Labor trio Scott Stewart, Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Evan Morgan
Labor trio Scott Stewart, Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Evan Morgan

Q&A with Labor MPs on fighting for their regions

THIS  week the north's regional papers sent a message to north and central Queensland Labor MPs: It's time for you to stand up for your region. Here's a special Q&A; with the 11 Labor MPs >>

The Townsville Bulletin put these questions to the 11 Labor MPs from Gladstone to Cook:

1) Do you think North Queensland and Central Queensland are adequately represented in cabinet?

2) What do you think about the appropriateness of the Ministers for Mining, Agriculture, Tourism, the Great Barrier Reef being based out of Brisbane?

3) What do you think about North Queensland being its own portfolio with a Minister?

4) North and Central Queensland businesses, local Mayors and locals have taken unprecedented steps to try and voice their concerns about feeling adequately represented. What will you do to reassure your constituents they are being adequately represented?

5) Will you unite with the other 10 North and Central Qld MPs from Gladstone to Cook unite and ask for a meeting with the Premier?

6) Do you support a cabinet reshuffle?

7) Do you support Adani?

These were the responses:

 

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher. Pics Tara Croser.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher. Pics Tara Croser.

 

Glenn Butcher, Assistant Minister for Treasury and Member for Gladstone :

As Assistant Treasurer I know the value regional Queensland provides to our economy.

Our ministers represent the whole state, and I make sure to let them know where Gladstone is on the map.

Just today Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe visited to announce $1 million for a priority infrastructure project here in town.

I have delivered record infrastructure investment in the areas that matter most in our community, health, education and roads.

Our number one priority is creating jobs for Queenslanders and that is exactly what we are doing.

I support Adani as long as they get on with what they need to do, get the approvals they need and commit to local jobs.

 

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

 

Craig Crawford Fire and Emergency Services Minister and Member for Barron River

As Queensland's Fire and Emergency Services Minister, I represent all Queenslanders and as a Member of Parliament who lives and works in my electorate of Barron River, I give the people in my electorate a strong, steady and stable voice at the Cabinet table.

Since 2015, when I was elected to the Queensland Parliament, I have represented my electorate and fought hard for the issues that are important here. As for Adani, the Premier made an announcement about that today.

Mr Crawford also included his list of projects for his region.

 

 

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke.

 

Barry O'Rourke Member for Rockhampton

As a local MP, 100 per cent of my job is to fight for the people of Rockhampton and Central Queensland.

Cabinet ministers have to work for the entire state, but I want to keep my focus on fighting for Rockhampton and Central Queensland.

That's why I asked Cameron Dick to come to Rockhampton today to listen to local business about getting more jobs.

And that's why I'm so pleased the Premier has set a time table for the final approvals necessary to end uncertainty over Adani's Carmichael mine, which we all want to see happen.

 

Michael Healy Member for Cairns

Mr Healy was away from Cairns on "Parliamentary business and uncontactable".

 

Member for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE.

 

Cook MP Cynthia Lui. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Cook MP Cynthia Lui. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

 

Cynthia Lui Member for Cook

Ms Lui declined to answer questions.

 

Scott Stewart Member for Townsville

My colleagues in the ministry do a great job of advocating for Queenslanders all across the state.

Whether you are born in Cooktoown, Coolangatta or anywhere in between, it doesn't make you any less of a Queenslander.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville MP Scott Stewart. Picture: Evan Morgan

I fight every day for my community and that's why we have secured the NQ Stadium, water pipeline and port channel widening bringing hundreds of jobs to our region.

I look forward to meeting with the Premier this afternoon when she arrives in Townsville ahead of a major jobs announcement tomorrow.

I have always supported Adani and the opening of the Galilee Basin.

There is a very clear record of public and parliamentary commentary to confirm that.

 

State Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga with daughter Odette.
State Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga with daughter Odette.

 

Brittany Lauga, Assistant Education Minister and Member for Keppel

I have no doubt down the track there will be more regional representation in Cabinet.

I think this would be a good thing for regional Queenslanders who contribute so much to the state in so many ways.

However, let me say that our current ministers are doing a great job of representing all Queenslanders in their portfolios. And every MP wakes up every day keen to work hard for Queenslanders in their electorate and throughout the state.

We have approved two coal mines in the past two weeks, including Olive Downs, creating hundreds of jobs, and I would like to see Adani be given the go-ahead when it passes all of the criteria.

Ms Lauga said as her role as Member for Keppel and Assistant Minister for Education she had delivered for local schools and jobs and worked hard to expand the opportunities within the tourism and resources industries.

 

Curtis Pitt MP.
Curtis Pitt MP.

 

Curtis Pitt Member for Mulgrave

Mr Pitt did not respond to questions.

 

Coralee O'Rourke Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and Member for Mundingburra

I know when I sit around the Cabinet table, my colleagues have the best interests of all Queenslanders at heart.

Working together as regional MPs, we have just as much power as I had when I was Minister Assisting the Premier for North Queensland.

My position has been consistently clear on this matter, and is a matter of public record - I support mining in Queensland, and I support mining in the Galilee Basin for the jobs and economic benefits it brings to our region. I support any company who wishes to invest in our state's resource industry, including Adani."

Ms O'Rourke outlined her projects that she has delivered as the local member that have brought jobs to the region.

 

Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Evan Morgan
Coralee O'Rourke and Aaron Harper. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

Aaron Harper Member for Thuringowa

Our ministers are ministers for the entire state.

It doesn't matter if I'm a minister or an MP, I'll never stop fighting for the residents of Thuringowa to ensure we get our fair share.

My advocacy has ensured projects like the $40m spent on Riverway Drive - bringing 120 jobs to our community - and $100m in developments applications. I met with the Premier this afternoon to discuss a range of issues that are important to our region.

 

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert

 

Julieanne Gilbert Member for Mackay

All ministers are working hard within their portfolio area to support the whole of Queensland.

As the Assistant Minister for State Development I am proud to be able to work closely with Minister Cameron Dick to attract new industries to the regions and also assist in delivering State government grants to businesses to expand and grow.

The department of State Development also supports local councils to deliver infrastructure projects.

There is no greater supporter of the coal industry than me, and I fully support new resources projects that will provide jobs for Central Queensland.

Ms Gilbert also listed her job-creating projects since being elected in 2015.