Young LNP hopeful finds place to stay at Ken O'Dowd's
ROCKHAMPTON 20-year-old Chay Conaglen is living with Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd in Gladstone as he contests one of the state's safest Labor seats.
The Liberal National Party's Gladstone candidate, who relocated to Mr O'Dowd's house ahead of the election campaign, pointed out other candidates had failed to commit to live in Gladstone.
Information from the electoral roll confirmed Mr Conaglen's address and that two of Gladstone's four state election candidates, One Nation's Amy Lohse and Queensland Greens Peta Baker, live outside the region.
Contesting member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher has referred to Ms Lohse, who lives in Frenchville near Rockhampton, and Ms Baker, from Callide, as "fly-in-fly-out" candidates.
Outside Gladstone's pre-polling booth yesterday, seven out of 11 voters said they cared that two out of the four candidates did not live in the region.
Four of those seven said it influenced their vote.
Mr Conaglen, one of the youngest candidates in this year's state election, said he was "living with friends" until he found a place of his own in Gladstone.
"The real question to be asked is, where is the Greens candidate whom Labor preferenced second?" he said.
"I have been busy with the election and haven't had time to go look at properties yet.
"I'm just focused on fighting for Gladstone and our jobs."
Mr O'Dowd said the accommodation was only temporary and Mr Conaglen would continue to look for something more permanent.
State members living outside their electorate is not new to Queensland politics.
Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk is the most high-profile of the MPs who do not live in their seats.
Ms Palaszczuk is one of 25 of Queensland's sitting MPs contesting the November 25 ballot who live outside the communities they want to represent.
In Gladstone, John-Paul Syer worried a candidate living outside the electorate would have a higher travel bill than one who lived in Gladstone.
"The politics is just absolutely disgusting at the moment, it's all about greed," Mr Syer said.
Kylie Gillbanks, who disagreed with candidates being eligible if they lived outside of the seat they contest, said "it sucks".
"They should live in the region - how could someone who doesn't live here know what's going on here and what we need?" she said.
Gladstone residents who did not care candidates were "out of towners" said they already knew which party they would vote for, and pointed out the parties struggled to find someone to nominate in Gladstone.
Mr Conaglen was the only person to join Mr Butcher at the meet-the-candidates event earlier this week.