WITH the state elections four weeks away – Ingham Daily Press reached out to the five people who have put their hats in the ring to be voted Hinchinbrook’s voice in Queensland’s parliament for the next three years.
Each candidate was sent the same script of questions.
Here are Australian Labor Party representative Paul Jacob’s responses:
Who: Paul Jacob.
How old: 68.
What party: ALP.
Where from: I’m originally from the central coast of New South Wales – and have lived in Townsville since 1992.
Where do you live now: Bushland Beach.
What is your background: Information technology.
What’s your connection to Hinchinbrook: I was a councillor in the Townsville city council division 2, encompassing part of Hinchinbrook, including the suburbs of North Shore, Burdell, Deeragun, Bushland Beach and Mount Low, for four years.
When and why did you decide to go into politics: 2012, when I stood as a candidate in division 1, Townsville City Council. I wanted to represent my community as an independent councillor.
Why are you standing in this election: To help my government in Queensland, to protect the people of Queensland during this Covid period and to help rebuild my electorate and state in the recovery process.
Why should people vote for you: The premier has listened to the health advice to keep our state safe. I think the government’s road to Covid recovery, involving billions of dollars in infrastructure, will create hundreds of jobs for Queensland and Hinchinbrook. I strongly support the VAD (voluntary assisted dying) legislation being passed in the next term of government and I have a future vision, if elected, to study for a better public transport system, including a rail connection between Townsville and Ingham.
Why did you join your political party: I have been a member of the ALP for over 15 years in Townsville and I believe the Labor Party is the closest connection I can have with my community.
What in your view are the major issues Hinchinbrook faces: Safety from the Covid pandemic. Creating more jobs via tourism and infrastructure builds. Transport services that will make a better connection within Hinchinbrook. I want the people of Ingham districts to have a better connection to Townsville for tourism and families, such as a ring road upgrade and Black River bridge and road upgrade.
What’s going well: Plans have been adapted for the Bruce Highway upgrades including the final section of the Townsville ring road to be double lanes around Kalylinda Chase and Bohle River and the upgrade of the highway including a new bridge over the Black River, which has already commenced with land clearing underway.
The extra police that have been assigned to Townsville, including the Deeragun police network.
Works 4 Queensland programs, that have added millions of dollars to councils to upgrade infrastructure in Hinchinbrook.
What would you like to do if you are elected: Support my Labor government in a Covid-led infrastructure recovery and support the government in keeping all Queenslanders safe.
How would you fund this: The premier has already announced the funding plan and Covid safety plans for the community.
What do you do in your spare time: Support my wife in her role as a clinical nurse at the Townsville University Hospital, vegetable growing, walking and re-newables research.
What are your values: Fairness, ethics, accountability and supporting my community.
Who’s your favourite sports team: Cowboys.
What’s your favourite movie: Avatar.
What’s your favourite food: BBQ.
Who inspires you and why: David Attinbourgh – his nature shows are spectacular.
What is your stance on reef reforms: Sustainability.
What impact will Covid-19 have over the next three years: We as a community will never be a business as usual model. Covid has taught us many lessons that we are adopting now. The economy will recover quickly, especially with the government being totally serious on a major recovery, and in three years I believe we will have a strong economy with strong employment growth.
How would you try to manage this if elected: Follow my party’s strong plan for recovery.
What is your stance on recycling: As the chair of water and waste in the Townsville City Council, I encouraged the plan to recycle water from the Cleveland Bay treatment works back to the city for the new stadium, Murray sporting fields and the Townsville Golf Course. During my tenure, kerbside collection of old household rubbish was introduced – and it is has proved to be a very successful programme.
Council are predicting that Warren’s Hill will be full by 2030 and no more landfills will be built. What are your ideas about how Hinchinbrook can deal with waste management after this date: This facility comprises of a landfill, transfer station and recycling facility. Both commercial and domestic waste types are accepted at this facility. If the council is not in the position to increase the landfill site, I would suggest they attempt to emulate a Townsville solution that capped a landfill and convert the facility to a transfer station alone and green waste facility, as they did at the Harvey ‘Range Transfer Station. I would have a conversation with council as to why they do not want another landfill facility in the future. Technologies are available now for high combustion of waste and biomass energy production of existing landfill.
What do you love about Hinchinbrook: All of the great tourist attractions that we have: Wallaman Falls, Lucinda fishing, Broadwater National Park, Hinchinbrook Island trails, Cardwell, tourist stop and fishing village and Paluma rainforest in the mist – to name just a few.
What are your goals if you are elected, and how will you achieve them: I can achieve many things for Hinchinbrook. I believe you have to be in government to get your agenda and the ALP’s agenda done. It is very difficult to achieve this if you are not in government.
What else would you like to add: With all of my experience in local government, the Labor Party (co-convener of the Townsville branch) and interactions with the community, I believe I am in a good position to be a proactive and a hardworking member for Hinchinbrook.