More than half of the voters in the Gympie region have already voted, and the rest will make their choice today. The Gympie Times will be first with the result tonight.
More than half of the voters in the Gympie region have already voted, and the rest will make their choice today. The Gympie Times will be first with the result tonight.

GYMPIE VOTES: Everything you need to know

THERE are eight candidates vying for the seat of Gympie in the Queensland state election - a seat considered to be a safe National Party seat, and currently held by Tony Perrett for the LNP.

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Here are the eight Gympie candidates and who/what they represent:

Tony Perret LNP

Geoff Williams ALP

Michael Blaxland Pauline Hanson One Nation

Lauren Granger-Brown The Greens

Nicholas Fairbairn Informed Medical Options Party

Roland Maertens Independent

Tim Jerome Independent

Donna Reardon Independent

WATCH THE REPLAY: Gympie candidates go head to head

And here are the 24 polling booths Gympie region voters can vote at today. They are open from 8am-6pm:

Amamoor Hall

Bauple State School

Chatsworth State School

Veterans Community Hall at Cooloola Cove

Curra Community Hall

Glenwood Community Hall

Goomboorian Memorial Hall

Gunalda State School

Gympie Senior Citizens Centre

Gympie East State School

James Nash State High School

Gympie South State School

Gympie Church of Christ Hall in Tucker Street

Mary Valley State College in Imbil

Jones Hill State School

Kandanga State School

Lower Wonga Hall

Monkland State School

Pie Creek Community Hall

Rainbow Beach State School

Gympie electoral office at 44 Nash Street

Tin Can Bay P-10 State School

Veteran Hall

Widgee State School

State election Gympie 2020.
State election Gympie 2020.

What does each candidate personally think about Voluntary Assisted Dying, Abortion, Climate Change, Border Closures, Jacinda Adern, the biggest issue facing the Gympie electorate:

CLIMATE CHANGE

Do you believe in climate change and that mankind has, and is, impacting it? What would you do to address the issue if elected?

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN IMOP

Whilst I do believe there is some impact from society I believe we have come a long way. I would work with the community, farmers and small business’s to come up with innovative and regenerative practices. I would take on suggestions from the community and do everything in my power to get them implemented.

TONY PERRETT LNP

As someone who is deeply connected with working on the land, I have regularly dealt with climate variability. Of course, the climate changes and common sense says you learn to adapt to all weather and seasonal conditions.

DONNA REARDON INDEPENDENT

Times are a changing. Have a look at the shorelines! Our Island Archipelagos have had land inundated by sea water and have asked for help. The water is rising and that is a fact. We must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to help cool the planet. Since covid, the planet is breathing again and mountains visible again. There is alternative fuel sources now and the alternatives are getting smarter and cheaper. Renewables will be part of our future. Renewable energy is worth investing in for the future.

Sportsbet odds for Gympie state election candidates two days out 2020.
Sportsbet odds for Gympie state election candidates two days out 2020.

GEOFF WILLIAMS ALP

Yes I do believe in it and I do think we are contributing to it. I would try to transition to 100 per cent of electricity transmission being obtained from renewable energy as soon as practical.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN GREENS

The theory that CO2 produced by the burning of fossil fuels could alter the Earth’s climate was first proposed in 1896 by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius. Warming was observed in the North Atlantic in the 1930s, and increased government funding for research into this in the 1950s, particularly by military bodies concerned with how climatic conditions would impact on their Cold War activities, confirmed in 1960 that atmospheric CO2 was rising and warming the planet. Since that time, climate models, technology and methods have all improved, and the research, and even amateur observations, provides sufficient evidence of the fact that we are now experiencing a climate crisis, and that our continued denial and dithering on this issue presents an existential threat. History lesson aside, the climate crisis is not a matter of ‘belief’ or an article of faith; it is a measure, and we are feeling the effects first hand here in Queensland, where we generate some of the highest per capita rates of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) in the world. The Greens intend to set a net zero or negative GGE target with a reduction across all sectors, including a variety of incentives, regulatory mechanisms and an equitable transition to 100% publicly-owned renewable energy by 2030. Over the next four years, our plan will create 23,000 jobs a year in the energy transition, and an additional 19,000 jobs a year through the manufacturing of components here in Queensland.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND ONE NATION

I believe that there is insufficient evidence from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and that more research needs to be done to prove that mankind has negatively impacted our climate.

