IT MAY have only been the first day of the official election campaign, but the claws were out yesterday.
The three candidates for the seat of Gladstone have started their campaigning and are competing to win the hearts, minds and votes of Gladstone region residents.
Election day is now just five weeks away, set for March 24.
Gladstone has been stuck in the middle of a rental crisis as a result of the resources boom, which has seen a shortage of properties cause prices to skyrocket.
Rose May, who has lived in Gladstone for 32 years, said housing and housing affordability were sure to be key issues affecting residents' votes.
"It's the ones who have been living here a long time that really can't afford to live here," Ms May said.
"We own our house so we're lucky. I feel sorry for those who don't."
Many families have also struggled to find child care in the region.
Sunil Abraham and Meera Sunil Abraham said it was difficult to find a place in a childcare centre for their boys, aged 6 and 3, and although they had now found one they were sure it would be an election issue for many.
"There is so much growth but the infrastructure isn't sorted," Ms Sunil Abraham said.
"They want people working but we have kids too."
Issues that also rated highly included the Gladstone Hospital, the health of the harbour, roads and infrastructure.
Vote for your first choice for the seat of Gladstone on our poll and leave your comments below about what election issues will impact your vote.