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Federal Pollies Visit Wondai

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ALP Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm, candidate for Flynn Zac Beers, ALP Wondai Branch president Richard Trunks and Shadow Minister for Finance Jim Chalmers  (middle group, front row) with members of the Wondai ALP Branch in Wondai on Wednesday afternoon

July 5, 2018

Only Prime Minister Turnbull knows when the next Federal Election will be held, but it doesn’t matter to ALP candidate for Flynn, Zac Beers … he’s ready and raring to go now.

Mr Beers, who has been endorsed as Labor’s candidate for Flynn, just missed out on taking the seat from the LNP’s Ken O’Dowd at the 2016 election.

The LNP slipped ahead as postal votes were counted, allowing Mr O’Dowd to claim victory when his margin reached 50.8 per cent after 10 days of counting.

Mr Beers is determined not to let this happen again and is already getting out and about in Flynn to meet voters.

On Wednesday afternoon, he dropped into Wondai to enjoy a barbecue with the party faithful from the Wondai ALP Branch.

He was accompanied by Labor Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm and Shadow Minister for Finance Jim Chalmers, the Federal Member for Rankin.

The Wondai ALP branch has been operating for about 18 months.

Branch president Richard Trunks said membership was growing steadily with about 20 local residents signed up so far.

The visit to Wondai was part of a larger trip around the Flynn electorate by Senator Chisholm, Mr Chalmers and Mr Beers.

They were joined for part of the excursion by Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.

The group also visited Bundaberg, Gin Gin, Mt Perry and Gayndah to get direct feedback about local issues.

Senator Chisholm said they met with North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers and councillors in Mt Perry where they received a briefing on the North Burnett Council’s recent Budget.

He said the main issues raised were health, roads and money for infrastructure.

“We want to see towns like Wondai prosper,” Senator Chisholm said.

“There’s no doubt about it. What people want is more money for infrastructure and services.”

He said there was anger in the electorate that the LNP was focussing on tax cuts “for the big end of town” and taking towns like Wondai for granted.

Mr Chalmers said people were “really furious” about the tax cuts for corporations such as the big four banks when “only a sliver” of that money would make such a big difference to local hospitals, roads and schools.

He said the Federal Government had pulled out $7 million from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, which covers much of the Flynn electorate.

Mr Chalmers said they had not had an opportunity to meet with the South Burnett Regional Council on this trip, but they would be back before the Federal Election.

Mr Beers said he expected the election to be called “anytime from August to May” but it didn’t matter as he was ready to start campaigning now.

“I’m itching to get there so we can make some changes,” he said.

“Why are we giving away so much to the big end of town?”

Senator Chisholm said the tour by the three Federal politicians demonstrated the level of support Mr Beers had at a Federal level.

Footnote: The next half-Senate election must be held between August 4, 2018, and May 18, 2019. Most commentators expect the Federal Election for the House of Representatives to be held at the same time. However, this poll could be held at any time before November 2, 2019. The ALP has not yet endorsed candidates for Maranoa and Wide Bay, the other two Federal seats which cross the South Burnett.

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