Ken ready to fire up battle for Flynn and fight for 3rd term
AS THE country awaits to find out when parliament will be dissolved to make way for the expected Federal election in July, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd reflects on his achievements of the past six years and what he hopes to work on if elected for a third term.
IT would seem that some of the issues Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd still wants to resolve in the future are subjects that have been on his agenda for a long time.
From helping the man on the land, to building the region into an agricultural hub post mining boom, to pushing for better aged care resources in rural and regional areas and cutting the cost of living that is impacting most voters lives, Ken has many things left on his 'to do list'.
The former businessman and racing identity initially outlined electricity prices when he first ran for the seat in 2010.
Today, it is still a concern for the man born and raised on a dairy farm at Bracewell.
"I think one of our biggest issues in Queensland is our electricity prices," he said.
"We have gone from the lowest prices in the world to the dearest prices in the world."
He said the price of electricity impacts the dam projects proposed for the region that would benefit agriculture.
Mr O'Dowd said not as much water would be pumped around the region if the dam projects went ahead soon with the current prices of electricity.
He said the other big issues were telecommunications and aged care.
"As we move to take advantage of our FDA's (Free Trade Agreement) with our Asian neighbours, our farmers and farm organisations need urgent upgrades to internet where they have the ability to do their business at night to take advantage of the Asian markets," Mr O'Dowd said about the telecommunications issue.
"Also, school kids in the outback are suffering from their very limited time they can spend online.
"Hopefully some of the new satellite will correct some of those issues."
As for the aged care issue, Mr O'Dowd said many people who grow up and spend all their lives in the country would love to be able to retire and die in the country.
He said the limited number of beds at aged care facilities and the limited number of aged care facilities set up in rural areas was a problem.
Mr O'Dowd said most aged care facilities are not economically feasible unless they have at least 90 beds.
Mr O'Dowd said this lead to the splitting up of couples - eg a mother in aged care facility in Eidsvold and a father in Monto - making it hard on the individuals being apart from their loved ones and for their family members to visit them regularly.
Some of the projects in Central Queensland Mr O'Dowd listed as achievements since he was elected in 2010 include:
- Upgrade of the Mount Morgan range after a landslip ($30 million project)
- Bridge program that has resulted in seven CQ bridges being replaced
- NBN wireless towers - 10 from the program and one to be built at Jambin and others at Mulgildie, Boyne Valley, Dingo, etc.
- Private school upgrades including work at Gladstone's Trinity College.
- Aquatic funding for the Blackwater Centre
- Upgrades for sporting grounds including Meteors (Gladstone), Moura football oval, PCYC Gladstone, etc.
- Abolishing the MRRT tax, Carbon tax, RET charges to the Boyne Smelter, RSRT