Labor candidate for Hinkler Richard Pascoe speaks as the LNP's Keith Pitt looks on.
Labor candidate for Hinkler Richard Pascoe speaks as the LNP's Keith Pitt looks on. Adam Wratten

Election analysis: Why today's result is crucial for Hinkler

Opinion by editor, Adam Wratten

TODAY we get to decide.

In truth the battle for Hinkler has been somewhat of a fizzer with the major happenings occuring before the election was even called.

When LNP incumbent Keith Pitt announced $30 million from the Regional Deal would be spent on demaining Quay St, he went head-to-head with the Queensland Government, which had earlier refused to sign on to the deal.

Since then, the campaign has been pretty straight forward, despite a historic high number of candidates nominating.

Betting agency Ladbrokes yesterday had Mr Pitt a hot favourite at $1.07. It would be a real surprise if he wasn't returned for a third term.

Personally, I think Labor's candidate Richard Pascoe has plenty to offer.

However, seemingly shackled by the party hierarchy, he failed to land any telling blows on Mr Pitt, despite there being a number of controversial issues the community would have benefited from had there been some engaging debate.

Backed by his leader Clive Palmer's huge electoral spend, it will be interesting to see how Joseph Ellul performs today for the United Australia Party.

The party's 20 per cent zonal taxation policy, where people living outside the big cities get reduced tax rates applied, has been one of the best policies raised during the election campaign for regional Australians.

Of the other candidates, it will be interesting to see if the Greens improve on their 2016 showing and how big a hit One Nation will take from recent controversies.

The Hinkler electorate has led the way in pre-polling with more than 47,000 having already voted.

Today's vote is hugely important. Historically the Bundaberg region has a high unemployment rate.

Our community is also feeling the pinch, more like punch, from high costs of living.

And we need to be part of the climate change conversation, given the huge ramifications this will have. Whichever party forms government needs to ensure it doesn't lose sight of these key issues.



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