Five Leichhardt candidates had the chance to address a host of business and industry leaders at a cash luncheon at the Pullman Cairns today.
Organized by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Advance Cairns and Tourism Tropical North Queensland, the panel included incumbent LNP member Warren Entsch and opposition Elida Faith.
Phillip Musumeci of the Greens, Rod Jensen of Katter’s Australian Party and Daniel Hannagan of the United Australian Party were also on the panel.
Five of the six remaining candidates will have their presentation heard at another paid event next week at the Benson.
Here are some of the words of today’s five candidates ahead of the May 21 federal election.
WARREN ENTSCH, NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY (LNP)
“[The LNP recently] announced $60 million for tourism and $15 million was specifically for tourism here in Cairns to have our tourism officials go over there and say we are open for business and ready to go.
“It’s an investment in the first stage, it’s what the industry has asked for.
“We also need to start bringing our international students back to this city as they fill the hospitality voids in this city.”
ELIDA FAITH, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS PARTY (ALP)
“We want to make sure we support the magnificent Great Barrier Reef and we have committed $85 million to restore and protect it.
“64,000 people depend on the reef, it brings $6.4 billion to the economy.
“We want tourists to come back to the Far North, so we need to make sure we protect and care for our key assets – that’s why people come to the Far North.”
ROD JENSEN, AUSTRALIAN KATTER PARTY (KAP)
“The government keeps telling everyone that the reef is dying.
“Also record coal growth – that’s what we’ve been hearing for the past two years.
“We have to start changing the rhetoric about how we talk to these other countries, how we sell our own community, if they’re going to come back.”