OUTSPOKEN: Independent candidate Roger Currie is not like anybody else and might just win
OUTSPOKEN: Independent candidate Roger Currie is not like anybody else and might just win Valerie Horton

Mary conservation candidate Roger is far from over and out

OUTSPOKEN anti-Traveston dam campaigner, farmer advocate and non-Green conservation candidate Roger Currie is the outsider who might just win at Saturday's state election.

The straight talking independent is no fan of the Queensland Greens, despite his strong conservation credentials.

He says the party is inner urban, does not understand the regions and has been conned into an anti-farmer position on "stupid vegetation management laws."

"I don't believe the Barrier Reef is dying, but if it is, it isn't because of farmers," he said.

But he has a high regard for the Greens candidate he is opposing in Maryborough, Craig Armstrong.

He says the Traveston Crossing dam would have wrecked the Tin Can Bay environment and fishing economy and the Paradise Dam on the Burnett River system is a disaster waiting to happen in Bundaberg.

"If it cops another flood event, it could collapse," he said.

Mr Currie wants Paradise Dam water to be made available to Mary River irrigation farmers as a substitute for raising the river-mouth weir.

He says the Bundaberg rum and sugar company, Millaquin wants the water for its Maryborough sugar farmers and it should be piped there to allow dam repairs and to save the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island eco-systems.

He wants to scrap vegetation management laws which prevent farmers re-clearing fallow paddocks, ruining their businesses.

"And they don't do anything for the environment," he said.

Mr Currie operates an environmental consultancy which helps farmers navigate the laws and he said this week it can be an incredibly long and complex process.

"They've earmarked waterways that are really dry gullies."

"I've had to do a lot of forgiving," he said of his decision to put Labor's Bruce Saunders in the Number Two spot on his How-to-Vote card.

Mr Currie was sacked by the Peter Beattie Labor government for his outspoken stance against the Traveston Crossing dam.

But the most interesting thing about Mr Currie is that he just might win.

He scored top position on the ballot paper, ahead of the LNP's Richard Kingston, One Nation's James Hansen, Mr Saunders and Mr Armstrong.

"And the other candidates have put me in Number Two spot on their ballot papers, so I will pick up their preferences," he said.

Gympie Times


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