Senate candidate outlines plan for regional Queensland
IN A vote of confidence for Queensland Senate hopeful Gerard Rennick, the LNP candidate has been bumped up the party ticket to the winnable third position after a nailbiting preselection ballot earlier this year.
The 47-year-old finance executive is running on a "protectionist nationalist” platform he says is about looking out for rural values and protecting the traditional way of life of Australian families.
Mr Rennick is on the campaign trail and touched down in Biloela this week for the Banana Shire's energy summit.
He believes his financial acumen and outback upbringing will help him deliver a fair go for regional Australians.
Born and raised in Chinchilla, and educated in Toowoomba, the fifth generation farmer and father of three laid out his vision for the country's future prosperity.
He has strong views on employment, immigration and energy policy but his main concern is closing a glaring loophole in corporate tax law.
Mr Rennick wants to stop the rort that sees multinational players in the private sector score massive deductions by rerouting their profits through overseas holding companies, avoiding Australia's high corporate tax rate.
"My number one priority is to raise withholding taxes on profits sent offshore,” he said.
"The bush is doing it tough and you can't get blood out of a stone.
"I can translate the language of the bush into global corporate finance.
"In order to generate wealth in this country we need to make sure we make our pound of flesh out of the international market.
"I want to see profits earned here stay here.”
An advocate of coal-fired power stations, Mr Rennick said cutting energy costs was vital to ease the strain on irrigators and industry.
He questioned the Greens' credentials as leaders on climate policy.
"Nuclear energy is carbon-emission free,” Mr Rennick said.
"We export uranium so why don't we use it here?
"The LNP is considered to be non-environmentally friendly but our farmers are our base.
"Nobody cares more about the land than the farmers themselves.”
To boost job security he said it's time to temper immigration and questioned NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian's recent proposal that would force foreigners into regional towns on a wholesale basis.
"There's a limit to how much small towns can absorb immigration,” Mr Rennick said.
"You can't just send them all out to the bush because there are areas already here with very high unemployment.
"It wouldn't make any sense and it's just going to compound the issue.
"If people are doing well economically it's fair to say that other things will fall into place.”