SPEECH BY ANDREW CRIPPS, LNP MEMBER FOR HINCHINBROOK
Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman. I don’t think there is a need for me to spend a long period of time introducing myself. I am fortunate enough to be your current local MP. I’ve been grateful for and honoured by your support in the past and the same would apply if you continue to support me at the coming election.
I live here in the Herbert River district, in Ingham. I enjoy being a part of this community and contributing to it. I was born and raised in North Queensland. The recent boundary changes mean about 65 per cent of voters in the Hinchinbrook electorate now live south of Crystal Creek. Think about what that means.
It’s true that I’m not a flashy politician. I go about my business in a straightforward way. I strive to represent you in the Queensland Parliament with strength and with a good argument. As a local MP, I offer myself as a true local, a person with experience in the role and someone who is dedicated to the job.
This election is shaping up to be an interesting one. There is a lot of speculation about who might form a government, or who might have a say about who forms a government. While all of that speculation goes on amongst the commentators, it’s easy to have your attention distracted from the question in front of you.
You will be making a decision about who represents you in the Hinchinbrook electorate. You can’t vote for Annastacia Palaszczuk or Tim Nicholls. You can’t vote for Bob Katter or Pauline Hanson – they are not even running in this election. You are voting for someone to represent you here in Hinchinbrook.
You have to ask yourself what you know about the candidates running in Hinchinbrook. I believe I’ve got a track record of delivering things for the Hinchinbrook Shire that our community need. Over the past six years, when I have been both a Minister in the previous Government and an Opposition MP, we’ve had:
- The new multi-purpose hall and cyclone shelter at Ingham State High School.
- Borello Street re-sealed around our local SES building.
- A grant to purchase new digital projection equipment for the Kelly Theatre, so it could stay open.
- A complete replacement of the Broadwater Fig Boardwalk and a new lookout at the Cardwell Range.
- Upgrades to Old Warf Road, Mount Fox Road and Bosworth’s Road and a new bridge over Michael Creek at Mount Fox.
- Funding for flood mitigation assessments leading to the current flood mitigation works happening on Eleanor Street.
- Special grants to the Herbert River Improvement Trust to undertake works in the river across the Shire, but most significantly, in the Herbert River at Halifax.
- A new Fire and Rescue Service Station for Ingham.
- The town water pipeline from Ingham to Forrest Beach.
- And one that I am really proud of, the return of birthing services to the Ingham Hospital, which Labor closed in 2006 and said we would never get back.
I worked hard to secure the funding to replace the Arnott Creek Bridge and the replacement of the Cattle and Frances Creek bridges, which all had weight and speed restrictions placed on them. I secured the permit to clean out Frances and Cattle Creek a few years ago, which has worked well during wet seasons.
This election now is one where there are big issues being debated. The LNP has released a whole a range of policies – too many to list in just 5 minutes – but the important ones revolve around affordable and reliable energy and tackling the issue of crime with stronger laws and people taking more responsibility.
The LNP has a very clear policy around our sugar industry. We will maintain and defend our sugar marketing laws that provide for Grower Choice and recognise Grower Economic Interest. We will work with the industry through our BMP program, not impose regulations that reduce productivity and profitability.
Locally, I have made some commitments as part of this election campaign and I will make some more in due course. In reality, they depend on my success and that of the LNP. It’s important to think carefully about the commitments made by all candidates, how realistic they are and how likely it is they can deliver them.
It’s all well and good to make big promises to people in an election campaign by saying you will definitely have the balance of power. What if they don’t? It’s also worth examining the decisions by candidates and parties about preferences, given they have been made compulsory by Labor and the Katter Party.
I say to you again, I offer myself as a true local, a person with experience in the role and someone who is dedicated to the job.