TWENTY-ONE days into the election campaign and how much money has been promised by either party for projects in Banana Shire?
How many Federal Government ministers have visited the district?
How many times has Chris Trevor visited and talked to local voters?
How many big-name Coalition representatives have toured the shire?
These are the reasons Banana Shire is being labelled the “forgotten people of Flynn” by acting Mayor Vaughn Becker and deputy Warren Middleton.
“We are asking the candidates, particularly the two representing the big parties, where is the commitment to local projects?” Cr Becker said.
“You are the local men.
“What are your commitments to the local area?
“At the moment, there are none,” Cr Becker said.
The council has supplied the candidates with a funding “wish-list” but are concerned – with only three weeks remaining until voters go to the polls – that there have been absolutely no announcements relating to the Banana Shire.
The list includes six key projects: An upgrade of the pipeline from Awoonga to Callide Dam; completion of the Eidsvold-Theodore road; Banana Shire's waste strategy; Thangool aerodrome upgrade; Leichhardt Centre in Taroom; and a regional art gallery.
Cr Middleton said the council was chasing a promise from the candidates that they would pass the wish-list on to their parties.
“Unless this happens, we are going to get nothing out of this election,” Cr Middleton said.
Central Telegraph contacted the ALP and LNP campaign offices on Tuesday, asking if they had received the list from the council and if they were going to act upon it.
By Thursday lunchtime, Central Telegraph had not received a reply and phoned both offices.
Ken O'Dowd was campaigning in Emerald with federal National Party leader Warren Truss and spokesman on regional development Barnaby Joyce.
A spokeswoman from his office said they had received the list but was uncertain if it had been acted upon. “I am confident Ken will take the fight up for Banana Shire,” she said.
ALP member for Flynn Chris Trevor said, after 12 years of neglect under the Howard Government, he had worked hard with Banana Shire Council to deliver important community projects.
“While these projects have been a great win for the Banana community, I agree that much more needs to be done and my job as the federal member is far from complete,” he said.