LNP candidate Ronald Bird considers himself the ‘underdog’ of the candidates so far running for the seat of Traeger.
The Cloncurry based pilot and haymaker’s main challenge is campaigning against Mount Isa State MP Rob Katter – who shifts to the changing seat which now includes Charters Towers.
“Robbie’s won the seat twice and the Labor government is in power in Brisbane so that gives the Labor party credence of who they want to vote for,” Mr Bird said.
“The LNP is trying to put up a better alternative,” Mr Bird said. The party had changed since the days of the Newman government which was ousted in the 2015 state election.
“I liked him (Newman) as Mr Fix-up but he was not Mr Diplomatic about it, but you can see what’s happened since then,” Mr Bird said.
“Not a great lot in state parliament.”
There are key projects in the region generating much money for the state. Mr Bird’s concern was to find a way to get people to want to live in western Queensland.
There was no magical solution to keeping people here, he said.
Mr Bird said that innovation and finding more efficient ways of doing things was important.
“To retain people in this part of the world we have to be innovative in our technique and how we do it,” Mr Bird said.
“There’s plenty of activities and plenty of industries that have not been tapped at this stage.”
Mr Bird referred to the Indigenous corporation Myuma Group, based in Camooweal, when asked for specific examples of untapped industry. Myuma and the University of Queensland are developing nanotechnology through the properties found in spinifex. Mr Bird saw potential for oils useful for fire resistance.
Mr Bird said it was vital to ensure the larger industries were profitable.
“If the big industries aren’t being profitable the little people underneath have got nothing until the balance changes, and we have got good corporate citizens here and they want to be on the right side,” he said.