ROLAND MAERTENS INDEPENDENT

As a citizen who is not a scientist, I think most of us want and need a clean and sustainable environment. We can all make small changes to contribute to this aim. A third green waste council garbage bin would be a start.

TIM JEROME INDEPENDENT

Space will not allow me to express what I really think on this subject and because of this people may not really grasp what I believe and think. Please go to my website to see more. Our climate has been changing since the start of time. I am very much a person who believes in balance. I am not a doomsday climate activist, nor am I that stupid or ignorant to believe that humans are not impacting out weather cycles.

In other words where it now rains and does not rain because of industrialisation and land clearing. If we as humans removed all the trees and vegetation from a certain area in this region then the weather patterns will change and the reverse will happen as well. Widgee and Woolooga are good examples of this. Rain clouds are drawn to the ranges where there is high density tree and vegetation coverage and conversely big parts of Widgee and Woolooga miss out because of the massive land clearing that happened many years ago on the plains. Education and using practical means is key to this complex problem. We can use practical means to fix problems that we as humans may have created. Regenerative agriculture is one of those practical ways we can fix the problem that industrial farming has caused over the past years. Regenerative agriculture uses high density mulching and rotational grazing and other natural means to improves soil composition which helps plants take in more CO2 from the atmosphere and put it back into the ground where it is useful. Farmers being allowed to build bigger dams to drought proof their farms, will again allow for greener farms which will take in more CO2 and improve soil composition. I have more on this subject on my website that outline my policies on the subject.

Ladbrokes odds for Gympie state election candidates two days out 2020.
Ladbrokes odds for Gympie state election candidates two days out 2020.

VOLUNTARY ASSISTED DYING

GEOFF WILLIAMS - ALP

85% of Queenslanders support VAD, the Palaszczuk Labor Government supports VAD and I

wholeheartedly support VAD.

TONY PERRETT- LNP

I support better resourced palliative care like Little Haven. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to save lives from COVID. The Labor Party now says it wants to terminate lives. I do not support VAD.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN - GREENS

My position, and that of The Greens, is that people with terminal illnesses and experiencing pain, suffering and a deterioration of quality of life, should be permitted to die with dignity, with the assistance of an appropriately qualified medical professional, and face no legal impediment to being able to choose the manner and time of death according to their own wishes.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND - PAULINE HANSON’S ONE NATION

The One Nation Party stance is for a constitutional vote. I would take this to my electorate and let them decide.

ROLAND MAERTENS - INDEPENDENT

VAD is a question of beliefs and a personal decision. I would like the state to look carefully at countries where VAD is already an option, such as Switzerland and review their protection from misuse mechanisms. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Once misuse is ruled out, I would support VAD legislation as it is an individual decision. I would not choose this path for myself however have met people who would have liked to have had this option. Science and humanism should be the foundation of the secular state.

The Gympie state electorate boundaries.
The Gympie state electorate boundaries.

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN - INFORMED MEDICAL OPTIONS PARTY

My emphasis is about saving the lives of children and people, and giving them the free choice to decide which medications they will have and those that they will not have.

The euthanasia question is one that has potential danger, as anything that becomes medically allowable, can progress to coerced and even mandatory, as seen in the vaccination program.

In September 1946 there was a referendum that ‘allowed’ the provision of ‘pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription)’, in the Australia Constitution. Even with the caveat that disallowed ‘any form of civil conscription’, i.e. force, we see that the government has ignored the people’s protection and now uses force. This is a real concern of being repeated with euthanasia, regardless of guarantees that are drawn up as protection for the people.

DONNA REARDON - INDEPENDENT

I am for VAD. We don’t let our animals suffer and we should not let the terminally ill suffer

longer than necessary. However great thought and wisdom needs to used before any scribing any legislation. My personal opinion is only part of the collective Gympie voice. I would be talking to the people and asking them their thoughts, views and opinions taking that to Parliament.

TIM JEROME - INDEPENDENT

I am very much pro-life. This should be our emphasis. It concerns me that the media and the far left are pushing to end life. Life should be considered precious and something to fight for with everything we have. Pain is a terrible thing. I have experienced extreme pain myself and I know that others have as well. We need to be allowing other ways to fight pain. One way is by medical marijuana and high doses of vitamin C taken intravenously. People have recovered from terminal illnesses by using these natural means.

