OFF TO A GOOD START: Chay Conaglen's Ford Fiesta broke down before he could move to Gladstone.
OFF TO A GOOD START: Chay Conaglen's Ford Fiesta broke down before he could move to Gladstone. Contributed

OPINION: Why knock the one person willing to have a go?

YESTERDAY'S news that the LNP had endorsed a 20-year-old university student from Rockhampton to run for the seat of Gladstone went over just about as well as you'd expect.

Even the fact Chay Conaglen had been vice-captain of his high school didn't seem to win him much respect.

The situation was made all the worse when Mr Conaglen admitted he wasn't yet living in Gladstone.

"I'm moving down today," he gamely told reporters gathered outside Gladstone Power Station.

"I planned to come down last night but my car wouldn't start - the battery was a bit dead and my brother got bogged so we couldn't come.

"I'm going home back to Rocky, packing up my little Ford Fiesta and moving to Kin Kora, and this is where I'm going to be for four weeks."

As far as campaign launches go, it wasn't the smoothest.


Rockhampton's Chay Conaglen is taking on the battle for Gladstone for the LNP.  Chay's car broke down on Monday after he picked up some equipment to make election placards at Officeworks.
ROUGH START: Chay Conaglen's Ford Fiesta broke down as he picked up some campaign supplies from Officeworks. Adam Wratten

Mr Conaglen must know it's a long shot to imagine he'll be walking into Parliament as the Member for Gladstone after the election.

And sitting MP Glenn Butcher has a point when he notes none of his opponents so far actually live in Gladstone.

Our town deserves a representative who knows the region and knows the issues.

But here's the thing - when no one else from his party was willing to, Chay Conaglen put his hand up and said he'd give it a go.

It's not his fault he's from Rockhampton (let's agree it's not fair to hold that against anyone).

And it takes guts to run in any election - especially when you couldn't vote at the last one.

Not to mention in a seat where your opponent has a 25.3% margin.

The LNP deserves to cop some criticism for not managing to come up with a local. Even the Greens managed to find someone who at least used to live here.

But why have a go at the one bloke who was actually willing to stick his neck out?


LNP candidate for Gladstone, Chay Conaglen with senator Matt Canavan at the Gladstone Power Station.
HERE WE GO: Chay Conaglen launches his campaign yesterday at Gladstone Power Station. MATT HARRIS