RUNNING: Teresa Harding is the LNP candidate for the seat of Blair at the next federal election.
RUNNING: Teresa Harding is the LNP candidate for the seat of Blair at the next federal election. Inga Williams

Local Liberal candidate Teresa Harding is in the spotlight

THE Federal coalition is dominating the polls under new leader Malcolm Turnbull.

On current figures, the Coalition would easily retain power if an election was called today.

Would that support also see local Liberal candidate, Teresa Harding, elected to the seat of Blair?

It's hard to say, but there is certainly a spring in her step at the moment.

To find out more about Mrs Harding, we put the following series of questions to her:

Q: You have been officially endorsed as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Blair at the next Federal Election. What does that mean to you?

A: I'm very excited and focused on creating more jobs and boosting economic opportunities for locals by inspiring innovation in our local community.

Representing the diverse community of Blair means delivering better infrastructure and services for all, and I feel that to truly represent the Ipswich and Somerset community you need to listen to locals and take the fight up for the people of this great community.

Q: This is your second time running for the seat of Blair. What did you learn from the campaign you ran in 2013, and how will your campaign be different this time around?

A: I have used the time since the last campaign to continue building my strong connections to local community and sporting groups.

This time I am more engaged with local people and sporting and community groups.

I have more knowledge and more experience, and by the time the election is called I will have been working for our local community for over four years.

I often refer to it as a bit like an apprenticeship, but now I am ready to represent our community in Canberra.

Q: What would you like to say to voters who weren't convinced back in 2013, in the hope of getting their votes this time around?

A: Our local community is not having its voice heard in Canberra and that's not good enough.

There are simply too many important decisions being made that affect us and we need someone in Canberra that will get things done and stand up for our region.

As I am regularly on the phone with key government decision makers about the issues that we need addressed and infrastructure we need locally.

My husband and I are locals, and we've raised our three children in Ipswich. I am very active in the community and serve on the boards of two local organisations that provide services for people with disabilities, their families and their carers, as well as an active participant in my children's school community and our veterans' community.

Q: What will be the main issues which you would like focus on in the lead up to the next election and how do you plan to fix them?

A: More local jobs and innovation: I want to strengthen our local growth opportunities and foster the environment for more jobs to be created locally, so we have secure jobs now and for our children.

I will work to forge new industries in innovative sectors, fight for more local jobs at our air force base and work closely with the chambers of commerce to support local businesses to employ more people.

Better local infrastructure, NBN and services: I want to fix and future proof our infrastructure and improve services for the people of Blair.

The biggest infrastructure issue is the completion of the Ipswich Motorway upgrade. Eight years ago Labor promised to fully upgrade the motorway.

They received the reins of power and ruled for six years and only did a partial job whilst they recklessly spent money and racked up record debt we are now paying off.

Why would anyone believe Labor now when they make the same motorway promise they broke eight years ago?

In contrast, I have taken immediate action on the Ipswich Motorway by securing $279 million to kickstart the next part of the motorway upgrade, as announced in the 2014 Federal Budget.

The next step is for the State Government to prioritise this upgrade and put their fair share of funding into the motorway.

I am also fighting for a faster rollout of the NBN, more funding for local roads, better health services, more for schools and education, better sporting facilities and better services.

We need to work together as a community to build a stronger Ipswich and Somerset region.

Q: What will be your preparations from now until the election is called?

A: Every week I have been out and about listening to locals, knocking on doors and meeting with community groups and small businesses across our region - it's clear they want a better, hardworking and honest representative in Canberra.

Between now and the election I will be continuing to spend every waking hour listening to locals and working to secure more for our region from the Turnbull Government. People want to ensure our way of life is protected, they want more jobs and better jobs created, see families and seniors supported and cutting small businesses a break and ensuring our roads, and services are all improved.

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