It is criminal that governments have been withholding this natural pain relief and medication from the general public. There needs to much open public discussion on this subject of VAD. No one until now has asked for my opinion on the subject, yet the media and extreme left groups try and tell us that most of the population support VAD. This is another case of manipulation from extreme left groups and extreme left media groups. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard and the way we do this is through a plebiscite. Open public discussion where all the facts are put on the table is the answer before this plebiscite. Things to be considered are these. What will this law entail? Other countries that have past the law allowing VAD have now allowed children as young as 12 to make this decision to end their own life, is this the way we want to go? These are the sought of open discussions we need to have before we even think of passing a law on VAD.

(Left) record numbers of voters have already voted in the Queensland state election 2020, and (right) Independent candidate Tim Jerome.
(Left) record numbers of voters have already voted in the Queensland state election 2020, and (right) Independent candidate Tim Jerome.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING GYMPIE REGION IN NEXT 4 YEARS

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN IMOP

Mental Health. With the post COVID economy being extremely hard on families, adding the pressure of a bypass as well as potential restrictions on visiting family and friends and being restricted in movements. I believe people’s mental health will really suffer. Strong and empathetic leadership and support will be the key to getting the community through it.

DONNA REARDON INDEPENDENT

Sorry there is not a single issue but many, water solutions, also I have ideas for our farmers to get higher yields. Renewable energy is worth investing in for the future. Our region need ideas for jobs, jobs and more jobs.

TONY PERRETT LNP

Survival of small business which are the major employers in the region and managing

expected growth.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND ONE NATION

Getting the people and the businesses of the Gympie region back working again after the financial devastations from COVID-19.

ROLAND MAERTENS INDEPENDENT

Unparalleled housing growth combined with the lack of capital infrastructure and jobs will cause Gympie major headaches in the next few years. Lack of public transport and connectivity will only make the roads busier as the population increases.

TIM JEROME INDEPENDENT

The biggest issue over the next 4 years will be jobs/job security. Many people in Gympie

region are going to be out of a job. The way that Mr Morrison LNP has handled the COVID-19 pandemic has not been thought out well.

He has only thought about the short term and it

has been a bandaid solution. Mr Morrison has spent $200 billion of our future tax money on

this pandemic. This money must be paid back and it has to be paid back with interest. The

affects of the pandemic has been felt hard by us as a country because both the LNP and the

ALP have sold this country out to foreign countries and big corporate businesses. When any

country goes into big debt it leads to a massive recession/A massive shortage of available

money/big time hardships and loss of jobs. I will be fighting for Australians to own Australia

again. I will be fighting for Australian businesses and helping Australian businesses to start

up. It starts with our local region. I will be local region orientated to make sure people in this

region have a job now and in the future.

Nicholas Fairbairn IMOP
Nicholas Fairbairn IMOP

GEOFF WILLIAMS ALP

Increasing the Gympie region’s economy, expanding Gympie’s potential as a manufacturing

and distribution hub to take advantage of the Bypass.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN GREENS

Gympie is an economically depressed agricultural region, conditions that are both distinct and

interlinked. Agriculture is suffering from and holds solutions to a rapidly changing climate – drought, crop failure, pest attack and disease are symptoms that can be addressed through changes in practice. I am a strong advocate of regenerative agriculture, and would like to be able to support local farmers in accessing the training and resources they need to make this transition. Agriculture done well supports local jobs and stimulates the local economy, as does money in people’s pockets. The Greens’ plan to establish 100% publicly owned renewable power; genuinely free education from childcare to TAFE and university, including a universal school breakfast and lunch program in primary and secondary schools; fully funded health care, with free hospital parking, 200 bulk billing GP and specialist clinics, and 9500 more doctors and nurses; and build 100,000 new public homes across Queensland over four years. These initiatives will provide thousands of jobs and relieve the financial pressure on families doing it tough in this region.

SHOULD WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE (ABORTION)?

GEOFF WILLIAMS ALP

I think this would be a mistake, women should have the right to choose, but I think it also

requires sufficient safeguards so it’s not abused ie abortion for choice of sex. If made illegal it

will be forced underground and women would no longer be safe; right now they have

medical and psychological support to make this already difficult decision a little bit easier

and safer.

TONY PERRETT LNP

I do not support full term terminations which are made right up until the day before birth.

I do not support abortions based on social issues such as flippantly changing your mind or that the baby is the wrong sex. I do not support compelling medical practitioners who have a conscientious objection to sign off on abortions.

