Russell Robertson promises to fight for Capricornia
AFTER 15 months of knocking on doors - about 7000 of them - and conversing with thousands of Rockhampton residents, Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson kicked off his election campaign at the Red Lion Hotel on Thursday night by promising to be the fighter the region needed.
Mr Robertson said that across every conversation he'd had over the phone, in the street, in the clubs and pubs, the markets, the workplaces, the shopping centres and the sports grounds, everyone had different concerns and aspirations, but there was a common theme.
"(Voters) want a fighter, someone who is not going to accept second best for their electorate,” he said.
"Anyone who knows me also knows I don't hesitate to speak my mind - to speak up and to speak out when something is not right, and to go into to battle for the people around me.
"Capricornia needs a fighter - I reckon I've got a few solid rounds in me.”
Mr Robertson spoke about his determination to deliver on the ALP's promises and then some.
"We are determined to deliver secure, permanent jobs that pay a living wage,” he said.
"Also, skilling our workforce properly... this will see an Australia, and a Capricornia, where TAFE and training places are a priority rather than an expense to be cut, where major projects are required by law to put on apprentices and to source as much as possible in the way of goods and services from local businesses.”
To achieve this, he said, meant rebuilding the manufacturing sector.
Mr Robertson said he wanted to be part of a Shorten Labor government that would set new priorities for Australia and reintroduce the concept of a fair go.
"That fair go means putting the interests of working people and families ahead of handing billions of dollars in tax cuts tothe big banks and the top end of town - creating an Australia where multinationals pay their tax and their workers,” he said.
"It means ending some of the rorts enjoyed by those whodon't need another handout, to ensure we have a budget that can provide the health care, the child care, the education and the infrastructure that regions like Capricornia deserve.
"This is the sort of policy priority that will deliver our region world-class cancer care that is covered by your Medicare card, not your credit card.
"It will also deliver investment in long-neglected road infrastructure and in tourism rejuvenation.”
"First, we have to win this fight and dozens of others like it around the country.”