Thanks for dropping by my website.
Given the vast size of my particular area of Shadow Ministerial responsibility and as a Senator representing all of Queensland, I spend a lot of time travelling and listening to my constituents’ concerns.
I am the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern and Remote Australia and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary For the Defence Force and Defence Support. These duties widen my statewide area of responsibility to encompass the interests of all Australians living north of the Tropic of Capricorn and those serving in our Defence Forces.
I am also Chair of the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee, and a member of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade, the Joint Committee on the NBN, and several other Coalition and Senate policy committees.
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.
While the economy and jobs are vitally important to northerners, we must be on our guard. Both did well under the Howard Government but under the Gillard Labor Government we are forgotten. Labor’s duplicity and incompetence are simply illustrated by Julia Gillard’s solemn promise “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead” which lasted less than a month before being broken.
As a regionally based Senator, I am the “alternative” member for Capricornia and 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 – Ken O’Dowd in Flynn, George Christensen in Dawson, Ewen Jones in Herbert, Warren Entsch in Leichhardt, Natasha Griggs in Solomon and Barry Haase in Durack.
Finally, I welcome your suggestions and concerns.
LNP Senator for Queensland