Michael Duggan is the LNP candidate for Gladstone in the January 31 state election.
Michael Duggan is the LNP candidate for Gladstone in the January 31 state election. Paul Braven GLA090115MICH

LNP candidate says he knows sense of leasing port

THE LNP has announced its candidate for Gladstone four days after Premier Campbell Newman called a snap election for January 31.

Gladstone Port employee Michael Duggan is the third candidate to throw his hat into the ring.

He will stand against ALP candidate Glenn Butcher - who yesterday had a visit from Labor party leader Annastacia Palaszczuk - and Independent candidate Craig Butler, who announced on Wednesday he would run in the place of outgoing MP Liz Cunningham.

Mr Duggan has lived in Gladstone for about two years.

He has taken three weeks' leave from his position as sustainability specialist for the Port of Gladstone so he can contest the seat.

Talking exclusively with The Observer, Mr Duggan said he had been planning to contest the election for the LNP for six months, and believed Gladstone needed a candidate with the backing of a strong party.

"My whole focus is about ensuring Gladstone gets a strong team member in Parliament," he said.

"I'll race as hard as I can. I am an ultra-marathoner and I don't back down from a challenge," he said.

"We need a strong team member here to represent us and drive us forward. We haven't had that united team member for a long time."

He said his experience as a sustainability specialist for Gladstone Port Corporation allowed him to understand what it would mean for Gladstone if the port was leased.

"The way we are going as a state is to ensure we can generate more jobs and move to the next stage of construction," he said.

"The only way we can do that is to have a very strong port. A lease will be something that will benefit Queenslanders for many generations, and for me that's my family."

The 37-year-old Canadian has lived in Australia for 16 years.

He and his wife Lauren and their two children, Addison and Tyler, have lived in Gladstone for 2½ years.

Mr Duggan has served on the Gladstone Vision 2035 committee and the Gladstone Regional Environment Advisory Committee.

"My family are very supportive of anything myself and the party can do about improving education," he said.

"We don't have enough in terms of education to be able to retain our people in this community.

"It's something we should be thinking about attracting people to our community, make sure we have the facilities here, infrastructure here and opportunities to help them stay and learn in this community."



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