REVEALED: LNP’s new Bay candidate confirmed
THE LNP has confirmed its new candidate for Hervey Bay after incumbent MP Ted Sorensen announced his retirement.
Steve Coleman, owner of Waters Edge Restaurant and Bar in Urangan, has been announced as the party's new candidate.
The Chronicle first contacted Mr Coleman almost two months ago amid rumours he was the likely contender but he did not wish to say either way at the time.
He will contest the seat at the upcoming State election on October 31.
Mr Coleman said he was standing for the LNP because it was the only party with a plan to supercharge the regions, stimulate the economy, drag Queensland out of recession and create a decade of secure jobs.
He said before the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the Palaszczuk Labor Government's economic mismanagement had led to the worst unemployment rate in the nation, highest number of bankruptcies and lowest business confidence.
"I know you can't run a business without a Budget, and Labor can't drag Queensland out of this recession without a Budget," Mr Coleman said.
"Labor is flying blind through the biggest economic crisis in almost a century with no Budget and no plan for Queensland.
"Labor was holding Hervey Bay back before coronavirus and can't be trusted with our economic recovery now.
"I'm standing for the LNP because only we have a plan to supercharge the regions, stimulate our economy, drag Queensland out of recession and create a decade of secure jobs."
Steve Coleman said his priorities included creating secure local jobs and supporting the region's small businesses.
"The LNP's economic plan will unlock the potential of small businesses in Hervey Bay," he said.
"Labor has smashed businesses with new and increased taxes, but we will deliver a no-new-tax guarantee to restore business confidence.
"We have a target of cutting red-tape by 20 per cent and our procurement policy will prioritise Queensland-owned businesses.
"Cutting red-tape for business and guaranteeing no new taxes will encourage firms to invest and create local jobs.
"Small businesses are the backbone of communities like Hervey Bay and our economic plan will create a bigger, stronger economy."
Steve said the LNP would drive down cost of living pressures on Hervey Bay households by allowing more electricity retailers to compete across regional Queensland.
"People in southeast Queensland can get big discounts because of competition between 27 different electricity retailers, but households in Hervey Bay are chained to Ergon," he said.
"We will stop people in Hervey Bay from being treated like second-class consumers.
"The LNP will introduce competition to the regional electricity market and give the people of Hervey Bay the opportunity to shop around for the best deals.
"Our plan will drive down the average household bill in Hervey Bay by $300 a year.
"The LNP will stimulate the economy, create jobs and drag Queensland out of recession by slashing regional electricity bills."
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said Mr Coleman knew what it took to run a business and create jobs.
"The LNP's vision for Hervey Bay, and the whole of Queensland, is to make us an economic powerhouse again - the best place to get a job, get ahead and raise a family," she said.
"Steve Coleman and the LNP will supercharge regions like Hervey Bay because strong regions mean a strong Queensland."
Mr Sorensen said Steve Coleman was the ideal representative for the region.
"I know Steve will be a strong leader and use his businesses skills to create secure, local jobs," he said.
"Steve's priorities are the same as the people of Hervey Bay.
"Steve will protect our lifestyle for future generations, stimulate the local economy and fight to ensure Hervey Bay gets it fair share.
"There is no one better to represent the people of Hervey Bay than Steve Coleman and I back him to move this region forward."