We know what the Wide Bay candidate's policies are, but what about who they are as people?
We know what the Wide Bay candidate's policies are, but what about who they are as people? adrian825

Q and A: What makes the Wide Bay candidates tick

WIDE Bay's federal candidates policies have been front and centre in the lead-up to this weekend's election, but what about they are as people?

The Gympie Times asked each of the hopefuls a range of questions, from age to job history and even one person living or dead they would have dinner with - and the answers, from Nelson Mandela to the unveiling of the country's first car, are aright here.

* The candidates for One Nation and Fraser Anning's National Conservative party did not respond to the questions.

What is your age?


Memorial Park band stand, 2017.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Memorial Park band stand. Patrick Woods

Bryar (GRN): 42.

Scanes (ALP): 41.

Schebella (UAP): 53.

O'Brien (LNP): 46.

Jerome (IND): 55.

Do you have a family?


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

Bryar: Married, children 3 and 5.

Scanes: Wife Jackie, Kingston 11, Harlan 7, Arabella 3.

Schebella: Single .

O'Brien: Married to Sharon, with three adult children, Rees, William and Yve, and one grandchild, Penny.

Jerome: My wife's name is Jo and we have four daughters.

What was your primary job before entering politics?


The revamped Smithfield St, all up in lights.
Smithfield St. Jacob Carson

Bryar: Up until 6 months ago, IT projects, mainly in business and schools. Moved in to construction late last year and now build sheds primarily.

Scanes: 19 years in the Australian Regular Army, and then the CEO for a not-for-profit organisation.

Schebella: Hospitality and tourism.

O'Brien: Prior to being elected I served Wide Bay communities for 16 years as a Police Officer.

After several years as a first response officer I specialised into other policing areas such as Traffic Accident Investigation and Criminal Intelligence.

I concluded my Policing career as the Acting Officer in Charge of Kilkivan Police Station. 

Jerome: Teaching and training horses.

What part of the Wide Bay do you live in?


Jason Scanes (Labor) Wide Bay
Jason Scanes, Labor.

Bryar: About 13km to the South of it, but being 14,500km sq and stretching from Peregian Beach to Murgon to Maryborough, locality is hardly representative of the representative.

Scanes: Maryborough.

Schebella: Currently I'm in Gympie.

O'Brien: I live just north of Gympie at Chatsworth.

Jerome: Traveston.

Do you have any hobbies or sporting interests?


Runner Stephen O'Brien is preparing for the Melbourne Marathon. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
This election's candidates have some interesting hobbies. David Nielsen

Bryar: I like do spend quality family time with my kids when I'm not working or doing politics.

Kids soccer, ballet, learning to ride, etc.

Prior to kids I spent a lot of time on the snow though. (I was) Formerly (into) competitive snowboarding, but age put an end to that.

I follow soccer and cricket on the world stage, but I'm not a sport tragic.

Scanes: Fishing, camping, target shooting, and spending time with the family.

That's what I was brought up with, I come from a farming background and grew up in Dubbo.

Schebella: Did not answer.

O'Brien: Jujitsu, motorsports and motorcycling.

Jerome: Riding horses, squash and surfing.

Do you belong to any community clubs?


Andrew Schebella, UAP candidate for Wide Bay.
Andrew Schebella, United Australia Party. Contributed

Bryar: I do a lot in the entrepreneurial and start up community, mentoring participants and bringing ideas to life.

Scanes: Member of the Sports Shooters Association of Australia, Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, the patron to TS Maryborough Cadets and Ambassador for Aussie Vets PTSD Group.

Schebella: Did not answer.

O'Brien: Gympie State High School P & C - Patron, Mary Valley Show Society - Patron , Gympie Chamber of Commerce.

Jerome: No.

What is your reason for entering politics?


Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
Llew O'Brien, Nationals. Contributed

Bryar: To clean up politics.

In the last 10 years alone the "jobs for the boys" attitude sharply increased, with far too much self interest and pocket lining going on in the 'game of mates'.

The EAA/EAI water buyback is just the latest in a string of corruption scandals laid on the feet of this government.

The truly worst however is the cashless debit card that pays a private company for government welfare spending with zero net benefit to the taxpayer.

Scanes: To deliver a better deal and stand up for those living in the Wide Bay, and to see people put before politics and deliver more than just words and promises that we get from our current politicians.

Politics should be about people; it shouldn't be about serving one's own interest.

Schebella: I have observed our duopoly governments consistently over many years, ignoring both rural and regional Queensland.

Furthermore, as a concerned citizen I find myself fed up with the successive governments contributing to the sell off our strategic infrastructure in particular, our ports and farms to foreign countries.

We watch federal government give the state a share of the GST and the state government has no legislative obligation to spend it evenly across the state.

I am putting myself forward to become part of that change, I believe our government needs significant change, so it starts working for the people again.


Gympie CBD
Gympie CBD. Troy Jegers

O'Brien: So many people in Wide Bay have been touched by the horror and tragedy of accidents along the Bruce Highway.

