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senator ian macdonald in the torres strait 2012I am a proud and passionate North Queenslander, having spent most of my life in the north. My wife Lesley and I live in Ayr, 80km south of Townsville. My office is in Ayr and Townsville.

Given the vast size of my particular area as a Senator representing all of Queensland, I spend a lot of time travelling and listening to my constituents’ concerns.

My goal is to work with you, my colleagues and all other positively minded Australians for the betterment of our country, particularly that part of our nation in the north which, with only about 6% of the population, produces more than one-third of its export wealth.

Sugarcane growing and refining is one of many industries that feed into north Queensland’s powerhouse economy. My “back yard” includes the mighty North-West Minerals Province, home to Mount Isa Mines, Century Zinc and many other mining companies and the Bowen Basin coal and gas reserves. Massive tonnages are railed or trucked to the coast for refining and/or export every year.

Other significant industries include tourism, bananas, small crops, commercial fishing, tertiary education facilities and of course defence. Townsville is home to Lavarack Barracks and RAAF Base Garbutt, making the city Australia’s largest defence force city. There are also strategically important defence facilities based in Cairns and Darwin. After the arrival of the Army’s 3rd Battalion in 2011-12, Townsville’s defence community will grow to 15,500, or 10% of the city’s population. This will bring the total defence presence in Northern Australia to almost 30,000. 51RQR and HMAS Cairns are both headquartered in Cairns.

As a regionally based Senator, I am the “alternative” member for  Kennedy and would be happy in my role as a Queensland Senator to assist residents with any issue they may have with the Federal Government.

I will also be supporting my Coalition colleagues in their work in northern areas – Michelle Landry in Capricornia, Ken O’Dowd in Flynn, George Christensen in Dawson, Ewen Jones in Herbert, Warren Entsch in Leichhardt, Natasha Griggs in Solomon, and Melissa Price in Durack.

Finally, I welcome your suggestions and concerns.

Ian Macdonald
LNP Senator for Queensland

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