The race for the Wide Bay is officially underway, with five already in the running.
The race for the Wide Bay is officially underway, with five already in the running. Melanie Keyte

Five men now in running for Wide Bay seat

JOBS, roads and health are set to become the Wide Bay's battlegrounds over the next month with the Morrison Government officially calling "charge" for the federal election yesterday.

So far four candidates have put their hands up to challenge incumbent LNP candidate Llew O'Brien for the seat - Labor's Jason Scanes, the Greens' Daniel Bryar, United Australia Party's Andrew Schebella and independent Tim Jerome.

Mr O'Brien claimed the seat in 2016 with an 8.2 per cent margin.

He welcomed the May 18 ballot, and said he was looking forward to running "a positive campaign".

 

Wide Bay Greens candidate Daniel Bryar.
Daniel Bryar, Greens. Contributed

"I respect the faith and trust the electors of Wide Bay have placed in me and we can all be proud of the many achievements the Liberal and Nationals Government has delivered for Wide Bay in that time."

This included more than $1billion for the Bruce Highway, investment and support to create more than 1000 jobs and record amounts on aged care, education and health.

"We can afford this record funding because we can manage the budget, and only the Coalition Government can make that promise.

"The last thing any of us can afford is Bill Shorten and his $200billion in new and increased taxes on incomes, investments and businesses."

 

 

Tim Jerome
Tim Jerome, Independent.

The Gympie Times asked the other candidates for comment (except Mr Schebella, whose candidacy was established late), but received no reply.

Any further Wide Bay contenders have until midday Tuesday April 23 to enter the ring.

It was less quiet and a different story online, where many readers were happy to point out the issues they felt Wide Bay must decide the election on.

 

In Gympie Llew O'Brien and Minister Michael McCormack.
Llew O'Brien, LNP. Renee Albrecht

For popular internet blogger Bruce Devereaux it was tax reform, like "limiting the tax deductions the wealthiest citizens can claim using things like franking credits and rental properties - maybe from your gross income you can drop down to the next bracket but that's it".

Halting fuel excises, increasing the state share of GST and more disposable income were also on his list.

Madonna Waugh said superannuation needed to be at the forefront.

"Superannuation will cost the federal budget $41billion in 18/19 taxable year in tax concessions," she said.

 

Decorated former army captain Jason Scanes is fighting to bring his Pashtun interpreter to Australia.
Jason Scanes, Labor. Contributed

"Twelve per cent of wages will soon leave this region.

"How much does industry super invest back in the regions?

"Compulsory super is legislated out of every pay packet.

"Is it time to legislate industry super to invest back in the regions to create high paid jobs.

"Otherwise Keating super is a tax on the poor National Party regions."

 

Andrew Schebella (United Australia Party) Wide Bay
Andrew Schebella, United Australia Party.

Catherine Marney highlighted "health, education, employment, (and) social housing - infrastructure", and Travis Fu and Ben Thornton both said homelessness was a big issue.

The ballot for the voting paper is being drawn at noon on Wednesday April 24.

Electoral enrolments and information updates can be done until 8pm on Wednesday.

Early voting starts Monday April 29 for those eligible, and postal votes close 6pm Wednesday May 15.

Friday May 31 is the final day declaration votes can roll in.