LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has welcomed the endorsement of Ron Harding as the party’s candidate for the electorate of Gladstone.
Ms Frecklington said Mr Harding understands the need to create new jobs, build a strong economy and supercharge the regions.
“Ron started was an apprentice fitter-and-turner back in the 1970’s and went on to work as a sales rep, store manager, instructor, product manager and director,” Ms Frecklington said.
Data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 8600 people in Central Queensland are unemployed, an increase of 2,100 compared to 12 months ago.
The unemployment rate has jumped from 5.3 per cent to 6.9 per cent in the space of just 12 months, while youth unemployment is now at 15.4 per cent.
Ms Frecklington said crime is another ongoing issue that has reached concerning levels since Annastacia Palaszczuk became Premier.
“Robbery is up by 88 per cent, armed robbery more than 131 per cent and unlawful use of a motor vehicle offenses have increased by 107 per cent in Central Queensland under Labor,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The only way to fix this crime crisis is to change the Government on October 31.
“The LNP has a comprehensive youth strategy plan which includes a three strikes policy for repeat offenders and the establishment of a community payback farm rehabilitation program.
“There will be consequences under an LNP Government I lead and I don’t apologise for being tough on crime.
“Health is another key priority for the LNP, as the waiting list at Gladstone Hospital has skyrocketed by 194 per cent since Labor was elected in 2015.”
Mr Harding said he’s excited to be endorsed as the LNP candidate for Gladstone.
“The Premier has only delivered more debt, higher unemployment and more taxes for the people of Gladstone, Mr Harding said.
“Regional Queenslanders shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens and should have the same deals offered in South East Queensland.
“The LNP has a plan to cut regional power bills by around $300 a year in the regions by introducing more retail competition, just like in Brisbane.
“Deb’s plan for businesses includes a no new tax guarantee and cutting red tape by 20 per cent.
“Under Labor, $1.2 billion in government contracts have been awarded to companies that are based outside Queensland.
“Labor clearly aren’t serious about backing Queensland businesses and supporting Queensland jobs.”