Q&A: Show must come back
TONY Jones and the ABC Q&A crew should come back to Mackay and this time talk about the issues that truly affect us, according to Mayor Greg Williamson and Dawson MP George Christensen.
Both leaders have said they will write to the public broadcaster and invite the show back, after a fiery hour of live debate broadcast straight from the MECC on Monday.
Mr Christensen said the show was understandably dominated by "Canberra bubble events".
He appeared on the panel alongside Kennedy MP Bob Katter, Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole, Senator Pauline Hanson and returning Senator Larissa Waters.
"The questions were obviously genuine, they come from the public right," Mr Christensen said.
"[But] it would have been good if there were more questions about the needs of the local community, the skilled labour shortage issue and real problems like that.
"I hope Q&A comes back to Mackay, perhaps a politician-free event, where I'm not on it, and we have people like the Mayor, the Resource Industry Network, the Greater Whitsunday Alliance or a South Sea Islander elder... you know, real people to talk about the real issues.
"It's great to hear from politicians... but it's good to actually show the rest of Australia local genuine voices from the rest of the community."
Cr Williamson said there were much broader topics to cover beyond national politics.
"There was a lot of audience feedback and participation which is good, but if they're going to do it in Mackay... let's have a Mackay focus or at least a regional Queensland focus that we can be the centre of, because there's a lot to talk about. The fact that we've got 1600 jobs we can't fill in our region, for example, is serious business."