Choat in fine form at forum as he battles to regain seat
THE polls show that Ipswich West MP Sean Choat's political days may well be numbered, but his performance at Tuesday night's public forum revealed that he will be punching on right until January 31.
Mr Choat, who casts himself as a maverick MP who fights for his local electorate rather than currying favour with the LNP head honchos, was in fine form as he outlined in his speech the many projects he had fought hard for in his seat.
It was an impressive list with Mr Choat asserting how he had gone into bat to secure $40 million from the State Government to complete the Blacksoil Interchange, to complement the $54 million in funding from the former Federal Labor Government.
Mr Choat outlined the funds he had secured for vital flood recovery work, an upgrade of the Minden crossroads, extra police for Lowood and other projects.
His message was about his focus on securing key projects in his local electorate and how that would be his modus operandi into the future.
Mr Choat was thrown a question from the floor on the conditional promise of the LNP government to fund $200,000 worth of upgrades at North Ipswich Reserve and Norths Leagues Club, but only if Mr Choat is re-elected.
This has been described by analysts as political blackmail and while Mr Choat said with conviction that he would jump through hoops to get the funding if he wins on Saturday, he did not really address the morality of the situation.
The disgraceful state of the Brisbane Valley Hwy was a major topic of conversation between Mr Choat and Labor candidate Jim Madden.
Both, naturally perhaps, pointed fingers at each other's parties for its poor state. Mr Madden said the Labor Party had committed to doubling the annual funding for the transport infrastructure development scheme to ensure the popular route would be fixed. Mr Choat countered by highlighting funding he had already secured to upgrade two sections of the highway.
Mr Madden came across as a man of intelligence with strong Labor values who is devoted to public life.
He highlighted how Labor's policies would address unemployment in Ipswich West through a focus on the funding of education, skills and job programs.
One Nation's Chris Reynolds spoke about his plans to address debt through a tailored "fiscal strategy" and was impressive on the subject of his plans to turn Ipswich into an economic regional powerhouse.
Independent candidate Leo Talty's theme was the need to bring accountability into government and how he would act as a watchdog, if elected, to ensure that occurred.
The Greens' Ian Simons gave a good account of himself and made more sense on fiscal responsibility than the major parties.
Barring a miracle, Mr Madden or Mr Choat will be the member for Ipswich West on Sunday.
But voters will hear more from Mr Talty, Mr Reynolds and Mr Simons in Friday and Saturday's QT about what they have to offer the electorate of Ipswich West.
Who will you vote for in Ipswich West in 2015?
This poll ended on 31 January 2015.
1. Jim Madden - ALP
2. Sean Choat - LNP
3. Chris Reynolds - ONE NATION
4. Leo Talty - INDEPENDENT
5. Ian Simons - GREENS
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.