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George Christensen’s successor to inherit a diverse electorate where corals and coal collide

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Change is within the air for regional Queensland, the place at the least one voters is assured a brand new consultant from the federal election after its former MP George Christensen went rogue.

Mr Christensen was a thorn within the Liberal Nationwide Social gathering’s facet till the tip — sensationally quitting the celebration and parliament final week earlier than pledging his allegiance to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation celebration.

He at the moment announced he would run third on its Senate ticket on the Could 21 election, along with his former constituents left to elect a brand new Member for Dawson the place the futures of coal and coral collides.

Mr Christensen has a repute for ruffling feathers resulting from his feedback urging adults to not get their kids vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, and for controversial views about net-zero emissions and abortion.

However away from Canberra, Mr Christensen’s stubbornness was what many locals favored finest.

George Christensen sits among the green benches of the Lower House. He holds a blue surgical mask over his mouth and nose.
George Christensen was condemned for his views on COVID-19 vaccines for youngsters.(ABC Information: Mark Moore)

He secured 4 phrases because the native member by advocating for main infrastructure initiatives and extra inexpensive insurance coverage, in addition to for sugar, mining, and sources within the area.

Native cafe proprietor David Paddon stated Mr Christensen was “a uncommon breed of politician”.

“It’s a very various voters; we’d like somebody that understands it.”

a man in a yellow polo shirt makes a coffee at a barista machine in a cafe
David Paddon desires a Dawson MP who will advocate for small companies.(ABC Tropical North: Angel Parsons)

Coal and coral

The seat of Dawson encompasses greater than 350 kilometres of the Queensland coast, together with cities equivalent to Bowen, Airlie Seaside and Mackay.

The regional centres act as gateways to each the Nice Barrier Reef and Queensland’s coal mining areas.

The LNP holds the seat with a 14.6 per cent margin and is pinning its hopes on Whitsunday mayor Andrew Willcox as its candidate, whereas Labor contender Shane Hamilton is attempting to woo voters as effectively.

With George Christensen aiming for the Senate, One Nation has chosen businessperson Julie Corridor to contest the seat, which noticed a 13.1 per cent swing in the direction of Pauline Hanson’s celebration in 2019.

a room is full of older people, who entered through a door with stickers on it supporting Adani and Urannah Dam
The voters of Bowen typically shows robust assist for mining initiatives.(ABC North Queensland: Chloe Chomicki)

Some consider it was resource-heavy communities like Dawson that drove the swing away from Labor on the final federal election in 2019.

“That feeling of being ignored on the final election remains to be there by individuals,” Bowen publican, and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Hedditch stated.

“Significantly individuals within the sources trade.

a man smiles at the camera while standing behind a public bar and holding the lever of a beer tap
Bruce Hedditch from the Chamber of Commerce says sources wants extra poltical consideration.(ABC Tropical North: Angel Parsons)

Tourism a scorching subject

However whereas the sources sector is a serious employer within the voters, so too is tourism, creating an uneasy marriage.

Lindsay Simpson wished to make sure her crusing enterprise had a future at Airlie Seaside.