Candidate claims MP is ‘buying votes’ with promises
HINKLER One Nation candidate Damian Huxham has accused incumbent Keith Pitt of "blatantly buying votes" by making campaign funding pledges.
Mr Huxham calculates Mr Pitt and the Coalition have made about $29 million in funding promises this campaign for businesses, bike paths and sport oval lighting.
"It's pork-barrelling at it's worst," Mr Huxham said.
"It's horribly upsetting - he's blatantly buying votes."
Mr Huxham acknowledged it was not uncommon for a political party to make funding committments in an election campaign, but said Mr Pitt should have made the promises during his three years as MP.
"If you can't do what you're supposed to do in your term you can't run around and offer this vote buying," Mr Huxham said.
"It is what happens in an election campaign, it's really upsetting we have to wait until the 11th hour when they run around and make promises.
"This $20 million jobs package, why have we waited (for it until) two weeks out from the federal election, it's absurd."
Mr Pitt hit back at Mr Huxham for his lack of commitments.
"Minor parties will promise everything and deliver nothing, but the minor party candidate has not even done that," he said.
"Just like Labor, he has not made one single promise or commitment to any project, any community group or said how he will tackle unemployment in Hinkler.
"I have been working on the regional jobs package since last year with my colleagues including Ken O'Dowd and Michelle Landry."
Mr Huxham said Mr Pitt was using the needs of community groups to secure support.
He said Mr Pitt did not attend an event for candidates held by the Burnett Heads Progress Association.
"Then said he'd get $12,500 (for lights) if they re-elect him," Mr Huxham said.
Mr Pitt said the promise for lights was made prior to the meeting and said he had delivered on his 2013 election pledges and attracted investment to the region.
"Since I was elected I have helped deliver $29.7 million in upgrades to the Bruce Highway, $2.1 million to community groups, $7.2 million for roads and black spots, $39 million for health facilities and programs, and $3.4 million for new infrastructure at schools," he said.