David versus Goliath battle in Callide electorate

Graeme Martin, ALP candidate for Callide
Graeme Martin, ALP candidate for Callide

AFTER 40 years of "couch commentating", coal miner Graeme Martin is throwing his hard hat in the Callide election ring.

The Biloela father of three yesterday confirmed he would run for Labor in this month's state election.

Mr Martin may have a David versus Goliath-style battle on his hands, going up against the LNP Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney.

He will also take on son of past Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, John Bjelke-Petersen, who will stand for the Palmer United Party.

But win or lose, Mr Martin said he had to give it a shot. He said he was prompted to join the race after seeing the effect Campbell Newman's "harsh" cuts to jobs and services had on local families.

He said under Newman cost of living and unemployment rates were increasing, as road conditions and support for regional areas decreased.

"I love the Callide area and I know the electorate intimately," he said.

"I'm positive and my family is positive and very supportive. My friends at work said it was about time... everyone's positive."

Mr Martin said he had been a unionist for 40 years and was active in the community, volunteering at the Wahroonga Retirement Village and giving many years of service to the State Emergency Service.

In 2012, the LNP picked up 53.33% of the Callide vote, down from 58.98% in 2009.

Meanwhile, the ALP received 14.76% last election, down from 23.92%.

Long-standing Member for Callide Jeff Seeney is ready for the election battle to begin.

"I'm proud to be part of the Newman LNP Government that has worked hard to deliver better schools, better health services, better roads and a stronger economy," Mr Seeney said.

"It will be a choice between Campbell Newman, with a strong team with a strong plan for Queensland, or Annastacia Palaszczuk and the same old Labor party which got Queensland into the worst financial position of any Australian state.

"Now we are asking for the opportunity to press on with our plans to create jobs and a strong economy for Queensland families.

"We cannot afford the chaos that would follow if Labor flopped over the line with the help of wasted votes for minor parties and independents.

"That's why voters need to support the LNP on January 31 - to keep us on course for a brighter future and a stronger Queensland."

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