Thursday, March 14, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

It’s that time in the election cycle when citizens can metaphorically pick up their baseball bats and head to the polls.

It can be a lot of fun for the populace to get together like a gang of marauding bullies and head to the Showgrounds or local schools and give the elected representatives a good going over.

Sometimes the electoral flogging is well-deserved and a local member, councillor or mayor is punished for their ineptitude or for simply failing to get the results that had been expected. Thwak!

This weekend it’s council elections and I reckon there will be a few bruises when we see the aftermath next week. It will be interesting to see who’s left standing but I reckon there are going to be some new faces.

I won’t comment on the mayoral race for one very good and sound reason; I know and like all three candidates and I’m a wimpy little chicken who hasn’t got the guts to state publicly what he thinks.

Having said that, I would suggest that whoever is preparing the council name tags can safely order one that says, Cr G Christensen. That should make it interesting.

Other elections are coming up; the Federal Election will be early next year and the State Election will be held in October this year.

Whether it is local, state or federal governments, we all have our opinions and biases and things we look for in our representatives. And, as long as you don’t vote Greens or Teal, I respect your views. (Come on that’s a joke … kinda.)

But whoever we vote for, I think one of the main things we all want is for the interests of our city and region to be represented properly, for Mackay to be given the opportunity to be the best it can be.

Former US president Bill Clinton had a succinct and powerful way of describing what, in the end, was truly important politically: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

The economy is really a matter for state and federal governments and the electorate will express its view on their performance when it’s time to vote.

As a Mackay person and real estate agent, I expect both levels of government to do everything they can to boost our economy, create the opportunities that will support families, generate apprenticeships and sustain our city in the years ahead.

Diversification of our economy is vital to sustain us by applying our skills to new areas as the world changes, but it is also important that governments support and promote the coal industry and the local businesses that are inextricably linked to it.

A healthy coal sector creates work opportunities for miners and their families who move to - or decide to remain in -  Mackay but those people need services and that also generates work for hairdressers and plumbers and carpenters and mechanics and accountants and teachers and … the list goes on in a perfect storm of capitalist energy.

The real estate sector and those who own property in this town benefit from this dynamic but governments have let us down in a couple of areas.

The state government has been absolutely hopeless at explaining to the nation that 70 or 80 per cent of the coal we produce in our region is coking coal, which is used to make steel. Not thermal coal for power plants. Steel-making coal, you know, the good stuff.

There are other things that need to be addressed that are a matter for the State Government because they are elected to support our economy, help facilitate the business and employment opportunities and address related problems such as housing.

Yes, I am pushing for a strong real estate sector but that also means an energetic, growing economy that provides opportunities for tomorrow’s Mackay school-leavers.

The great thing about elections is that we get to make a judgement and, if necessary, a change.

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