The four electorates which encompass the Darling Downs and South West Queensland are among the Liberal National Party’s strongest seats in the state. So strong is the LNP’s foothold to the north and the west of Toowoomba, that a 10 percent swing would be required to topple the party in its most at-risk electorate in the region, Warrego. But the year is 2020 and, as we’ve seen, stranger things have happened. Australia is in economic recession, Queensland has as an unemployment rate above 7 percent and the state’s debt has been the worst in the nation since before the pandemic. The fallout from the pandemic has polarised opinion of how Queensland’s economic and social challenges should be managed, and thus the election will inevitably produce some interesting results. Polling opens on Monday, October 19, ahead of election day on Saturday, October 31. To assist in deciding which candidates to vote for in the seats of Callide, Condamine, Southern Downs and Warrego, the Country Caller is publishing a profile on every candidate contesting the seats. Map images have been supplied by the Electoral Commission Queensland. Visit the ECQ website for more information about the election, including polling booth locations.
See the Caller‘s election guide for the seat of Condamine here.
See the Caller‘s election guide for the seat of Southern Downs here.
Harry Clarke, Editor
SITTING MP: Colin Boyce
PARTY: Liberal National Party
BACKGROUND: Held by one time deputy premier Jeff Seeney for nearly two decades, Callide has been Country/National party heartland since its 1950 inception and has been represented by only five members since then. Sitting LNP member Colin Boyce is vying for a second term and at this election, he won’t be opposed by One Nation Party or United Australia Party candidates which posed a threat previously. An electoral redistribution ahead of the 2017 vote saw Callide encompass the Western Downs towns of Chinchilla, Miles and Taroom, bolstering the division’s resource sector. To the north, the electorate boundary hits the Capricorn Highway west of Rockhampton. Callide now covers the length of the coal seam gas pipelines which run from the Surat Basin to Gladstone, and covers the rich farming country in between.
2017 ELECTION RESULTS
CALLIDE 2020 CANDIDATES:
*Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by surname.
LNP – Colin Boyce MP
The hats worn by Taroom local and sitting Callide MP Colin Boyce include farmer, father, boilermaker and politician. These professions are steeped in his immediate family – Mr Boyce’s wife is a councillor with the Banana Shire and his sons run the Boyce cattle farm and boilermaking small business. Mr Boyce was also a councillor for the former Taroom Shire before 2008 amalgamations, and before entering state politics.
IND – Adam Burling
Growing up in Longreach and now living in Biloela, Adam Burling is running as an independent in his local electorate. He lists the needs to change vegetation laws and to retain jobs in the mining sector among the issues he’s most passionate about. As a father of four, Mr Boyce also says he’d like to see focus on schools – particularly the provision more non-traditional education opportunities for students struggling with academia.
IND – Loris Doessel
A Munduberra local for 42 years, Loris Doessil made the “snap decision” to run as an independent in Callide at the beginning of October. As well as detailing her background in administration and as a lucerne farmer, Ms Doessell’s website explains how voluntary assisted dying legislation was her main motivation for running for office. She says “Australian states are finally bowing to the pressure of public opinion to give sufferers a choice at the end of life. Queensland has not yet stepped up”.
ALP – Gordon Earnshaw
Gordon Earnshaw has lived in the Gladstone area since the 1980s and ran for office in the Gladstone Regional Council earlier this year on the Labor ticket. He worked in procurement for 15 years and also had a career working at the Boyne Smelter south of Gladstone, a Rio Tinto operation and the second largest aluminum smelter in Australia.
GNS – Anthony Walsh
Anthony Walsh has been based in the northern Brisbane suburb of Deagon since 1989. Earlier this year he ran on the Greens ticket for the Deagon ward of Brisbane City Council in the local government elections. His Facebook page says he is “passionate about inclusive communities, participatory democracy, active and public transport, and protecting green spaces and wildlife”.