A voter casts his vote at the Mackay Showgrounds early voting centre. Picture: Melanie Whiting.
A voter casts his vote at the Mackay Showgrounds early voting centre. Picture: Melanie Whiting.

Final pitches: Mackay candidates race to woo voters

CANDIDATES have pulled out all stops to spruik some last-minute sweeteners for undecided voters on the last day of the Queensland election campaign.

While the official polling day is tomorrow, 23,000 people in Mackay have already voted at early voting booths.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert took a break from pre-polling to sign a “local businesses, local jobs” pledge.

She said the gesture signified her commitment to back small businesses and continue to work closely with them as the state recovered from the impacts of COVID-19.

In signing the pledge, Mrs Gilbert also committed to ensure local businesses could take advantage of the minimum 25 per cent target for government purchasing of good and services.

This target would be extended to 30 per cent by June 30, 2022.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has delivered cash grants of up to $10,000 each to more than 680 small businesses in the Mackay Whitsunday region to help them adapt.

Mackay’s Ocean International received one of the funding grants – a huge boost for owner Hannah Guerin during a tough time.

Ocean International owner Hannah Guerin. Picture: Melanie Whiting
Ocean International owner Hannah Guerin. Picture: Melanie Whiting

Ms Guerin said her hospitality business would not have survived extended lockdowns.

“We had about five or six weddings cancelled in the March-April period alone,” she said.

“Every phone call was about refunding money or cancellations.”

“Obviously we had to lay off a lot of staff; then when JobKeeper came along that was just a godsend.”

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Meanwhile, LNP candidate for Mackay Chris Bonanno has appealed to voters’ hip pockets.

Mr Bonanno said Official Transport and Main Roads data showed the value of the LNP’s $300 Rego Rebate for cars and light commercial vehicles would contribute $42.5 million into the Mackay region alone.

Queensland LNP opposition leader Deb Frecklington visits a family with four cars in the suburb of Mansfield. The family will receive $300 for each car as part of the LNP’s rego rebate pledge. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland LNP opposition leader Deb Frecklington visits a family with four cars in the suburb of Mansfield. The family will receive $300 for each car as part of the LNP’s rego rebate pledge. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

“Queensland motorists will be able to claim the money online in December and I would urge them to spend the cash in local businesses before Christmas and New Year,” he said.

“If you own a registered vehicle, you’ll get the $300 Rego Rebate straight into your bank account before Christmas.”

The rebate comes on the proviso that the LNP wins the Queensland election.

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