Senate shooter's pledge to remove tolls, donate half salary
A QUEENSLAND Senate candidate has promised to get tolls off the southeast's roads and donate half his pay to charity if elected.
Jeffrey Hodges is the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Queensland Senate candidate.
The party, which has become a significant challenger in New South Wales politics, has recently mobilised in the Sunshine State.
Mr Hodges said the party, which was wrongly labelled as right wing, was one for all.
"We're a party for both country and city," he said.
Mr Hodges said the party hoped to have the balance of power in the Senate and would push against charges for motorists.
"We want to stand firmly against the toll roads, not only the existing toll roads but the toll proposed for the Toowoomba range crossing," he said.
"We pay 41c every litre in excise duty on every litre of petrol plus 10 per cent of GST.
"The NRMA and RACQ has showed of all the money we pay in fuel excise and registration fees, barely 25 per cent goes back on roads."
Mr Hodges said toll money was paid to Transurban and none of it went to the government.
He admitted it would be a "challenge" to change, but said it could be done.
"What we propose is to stop making evasion of tolls an offence," he said.
"The only reason people are paying their tolls is they're going to get an infringement notice from Transport and Main Roads."
Mr Hodges said tolls on the Logan and Gateway motorways should have been removed in the past few years.
"It was promised by the-then Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen when those tolls were first put on the roads back in 1986 and 1988... that they would only last for 30 years, until 2016 and 2018," he said.
"Last year, in December, those toll roads should have ended."
In an unashamed pitch to voters, Mr Hodges pledged a cut to politicians' wages and perks.
"I make a commitment to give half of my salary away each week to a local community group," he said.
"I want to make sure we change our culture in politics.
"I have never accepted a political donation in my life and I don't intend to."
The Shooters candidate, who lives on the Sunshine Coast but has connections with the bush, says the party is one of freedom.
"They stand for liberty and free speech and that's something I really believe in," he said.
"We want to make sure we strengthen laws to stop those who abuse guns, any criminals, we're really strong on that.
"We also want to make sure law-abiding people are not further restricted in their ability to enjoy their ability to go and shoot guns on the range or go hunting."
Mr Hodges expects the party will start to see the same success it has in NSW, where it challenges the Nationals.
"They're wanting to use this as a springboard to go to the Queensland state election and the local government elections," he said.
Mr Hodges said the party wanted responsible action on climate change.
"We all want to look after the environment, but how does increasing your power bill, how does increasing petrol prices, groceries help the environment?