Kerry Shine launches campaign for Toowoomba North seat
SEASONED politician Kerry Shine officially launched his campaign for the state seat of Toowoomba North today.
Mr Shine announced last month he would contest the next election for the ALP.
The campaign launch, held at Mr Shine's private residence in Newtown, was attended by NSW Senator Sam Dastyari and Queensland Senator Anthony Chisholm.
Mr Dastyari had to opt for a barbecue lunch instead of a halal snack pack but was delighted to be back in the region.
He volunteered on Mr Shine's campaign in 2006.
"I've travelled the country and I've seen so many candidates but Kerry's the only person who knows everybody. You can't walk down the street with this bloke without being stopped," he laughed.
"This is a seat that always has been and will always be hard for the Labor party and if it wasn't for Kerry Shine we wouldn't have held it for as long as we need and because of Kerry Shine, we're going to hold it again."
Mr Shine lost to the LNP's Trevor Watts in the last election.
The 2015 battle was on a knife-edge but Mr Watts was backed strongly by Highfields voters who helped him over the line.
Mr Shine speculated the next state election would be called between October and sometime next year.
"My idea of campaigning is to undertake that grass-roots approach, which is meeting as many people as you can," he said.
"Nationally, people are very concerned with penalty rates. Locally, what I'm really concerned about is job security. Toowoomba, fortunately, has a fairly low unemployment rate but not all of those people are employed on a 40-hour week.
"As always health and education will be issues. It's important we have first-class public health services in Toowoomba and likewise with schooling."
Mr Chisholm predicted Mr Shine to shake-up the electorate.
"We think he's exactly what the people of Toowoomba North are looking for; someone experienced and energetic, who understands the issues and has a track record of fighting for them," he said.