2013 Federal election guide to the seat of Hinkler
HINKLER covers an area of approximately 3504 sq km starting at the Burnett River at Burnett Heads in the north, continuing west along the Burnett River following the Bundaberg Regional Council boundary, bordering the locality Duckinwilla in the south and following the Susan River to River Heads at the mouth of the Mary River.
The major population centres are Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.
Other towns include Bargara, Childers and Burrum Heads.
Main industries are sugar, a range of small crops including tomatoes, avocados and macadamia nuts, rum, fishing, seafood industries and tourism.
Incumbent Paul Neville (LNP) is retiring, leaving the seat wide open.
Keith Pitt (LNP)
The Bundaberg businessman won pre-selection in December.
He was born into a cane farming family, and along with his wife Allison owned two farms until late last year.
Mr Pitt, a father of three, runs a safety and training service for more than 1000 local businesses, employing 15 staff.
Rob Messenger (Palmer's United Party)
The former LNP turned independent turned Palmer's United Party candidate was the state MP for Burnett from 2004-12, and served in a range of portfolios in opposition including education, police, tourism and regional development.
He is the wild card in Hinkler.
Leanne Donaldson (Labor)
The human services consultant won pre-selection un April.
Ms Donaldson has spent the past decade working for the State Government and private sector in areas including child protection, family law, foster care and training.
David Dalgleish (Katter's Australian Party)
Hervey Bay's David Dalgleish is a former state MP and councillor.
2010 RESULT (Two-party preferred)
- Paul Neville 60.39% (+8.87%)
- Belinga McNeven (ALP) 39.61%
WORD ON THE GROUND
"Although Mr Pitt stands some chance of winning, there will undoubtedly be more conservative candidates who nominate before the poll, splitting the conservative vote."
THE VERDICT - LNP HOLD
With Paul Neville bringing down the curtains on a two-decade political career, Hinkler could be an interesting battle for two reasons.
The first is to see how the untested LNP candidate Keith Pitt fares, particularly without the benefit of incumbency.
And the second is Rob Messenger.
The former LNP state frontbencher has the potential to steal votes from both sides of political divide.
It is certainly one of the seats in which PUP would expect to make an impact.
But to what extent, we won't know until the votes are counted on election night.
The seat, which was created when the Parliament expanded in 1984, was named after Bundaberg's Bert Hinkler who in 1928 became the first person to fly solo from England to Australia.