Feds commit $1.4 million as Teresa's campaign warms up
TERESA Harding is yet to be endorsed as the LNP candidate for the seat of Blair at the next federal election - but that hasn't stopped her being in full campaign mode in her quest to unseat sitting Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann.
Ms Harding, who will contest pre-selection after the 2015 state election is done and dusted, was in the electorate yesterday with Senator Barry O'Sullivan to announce two federal government funding measures in Blair.
They include $1.15 million to upgrade a notorious 1100m stretch of the Cunningham Hwy at New Chum and $1.4 million for additional learning areas for St Edmund's College to allow the school to expand to include Year 7 in 2015.
Ms Harding said her loss to Mr Neumann in 2014 had not quenched her desire to represent the people of Blair.
"My intention is to run again in 2016," she said.
"My passion hasn't waned. It has probably got stronger.
"I am an Ipswichian and I love the area.
"I am raising my three teenaged children here with my husband.
"We need to do a lot more to create job growth and decrease the cost of living in the area.
"That is my focus. I have delivered on 100 % of my election promises from the last election but Labor have not delivered on any of their election promises."
Ms Harding said she had been overwhelmed by the support she had received and had been active in the community.
"I am on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and the management committee of CODI…the co-ordinating organisation for the disabled in Ipswich," she said.
"I am on the management committee of Focal Extended, very active in my rotary and my P and F (Parents and Friends) at St Mary's.
"So I am out four nights a week and on weekends talking to the community and hearing what they want to happen in the Ipswich and Somerset."
Ms Harding said the highway upgrade at New Chum was much needed after it has been identified as a black spot area.
"I'm very happy that this roadworks is going ahead as a matter of public safety," she said.
"As someone who lives in Raceview and uses the Cunningham Hwy regularly as many Ipswichians do, it is great to see this preventative work."
Meanwhile Mr Neumann said he welcomed the education funding commitments in Blair.
But he said Ms Harding and Mr O'Sullivan needed to explain to the public "why the Federal Government is making $30 billion in education funding cuts to schools".
"The government has changed the indexation to CPI from the Australian Education Costing Index," he said
"So the increase in school funding will go from 5.1% to about 2.5%.
"That means every school in Blair will lose $3.2 million on average over the forward estimates."
Mr Neumann said Ms Harding was entitled to run if she wanted to.
"But she will have to explain why her side of politics is costing on average $406 extra in cost of living expenses, based on the budget, and why the Coalition is cutting the indexation for veterans pensions, for disability support pensions and age pensions," he said.
"As for Harding, it is up to her what she wants to do, but I think her actions since the election have been bizarre, quixotic and eccentric."