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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3368

Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (10:36): I lend my voice to that of the member for Blair. People like Les are the heart and soul of this country. You find people like that in every community. But I stand today to say that Townsville can finally have a voice in George Street. Finally the residents of Townsville can have state members of parliament prepared to fight for a fair deal for the north of the best state in Australia. For too long we have had three local state members of parliament who simply toe the party line.

We hear a lot from Craig Wallace about his fighting for Townsville. But he was in cabinet when this tired state Labor government spent $300 million on a football stadium for the Gold Coast Suns—a team that did not even exist at the time. He was in cabinet when this dysfunctional state government spent $200 million on a stadium for the Gold Coast Titans—a team that had not even played a game.

Craig Wallace was in cabinet when they spent $1.88 billion on the duplication of the Gateway Bridge, all the while telling the ratepayers of Townsville that they should pay $24 million to flood-proof Blakey's Crossing. Craig Wallace was Minister for Main Roads and in cabinet when he duplicated the Redcliffe Bridge—all the while ignoring the fact that, every time it rains in Townsville, the lower Bohle Bridge goes under, further exacerbating the traffic crawl from his own electorate and for the residents of Townsville's northern beaches.

Craig Wallace was the Minister for Main Roads who let vital funding for flood-prone roads such as Vantassel Street be pulled from Townsville to aid flood-proofing roads in the south-east corner. Craig Wallace, Mandy Johnstone and Lindy Nelson-Carr were all in government when they voted for the Gold Coast to receive more than $1.5 billion to host the Commonwealth Games—a venture that will lose even more state money. Yet all three want Townsville to go without $47.5 million worth of state money for a new convention centre which will provide permanent jobs and income for our city.

With John Hathaway as the candidate for Townsville, David Crisafulli as the LNP candidate for Mundingburra, and Sam Cox as the candidate for Thuringowa, Townsville has the chance to put into government people who will fight for our city's fair share. We need to ensure that our port grows and has a corridor of supply lines capable of filling the ships quickly. We need to ensure that our streets are safe. We need to see that local traffic conditions on state-maintained roads are maintained and improved. We need to ensure that public transport is brought up to speed for those who need it, especially in the Upper Ross. We need to ensure that we have representatives who will, once elected, still be available to the people of Townsville. We need to ensure that those people representing Townsville in a Campbell Newman-led state government will have the leader's ear and push hard for things we need.

John Hathaway is a colonel in the Australian Army. He has a history of delivering projects on time and on budget. His skills as a logistician will be invaluable to Campbell Newman. David Crisafulli is a superb communicator and will no doubt use every opportunity presented and skill he possesses to push the case for the North. Sam Cox is a service provider by trade. He has been in the customer service business all his life. He knows what it is like to get his hands dirty. (Time expired)