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What's next for Flynn's O'Dowd, one year after election

Federal member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd.
Federal member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd. Paul Braven GLA250615LARCOM

RAISING business confidence and campaigning for a new coal-fired power station are what to expect in the next 12 months from member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd.

It's been one year since Mr O'Dowd crushed hopes of a Labor-run Flynn during the 2016 election.

RELATED | 'Eye opener': O'Dowd returns from two-week southeast Asia trip

Though the first sod has not been turned on the projects he supported during his election campaign, he said they were all on track.

He hoped within six months work would start on all of his election promises, including the CQUniversity marina campus upgrade, Philip St and the Memorial Park redevelopment.

He was also expecting a report from the $250,000 feasibility study into extending the inland rail to Gladstone soon.

The chairman for the trade and investment committee said he also wanted to work on securing funding to upgrade roads and to bring more confidence to the region.

He was going in to bat for Cook Colliery workers, meeting this week with people involved in the mine company's collapse.

Likening Caledon Coal's collapse to Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel failure, Mr O'Dowd said the workers needed to be looked after.

"We need to bring these people to hand and I'll be fighting for that," he said.

In what could be his final term, Mr O'Dowd said his focus was to bring more confidence to Gladstone's small businesses.

He said multi-million- dollar projects such as the CQU marina campus upgrade would give Gladstone a boost as it continued to struggle post-boom.

"That's why I invested in CQU, we need to bring these training and aged care facilities to Gladstone," he said.

"The other big issue is future energy supplies and I'm pushing for a HELE clean coal power station for Gladstone.

"We can't go the way we're going with electricity prices going through the roof."

Mr O'Dowd said he had Minister For Resources Matthew Canavan "on board" for a new coal-fired power station in Gladstone.

Acknowledging other MPs are calling for the coal-fired power station to be built in north Queensland, he said Gladstone had the infrastructure and the workforce.

"We need to be careful how we spend taxpayers' money because we are in the red still to a big degree," he said.

Defending his decision to vote to reduce penalty rates, he said the LNP Government was working to make it cheaper and easier for businesses to survive.

Mr O'Dowd won the 2016 election over Labor's candidate Zac Beers.

Mr Beers conceded the seat of Flynn on July 12, sitting 1368 votes behind Mr O'Dowd after the eight-week election campaign and 11 days of counting.

Mr O'Dowd was first elected in 2010.



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