Jason Scanes will run in the seat of Wide Bay for Labor at the upcoming election.
Jason Scanes will run in the seat of Wide Bay for Labor at the upcoming election. Contributed

REVEALED: Decorated war veteran to take on Llew O'Brien

A DECORATED war veteran has been chosen as Labor's man to take on popular Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.

The Chronicle can reveal ex-army captain Jason Scanes was officially selected by the party on Monday night following months of speculation.

Mr Scanes, the former Maryborough RSL CEO, made national headlines last year as he lobbied the Federal Government to help bring his wartime Afghani interpreter to Australia.

The father of three founded Forsaken Fighters, a group aimed at representing those who have assisted the Australian military at their own personal peril.

He camped outside Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's Brisbane office until he was acknowledged and secured a meeting with the MP in April.

"I know what it's like to be pushed aside by a politician," he told the Chronicle yesterday

"It was frustrating to be , overlooked and not even given the opportunity to address the minister in a timely fashion," he said.

Describing himself yesterday as a "swing voter", Mr Scanes said he had sided with Labor because the party believed in the values of a fair go and that resonated with him.

He's passionate about bringing the ideas and opinions of people around the region to the nation's capital.

"It's time for people in the Wide Bay to have their voices heard," he said.

"I served the people of Australia in the defence force for 19 years and I see this as another opportunity to serve the Australian people and the people of Wide Bay."

As a soldier, Mr Scanes believes he is well versed in national security concerns, and is also passionate about jobs, education and health.

He has a farming background, having grown up in country New South Wales and holds a Masters in Business.

Asked about how he intended to address the critical issue of unemployment in the Wide Bay, Mr Scanes said investing in education resources to get people qualified, trained and into the workforce was key as well as attracting big business into the region.

He said good work had already been done by the Labor State Government.

Mr Scanes has lived in Maryborough for five years and said the LNP had taken what could be considered a safe conservative seat for granted.

"For 45 years they've held the seat, it's survived but it's not thriving," he said.

"This area should be thriving."

Mr Scanes said he had nothing bad to say about Mr O'Brien but believed his was the "powerful, persistent voice" the region needed.

Mr O'Brien said he welcomed anyone who wished to nominate.

"I take my Parliamentary role seriously," he said.


"I stand by my record of achievement, in Maryborough, in Wide Bay, and in Canberra.

"In Maryborough, I've been part of the LNP team that's delivered a range of projects including $30.4 million for the new Tinana interchange; $13.2 million for the safety improvements on the Bruce Highway north of Tiaro; $1.175 million to create jobs at Dale & Meyers; $900,000 for the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Queens Park, and $426,300 for Maryborough Hockey.

"In Canberra I've used my voice to deliver the Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry, the new Commonwealth Integrity Commission, fight for a better deal for farmers, and call for fair superannuation for veterans.

"All of this is possible through careful economic management by the Liberal Nationals Government, which will see our nation's public finances return to surplus in the coming Budget."
 



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