Thousands pre-poll ahead of election day
AS AUSTRALIANS prepare to head to the polls on Saturday, voters in the seat of Maranoa have already jumped on the chance to have their say.
In Maranoa, 21,124 people visited the ballot box in the week leading up to the election, including 1098 in Roma, 425 in St George, 1769 in Dalby, 1042 in Chinchilla, 329 in Cunnamulla, and 562 in Charleville at 11am this morning, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.
About threemillion people have pre-polled nationally, up from 1.82 million at the same time last election.
The AEC revealed to News that 6072 postal votes had been lodged across the electorate, some of which were sent to either the ALP, LNP or other candidates' offices, with remaining votes sent directly to the AEC.
As the seven candidates this week made their final bids for the seat of Maranoa, LNP, ALP, Greens and One Nation candidates shared their last-ditch efforts to secure the seat.
David Littleproud, who comfortably won the seat in 2016 with 65.86per cent of the vote, has ridden the election campaign on the back of the $4.7billion he has so far secured for his seat.
This time, Mr Littleproud is up against six candidates - Linda Little from the ALP, Anthony Wallis from Katter's Australian Party, Julie Saunders from the United Australian Party, Darren Christiansen from Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party, Rosemary Moulden from Pauline Hanson's One Nation and Emmeline Chidley from The Greens.
With drought at the forefront for much of Maranoa, KAP's Mr Wallis told News he believed the Coalition Government had not done enough to help those most hard done by.
"I am committed to keeping the drought in the spotlight and making sure there is enough people on the ground to assist farmers,” he said.
"The government announced $100million towards the drought, but $154million towards decongestion ... I think this shows how important agriculture is to the current government.”
The Greens' Ms Chidley said her party was committed to providing $100million annually to support drought-affected communities, protecting farmers' land through a ban on fracking, and protecting land.
"We will reverse the cuts to Landcare funding and developing a climate smart plan for our agricultural sector,” she said.
"We will also ban all new unconventional gas projects.”
ALP's Ms Little said she had recently announced emergency relief funding boosts to help the people of Maranoa.
"I also announced the restoration of funds of $173,000.”
Mr Littleproud announced the region would receive a share of nearly $7billion committed to supporting farmers and rural communities.
"This includes the Future Drought Fund, which will provide our farmers with $100million a year to mitigate the impact of drought.”
Heading into election night, he said he was just as nervous as three years ago.
"I'm sound in the knowledge I couldn't do any more than what I have done over the last three years,” Mr Littleproud said.
"I'll be together with my staff and supporters in Dalby watching the election after spending election eve in Chinchilla.”