IT IS a question that usually isn't asked, but the candidates for the seat of Gladstone had their say on whether Gladstone would, or would not be, better off if represented by a member of the government.
Many commentators point out that other electorates represented by Labor candidates have not exactly been reaping the rewards and a representative who is not part of the government can be more active in dealing with problems in their electorate because they do not have to tow the party line.
It is an old question with no clear answers. Some in the seat of Gladstone have wondered if the Labor Government would have given more to the electorate if it were represented by one of their own.
Any of Gladstone's candidates could find themselves in a position where they win the seat but are not part of a government.
Independent member for Gladstone, Liz Cunningham has consistently said it is to the electorate's advantage that she is an independent representative, because she can make criticisms and apply pressure in ways party members cannot.
On the other side, Labor candidate, Glenn Butcher and LNP candidate Russell Schroter have both said, if elected, they would be able to serve the community better as members of the government because they would have direct access to the powerful decision makers.
What the candidates said...
Independent member Liz Cunningham - WAS it an advantage to Rockhampton to have Robert Schwarten as a sitting Labor minister when Labor sold QR? No! As an independent, I have worked with both Labor and Coalition governments - each with successes and frustrations. My team is my community, not parties who often work against community wishes.
Katter's Australian Party candidate Anthony Beezley - I BELIEVE that it would be a disadvantage (to not be a member of the government), but if I am found to be in that situation I will continue in my cause to represent Gladstone to the best of my ability with the support of the Australian Party. We will make a difference in Gladstone and the region as a whole.
LNP candidate Russell Schroter - PEOPLE correctly hold the view that Gladstone has been ignored by the current Labor Government. It would be assumed a sitting government member would have the advantage of being directly involved in the policy making decisions; however, I am certain that the LNP will govern for all Queenslanders.
Labor candidate Glenn Butcher - I BELIEVE Gladstone needs a state member that is backed by party support. It's a definite advantage to be a member of the party that's in government, however even if the sitting member is in opposition the backing of a party adds strength to the ability to represent the electorate
Greens candidate Andrew Blake - IT SHOULD be an advantage. You get to be in the room when decisions are made. But a rubbish local member is going to be rubbish whether they are in government or not.