THE CANDIDATES: (Clockwise, from top left) Geoff Williams, Tony Perrett, Michael Blaxland, Donna Reardon, Lauren Granger-Brown, Roland Maertens, Tim Jerome, Nicholas Fairbairn, candidates Gympie state election.
THE CANDIDATES: (Clockwise, from top left) Geoff Williams, Tony Perrett, Michael Blaxland, Donna Reardon, Lauren Granger-Brown, Roland Maertens, Tim Jerome, Nicholas Fairbairn, candidates Gympie state election.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN GREENS

I share the view with my party, The Greens, that women must retain the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy unwanted by them in a medically safe and appropriate manner. I also support inclusive school and public education programs providing clear and factual information about sex, sexual health and relationships, and advice about and access to contraception. Without these, unwanted pregnancies will not only occur, but may result in dangerous ‘backyard abortions’ by unscrupulous and unqualified persons, putting women at risk of blood loss, infection, injury and death. Furthermore, unwanted births have the potential to negatively impact the health and welfare of both mother and child.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND ONE NATION

One Nation supports has a Right to Life Policy and will seek every opportunity to roll back the Queensland abortion law, so both unborn babies and pregnant women will have a level of legal and medical protection in Queensland.

ROLAND MAERTENS INDEPENDENT

I doubt the LNP will be elected to form government to consider a review of abortion laws. Abortion is a decision for women to make as it is their bodies.

TIM JEROME INDEPENDENT

I am very much pro-life, I think life is precious and something to be looked after and cherished. I am very much pro-choice and that means giving the mother and the unborn child a choice to live. At what age is an unborn child a person? This has been argued for many years. One thing we do know is that a child can live outside of a mother’s womb at the age of 20 weeks in a hospital and grow to live a healthy normal life. A baby taken from the woman receives no pain relief while lying on the table and is not even considered a living life. Any right-minded person would know that this is wrong and inhumane. Yet our laws do not protect the rights of unborn and forced born babies. I will fight for pro-choice, the choice of the mother and the choice of the child that has no voice as yet to say “I want to live”.

DONNA REARDON INDEPENDENT

At the end of the day it the woman’s choice with guidance. No backyard abortion deaths again ever, we are not living in the dark ages any more. Let’s see how the State Election goes.

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN IMOP

The QLD government currently have a bill in place to allow full-term abortion. I oppose this bill and will seek to remove it as a priority as soon as elected into parliament, with the intention to review all abortion laws. I will seek to ban the use of human fetal organs for scientific experiments, medical testing and its inclusion in all products.

At the ballot draw for Gympie's seat in the 2020 Queensland Election: Tim Jerome (IND), Donna Reardon (IND), Michael Blaxland (ONP), Geoff Williams (ALP) and Tony Perrett (LNP).
At the ballot draw for Gympie's seat in the 2020 Queensland Election: Tim Jerome (IND), Donna Reardon (IND), Michael Blaxland (ONP), Geoff Williams (ALP) and Tony Perrett (LNP).

SHOULD THE QUEENSLAND BORDER BE OPENED?

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN - INFORMED MEDICAL OPTIONS PARTY

Yes Open the borders. Queenslanders are ready for business and to visit their friends and family. The model chosen by the QLD Government in closing the borders has been proven not to be the best option and has damaged this country far too much. It will take generations to recover. Lets show the world what Gympie has to offer.

TONY PERRETT- LNP

Restrictions should be based on health advice that the Chief Health Officer publicly released.

DONNA REARDON - INDEPENDENT

The borders should be opened when its safe to do so with community transfer targets at a minimum.

GEOFF WILLIAMS - ALP

I think the current timetable for easing the border restrictions is fine, if we try to go too quick, we could ruin all our hard work.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN - GREENS

My view is that Queensland should follow the advice of the Chief Health Officer on this matter. We should not risk opening before the numbers of COVID-19 in the communities beyond our state border are deemed to be low enough to safely manage. The recent rapid escalation of case numbers in other countries that have relaxed restrictions too soon is evidence of the benefits of the approach taken here. Queenslanders’ health must take priority, and we have been fortunate to have enjoyed a much greater degree of movement within our state than other states and countries as a result of the measures adopted so far.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND - PAULINE HANSON’S ONE NATION

Yes, we need to allow people back into Queensland and resume business as usual. Even medical professionals and WHO (World Health Organisations) are now saying that lock downs are not in the best interest of the people or the economy. Protect the elderly & vulnerable, and allow the others to get on with their lives.

