First candidate to run against Bennett revealed
THE election race has ramped up in the Burnett electorate, with the first candidate to run against Stephen Bennett announced today - and they're not from the Labor Party.
Bob Katter was in Bundaberg today to announce Paul Hudson as the Katter's Australian Party candidate in the Burnett.
Mr Hudson is a long term resident of the Burnett region, with a background in the offshore oil industry and property.
"I've decided to work with Katter's Australian Party because I felt the values were very important," he said.
"I'm very happy they've accepted me as their candidate."
He said one of the biggest issues in the region surrounded agriculture and water security.
"We're very heavily dependent on agriculture here and agriculture needs water," he said.
"If we have problems with water, everything's finished.
"At this very minute, I understand Paradise Dam is in the process of... being demolished right now and I think that's an absolute tragedy."
Hr Hudson said he'd already spoken with Dr Paul Rizzo, the chief technical officer at specialist engineering firm Rizzo International.
"He's the top expert in dam engineering in the world," he said.
"He's been here, he's inspected Paradise Dam and he's told me this dam can be repaired, this dam can be restored to full capacity.
"It isn't actually all that difficult to do.
"It's a disgrace the dam is being vandalised, and the future of the whole are depends on this, on agriculture and a secure water supply."
Mr Hudson said if his election campaign was successful he would get Dr Rizzo to the area and put on the pressure to stop the dam works.
"It's totally unnecessary, it needs to be stopped because we all depend on it," he said.
"It's not just the farmers, the whole economy is linked back to the agricultural sector.
"I think the destruction should cease immediately … the destruction we do, the more we have to do to build it back up."
Another key issue was the price of power, particularly for farmers.
"There's been a big issue with valuations and some of them have increased dramatically by several hundred per cent," he said.
"These are unacceptable burdens to be putting on people who are working hard to support industry in the region."
Federal KAP MP Bob Katter said they were proud to have Mr Hudson as their candidate in the Burnett.