Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, Member for Hinkler Paul Neville and Bundaberg councillor Danny Rowelson at the announcement of a $2 million project for the restoration of the Elliott River mouth.
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, Member for Hinkler Paul Neville and Bundaberg councillor Danny Rowelson at the announcement of a $2 million project for the restoration of the Elliott River mouth.

2010: a big year in politics

SPEEDOS, a prime ministerial leadership spill and a federal election kept political wonks talking on the national scene in 2010.

But Bundaberg had plenty to offer the politically savvy with an interesting and turbulent year on all levels of government.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger set the ball rolling in March when he was booted from parliament for repeatedly interrupting Health Minister Paul Lucas.

Mr Lucas, who suffers epilepsy, was giving a speech on the condition on the disorder's awareness day.

But Mr Messenger was more interested in attacking the minister about a Bargara woman who had allegedly been misdiagnosed as having a miscarriage.

Then prime minister Kevin Rudd and his Boeing 737 became the first jet plane to christen the Bundaberg airport's runway when the leader made a flying visit to the rum city in April.

During that visit, Mr Rudd announced a health spending spree which would focus on cancer treatment for regional patients.

In May the spotlight once again turned to Mr Messenger when he quit the LNP to become an independent.

“I'm not going to sit back and watch my community and state be destroyed by, on one hand, entrenched waste and corruption ... and on the other, complacency, incompetence and lack of courage,” he said at the time.

In the same month, Mr Rudd plugged the NewsMail nationally on the ABC's 7.30 Report.

“Do you read the Mackay Mercury? Do you read the Bundaberg NewsMail? Do you read the Maryborough (sic) Chronicle?,” he asked host Kerry O'Brien.

In mid-July, convicted former mayor of Burnett Shire Ray Duffy announced his intentions to run for Bundaberg Regional mayoralty despite his chequered past.

Later that month, all eyes turned to the federal seat of Hinkler and the battle between LNP incumbent Paul Neville and Labor hopeful Belinda McNeven during the federal election.

The fight started with a bang when just a week into the campaign, Greens candidate Adrian Wone dropped the party and decided to run as an independent.

After five weeks of sign vandalism during the campaign, extensive discussion of the National Broadband Network and a slew of Labor ministers visiting Bundaberg, the public finally went to the polls.

Unlike the federal government, the seat of Hinkler was decided quickly.

Mr Neville was declared winner in September with a whopping 10% margin.



BUDGET AMENDMENT: How capital and cash flow are impacted

Premium Content BUDGET AMENDMENT: How capital and cash flow are impacted

All councillors voted in favour of the recommendation.

PHOTOS: Fun in the sun on Australia Day

Premium Content PHOTOS: Fun in the sun on Australia Day

People flocked to Neilson Park yesterday to celebrate Australia Day by the beach.

Patients taken to hospital following Innes Park crash

Premium Content Patients taken to hospital following Innes Park crash

Paramedics from QAS attended to the scene and transported both patients to...