fronting a community debate tomorrow night, including Ken O'Dowd, Chris Trevor, Richard Love, Duncan Scott and Craig Tomsett.

Mr McArthur said it was an opportunity for the residents to hear their candidates in their federal election.

"You'd think we'd disappeared off the face of the earth," he said.

"We're a bit disappointed we've been forgotten but this gives everyone in our area the opportunity to have a one on one with them."

Mr McArthur said there were two main issues they wanted to discuss - a new high school and the Mount Morgan Range Road, which is still closed following the January floods.

"I have businesses approach me that want to move here, and one thing they ask is 'do you have a high school?'," he said.

"Gracemere had the highest urban growth in Queensland with the population expected to double over the next eight years."

The candidates' forum will be held at the Gracemere Community Centre, Barry Street from 7.30pm on Thursday.