News Corp Australia

Pauline Hanson a growing force for regional Queensland

OPINION

THE stage is now well and truly set for the run to the next state election.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you cannot have missed the increasing amount of political activity centred around Townsville and the North Queensland region in recent weeks and months.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation has now well and truly entered the fray, with its announcement that it will use its influence to exert pressure on George St to kill off the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project in Brisbane.

The project has been panned by Infrastructure Australia, which says its analysis of the State Government's business case shows its cost will far exceed its benefits.

The State Government and leaders in Brisbane have rejected the assessment and will plough on with the project regardless.

Meanwhile, spiralling costs of living and our ebbing water supply are bringing into stark focus the gaping divide between the haves in the southeast and the have nots out here in regional Queensland.

One Nation wants to take that money and put it into water security and lowering power prices for regional Queenslanders.

The policy is clearly a pitch for the angry voters of central and North Queensland, where water and power jostle for No.1 on our list of grievances week after week.

Townsville is going to be a crucial battleground for political parties and voters in this city will take a lot of convincing.

Various factors have culminated to create the environment in which we live, but no amount of mud-slinging by the major parties about who is to blame for water, power, crime, jobs - pick any topic really - will make a difference when it comes time to vote.

North Queensland needs solutions to its problems, not blame games.

The parties - or independents - who produce costed, tested and credible solutions to the problems ordinary people face each day here in the North will win the day.

One Nation's broadside to the big parties is a firm indication that it is targeting frustrated voters in the regions outside of Brisbane in the forthcoming election.

With this coming election race, the party has a chance to step away from the fringe and play a real role in shaping the future of the state.

If North Queensland is to become the powerhouse of future growth and development as economic activity shifts to Northern Australia in coming decades, our region must choose representatives who truly have our city and its people at heart.

News Corp Australia


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