As a police officer I thought about what I could do to make the highway safer and I decided to run for Parliament to secure the funding needed to fix the highway to save lives.

I'm also a very strong advocate for aged care and mental health and have worked with our community to secure more Federal funding for aged care places and Gympie's new headspace service.         

Jerome: The major Political parties have sold us and our country out.

They have sold our land to China and other multi-nationals.

They have sold our jobs and the jobs of our children overseas.

They have sold out the farmer.

I personally have had enough. I want to do something about it. I want to be a voice for change and a voice for the average forgotten Aussie.

The gap between the rich and the middle to low income earners is getting wider and wider. It's time to say we have had enough. It's time for every Australian to make a stand against what is going on and say we want our Australia back.

If you could invite one person, living or dead, over for dinner, who would it be?


No Caption
Nelson Mandela.

Bryar: Nelson Mandela. You could have 30 dinners with the man and never touch the same topic twice, and all of the discussions would be open, honest and insightful.

Scanes: To be completely honest... this is a bit hard for me to say at the moment, it'd be my nephew who recently committed suicide.

I'd be inviting him and trying to have a chat with him, and let him know that I was there for him and could have helped.

You've got tot talk about it.

Schebella: Did not answer.

O'Brien: My mother, Yvonne. She is my inspiration.

Jerome: Did not answer.

If you could experience one moment in history, when would it be?

Bryar: The fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of Communism.

I was too young to appreciate what it was at the time, but thankfully I've had the opportunity to visit Berlin and get first hand stories of what it was like both before and after.

Scanes: 1948, when Australia's first locally made car, the Holden 48-215, was launched.

This was our car, the birth of an industry and local manufacturing of our beloved Holden, creating Change, jobs and optimism in Australia, something desperately needed after the Second World War.

Schebella: I would love to have been present as the first stone was removed from the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin wall coming down. Freedom, coming together, better lives for all.

O'Brien: I believe in living for today and planning for the future to build an even better Australia.

I am very optimistic about the future of our region and our nation and believe that the best years are ahead of us.

I'd like to be able to look back and see how the investments we are making such as fixing the highway and creating jobs, and the policy changes we implement today such as cleaning up the banking industry and supporting agriculture benefit future generations.

Building a better Wide Bay has been my focus since day one, preserving what we love about our unique Mary Valley, Cooloola Coast and Gympie communities while investing in new opportunities to create local jobs. 

Jerome: I don't dwell in the past, we have more pressing issues to deal with right now.

What do you think is the number one issue facing the Gympie region?


Tim Jerome
Tim Jerome, Independent.

Bryar: Being left behind by a world accelerating towards automation.

Having spent many years selling and supporting it, I fully understand how many jobs are at risk and the need for people to skill up and transition to a future where machines do most of the work without human input.

Trades are one of the very few industries that will be immune, and in fact bolstered by automation.

Scanes: The economy is the biggest issue.

Everything's going up but people's wages - rising electricity, fuel, household costs, coupled with low wages which the LNP Government (Mathias Cormann told us it's part of their economic architecture, to keep wages low).

That creates a vicious cycle where there's less money in the economy, which places less demand on goods and services, because people have got less money in their pockets.

That leads to higher unemployment and that goes into a continuous cycle.

Schebella: The rich diversity of Wide Bay lends itself to so much opportunity.

This region is not about one issue the whole of Wide Bay needs to be represented with vision.

As your next advocate opportunities of growth must be for all constituents.

Stimulating the local economy, create jobs, build a better life, empower rather than dependency.

We must change our tax system, support businesses and restructure provisional tax.

UAP policy on home loans as tax deductable is for all and bring down the cost of electricity, (refinancing loans that are called "network charges").


Nolan Meats Minister for regional development Dr John McVeigh, Michael, Tony, Terry and Gerard  Nolan and MP Llew O'Brien.
Gympie business stalwart Nolan Meats. Renee Albrecht

O'Brien: Jobs. Working with business and industry and investing in infrastructure to strengthen the economy to create jobs is one of my highest priorities.

The Liberal and Nationals Government has committed to creating an additional 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years and I want our region to share in the prosperity these jobs will bring.

More than 200 jobs will be created at Nolan Meats through a $5 million investment I secured towards a $10 million expansion of Nolan's processing plant. I've also supported new jobs at Suncoast Gold Macadamias with a $270,000 commitment to improve efficiency and boost output.

Fixing the Bruce Highway through my $800 million commitment for the Gympie ring road will create direct jobs through the construction phase and make it safer, faster and less prone to flooding, growing our economy.

I will continue to work with all levels of government to attract new industry to Wide Bay.

I secured $28.5 million to establish the Rheinmetall-NIOA projectile forging plant in Wide Bay, creating 178 new jobs and the benefits of this project will flow throughout the region.

I have also worked to secure jobs in the dairy industry by helping end the supermarket giants destructive dollar milk price war.

Jerome: Like everywhere middle to low income workers are struggling to pay bills as wages are not keeping up with the cost of living.