Mayor says it's time George 'jumped ship'
DAWSON MP George Christensen may not be the captain of the LNP ship but Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson certainly doesn't want to see him drown in the waves of One Nation.
Even though the Mayor doesn't support One Nation, he is so frustrated with the inaction of southern federal politicians he now believes Mackay would be much better off if the LNP's former Whip just "jumped ship" and got on board with Pauline Hanson.
While he acknowledged Mr Christensen was vocal about the issues in Mackay, he was being ignored, he said, and all the votes, power and dollars continued to flow to the south-east corner of Australia.
"We have been hearing about the $5billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for years and not one dollar has been spent because of the bureaucracy," Cr Williamson said.
"They've been talking about water security and dams for over 40 years and still nothing has happened. They talk about going from the mining boom to the dining boom but how the hell are we going to have a dining boom if you don't have water security?"
Cr Williamson said despite the rivers of money flowing to the federal purse from the sugar cane, mining and cattle industries, the Mackay region had been drowning in lost jobs because federal politicians refused to throw the region a life preserver.
"We produce 30% of Australia's sugar cane but there is no ethanol industry and we lost 7000 jobs to the mining downturn but where are all the projects for the district," he asked.
"If that happened in Sydney or Melbourne there would be millions of dollars coming out of the federal purse."
Cr Williamson said regional Australia was fed-up with politicians doing nothing and if the Member for Dawson wanted to stay afloat he should walk the plank and cross over to One Nation.
Cr Williamson said the frustration has lead to the establishment of parties like One Nation who don't have any real policies but capitalise on the anger of regional Australians.
"I think George is doing the right thing expressing his frustration and if he does jump ship and the result of that is we get more attention then hallelujah, because that is what we need."
Mr Christensen said Cr Williamson's criticism of the LNP and the lack of interest in the region from southern federal politicians was accurate and the LNP needed to start focusing on the region if they didn't want to suffer the consequences of voter frustration.
"We have been overlooked by both political parties on all of the issues that Cr Williamson has raised," Mr Christensen said.
"As the mining downturn occurred we were not on the map for southern politicians. If 7000 jobs were lost in Melbourne or Adelaide everyone would be running for federal funds fast.
"However, I do believe I can work with the government to achieve these things and if I'm unable to effect change I will make a call at that point in time."