Geoff Williams ALP and Tony Perrett LNP.
Geoff Williams ALP and Tony Perrett LNP.

ROLAND MAERTENS - INDEPENDENT

Queensland has managed to keep the wheels of the economy going without the disaster of what happened in Victoria repeating itself. Now is the time to selectively open to trusted partners without risking the basics.

TIM JEROME INDEPENDENT

The key to the Queensland border and COVID-19 is acting quickly. When there is an immediate problem close the borders quickly. When there is not an immediate problem open the borders quickly. Quickly being the emphasis. The key is looking after the vulnerable while at the same time getting back to normality. I believe we need to get back to normality quicker rather than later or we as a country are going to be doomed financially and economically that will impact generations. Balance is the key to this issue.

SHOULD AUSTRALIAN POLITICIAN’S TAKE A LEAF OUT OF NEW ZEALAND’S PLAYBOOK?

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN, IMOP

People may not like change but they will hate irrelevance even more.

If people keep electing the same two party system nothing much will change, it will continue to get worse for the everyday person.

Forward thinking leaders who cannot be bought and have a genuine care for their

communities are what is needed in Australian politics

DONNA REARDON, IND

Sure we need new younger people with new ideas that are inspirational like Jacinda and who has not lost the personal touch.

Is there a need for change to the people we traditionally elect to lead our communities?

The difference between Jacinda and the majority of current politicians is having a heart and love for the country not their personal pants pockets.

It should the by the people for the people and some do loose sight of that.

TONY PERRETT, LNP

I don’t follow New Zealand politics.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern pose for a photo before their meeting at Government House in February. (Photo by Diego Opatowski-Pool/Getty Images)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern pose for a photo before their meeting at Government House in February. (Photo by Diego Opatowski-Pool/Getty Images)

MICHAEL BLAXLAND, ONE NATION

No, I believe Australia is totally different from New Zealand and therefore what has worked for New Zealand would not work for Australia.

ROLAND MAERTENS, IND

New Zealand’s election result is interesting but as they have a different set of challenges, they remain largely irrelevant.

We should refrain from commenting on a system that is democratic and successful as this could open the door to foreign criticisms of our own system.

Gympie Greens candidate 2020 state election Lauren Granger-Brown
Gympie Greens candidate 2020 state election Lauren Granger-Brown

TIM JEROME, IND

Jacinda Ardern breaks the mould of a typical politician.

It is very important that people stop voting as sheep for a party.

Even though Jacinda Ardern is part of a party she is very much an individual … and she comes across that way.

In Australia unfortunately people are too quick to pull down anyone who is different and does not think inside the box.

I believe times are changing in Australia and it is going to take people like myself to encourage people to think and come outside of the box.

It has cost me a great deal of money and time to be a person who lives outside the box and to be a politician who is real and does not play the political game.

I hope I inspire others to break the mould and more down to earth people choose to become leaders.

Gympie state election debate - the candidates on the stage. Two candidates couldn’t make it.
Gympie state election debate - the candidates on the stage. Two candidates couldn’t make it.

GEOFF WILLIAMS, ALP

I’m unsure of the New Zealand system but I what I take from that election is that the people respected her strong stance on border closures and her empathy and actions in the wake of the Christchurch massacre.

Our Federal leaders could certainly take a leaf out of her book.

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN

Do I believe that more Greens should be elected to Government? Absolutely!

The results of both the New Zealand national election, and the election in the ACT, with more Greens being elected to office to participate in multi-party governments, demonstrate that people want intelligent and compassionate leadership that is prepared to act decisively on the environment and the climate crisis, based on scientific evidence.

People also want to see their interests represented, not just those of billionaire corporate donors.

Unlike the other parties, the Greens refuse corporate donations, so we are directly answerable to the people. All of our elected members consistently demonstrate integrity and transparency, and tirelessly hold the old parties to account.

The various allegations of state and federal government corruption currently being investigated illustrate the need for The Greens’ federal ICAC bill, passed by the Senate in 2019, which the LNP government-controlled House of Representatives refuses to pass, and the granting of greater enforcement powers for the Queensland CCC.

Michael Blaxland Gympie candidate for One Nation with Pauline Hanson
Michael Blaxland Gympie candidate for One Nation with Pauline Hanson