CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Member for Warrego Ann Leahy (left) with Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington.
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Member for Warrego Ann Leahy (left) with Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington. SAMANTHA MANCHEE

LNP and Labor face off for southwest seats

THE Queensland election is only a month away after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called for the state to go to the polls on Saturday, November 25.

The seat of Warrego covers the south-west corner of the state and includes the major centres of St George, Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, Charleville, Miles, Roma, Quilpie and Dalby.

Warrego gained Quilpie's council area from Gregory, lost Chinchilla and Jandowae to Callide and gained Dalby from Condamine in the redistribution of electoral borders earlier this year.

The redistribution means 93 MPs will be elected at the upcoming election, up from 89, due to the first expansion of parliament in 32 years.

Ann Leahy has been the Liberal National Party member for Warrego since 2015 and the seat has been held by a National or Liberal National member since 1974.

Ms Leahy said she believed she had the depth of experience for State Government.

"I know how to take policies and solutions forward in the LNP and in Government and ensure our voices are heard on the floor of State Parliament,” she said.

Ms Leahy said an LNP Government would create new jobs, support small businesses, invest in education and provide better services for families and retirees.

"The LNP are not beholden to the unions or the Greens, therefore we stand strong for fair and workable Vegetation Management Laws and freezing the family car rego, unlike Labor who wanted to introduce the worst ever Vegetation Laws and increase family car rego at twice the inflation rate for three years in a row,” Ms Leahy said.

"The LNP and I want to build a better Warrego - including the roads, dams and bridges we need, creating jobs for our region, tackling the cost of electricity, supporting families, and creating jobs and more job security.”

Mark O'Brien, a long-term Warrego local, is Labor's candidate for the state election.

Mr O'Brien was mayor of Murweh for eight years and spent six years as a local government grants commissioner.

He is currently the chair of South West Natural Resources Management and a Queensland wild dog fence commissioner, having been responsible for developing the concept of cluster fencing.

"I'm running because the Premier has asked me to run again,” Mr O'Brien said.

"She wants a voice from the bush in the government.

"She tries hard to represent all Queenslanders, so I'm happy to be at the table for that reason,” he said.

Mr O'Brien said the key issue for Warrego was being represented in the government.

"I've made a real issue about this, 24 out of the last 30 years, the member for Warrego has been in the opposition,” he said.

"Three out of those six years were the Newman years and that's when public service staff were gutted in our region.

"We need to start putting our member in the government so we have a voice at the table,” he said.

"My plan is to represent our people in the government, at the moment we have no one.

"I'll go to the leaders of our communities around Warrego and ask them what they want to look like in five, ten years' time and help them get there.”

Ian Mazlin is the Greens candidate, but was unavailable for comment.

Candidates for other parties are yet to be formally announced.

A full list of candidates will be available after nominations close November 7.


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