REPLAY: Watch Barron River candidates in election debate

 

Watch the candidates for Barron River go head to head in a live debate, co-produced with Sky News.

Peter Gleeson will moderate the virtual debate which you can watch here today at noon.

Peter Gleeson will moderate the Barron River debate today.
Peter Gleeson will moderate the Barron River debate today.

This website will also stream online debates for the seats of Cook (Tuesday, October 13, 6.30pm) and Cairns (Monday, October 19, 6.30pm) as well as other seats in hot contention this election. 

Send your questions for the candidates to chris.calcino@news.com.au

Here are all the candidates for Barron River - although only Labor's Craig Crawford and the LNP's Linda Cooper will be participating in today's debate.

Craig Crawford, ALP

 

 

Barron River MP Craig Crawford. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
Barron River MP Craig Crawford. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

 

LABOR'S sitting member for Barron River has been in the job since 2015 when he rolled the LNP's Michael Trout.

He held the seat in 2017 and has risen through the ranks to Emergency Services Minister and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister.

Roads are at the top of the former paramedic's campaign and the $164 million Smithfield bypass project right up front.

He shrugged off the bookies' odds as a good opportunity to "double your money" by backing him, but said the election would really hit its stride from Monday.

"The postal vote may be opening by the end of next week and pre-poll opens after that," he said.

Mr Crawford said his campaign was focused on rebuilding Queensland after COVID-19 with money in roads, schools, hospitals and government buildings.

He agreed that the Smithfield bypass was not a cure-all.

"Of course it is going to move the problem further down the line, because the roads further down the line are yet to be properly built," he said.

He said he would keep pushing hard for upgrades to the Captain Cook Hwy, the Cairns Western Arterial Rd and Kuranda Range if re-elected.

 

Linda Cooper, LNP

LNP candidate for Barron River Linda Cooper. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
LNP candidate for Barron River Linda Cooper. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

THE former Cairns Regional Councillor has a strong record when it comes to delivering for the community.

She would have been a shoo-in to keep her job as a councillor but made the gutsy decision not to stand at the last election so she could run against Craig Crawford without forcing a by-election if she won.

Ms Cooper said fixing the Cairns Western Arterial Rd would a chief goal if elected.

"People need to have alternatives of representatives, that's why I'm running. I'm a strong believer at every level of government that people who are elected are there to support at a grassroots level," she said.

The numbers always tell a story, and Ms Cooper said the figures were not good in Barron River.

"Look at what's been spent up here per population compared to everywhere else in the state," she said. 

"We've sat on $16,000 per person, Townsville is $22,000 and Toowoomba is $28,000.

"The Far North has been completely forgotten."

She said her advocacy for the Far North would not stop if she did not win the election.

"I think that's my strength, regardless of what happens I'll be there fighting for this region," she said.

 

Aaron McDonald, Greens

 

Greens candidate for Barron River Aaron McDonald. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
Greens candidate for Barron River Aaron McDonald. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

HIS day job is spent up on rooftops installing solar power, but the Greens candidate for Barron River has some experience in political campaigns.

He stood for Cairns in the 2017 state election and managed to lock down 8.06 per cent of the primary vote.

Barron River is typically the Greens' best seat in the Far North - so Mr McDonald's preference flow could be a kingmaker even if he does not cross the finish line first.

He has a strong grassroots team of volunteers behind him who appear noticeably younger than some of the old hands whacking in corflutes for the major parties.

Mr McDonald said he wanted the region to become a major exporter of renewable energy, providing locals with thousands of jobs in manufacturing, construction, and operations.

He said he was all about "bringing the profits back to the people".

"Like most locals, I hold a deep appreciation for the magnificence that surrounds our little slice of paradise. Not only because of its natural wonder but because our economy relies on it," he said.

 

 

Jenny Brown, UAP

 

United Australia Party candidate for Barron River Jenny Brown. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
United Australia Party candidate for Barron River Jenny Brown. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

THE United Australia Party candidate for Barron River appears to be little more than a sacrificial lamb to make up the numbers.

She has no contact details on the UAP website except for an email and the party has not responded to attempts to get in touch with Ms Brown.

It is also unclear whether she lives anywhere near Barron River.

A woman with the same name and headshot appeared on the ballot for the seat of Moreton in southeast Queensland in the 2019 federal election, securing just 2.2 per cent of the vote.

A phone call to a phone number listed as belonging to Ms Brown ahead of that previous election was on Friday answered by a man who worked for a waste company and laughed before saying he did not know a Jenny Brown.

Subsequent phone calls were diverted straight to message bank.

The United Australia Party has not replied to an attempt from the Cairns Post to determine who Ms Brown is and if, in fact, she has any connection to Barron River.

United Australia did not run candidates in Barron River in the 2017 state election.



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