PLENTY TO SAY: Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus.
PLENTY TO SAY: Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus. MICK TSIKAS/AAP

Senator Lazarus comes out swinging on Sunshine Coast

SENATOR Glenn Lazarus believes regional Queenslanders are suffering dearly because of the government’s focus on a waning industry and says Sunshine Coast residents are “crying out for some inspiration” amid stagnant electorates.

The former New South Wales Blues hard-hitter was at Brightwater on Friday for a rugby league function but he was, as always, more than willing to tackle the big issues in politics.

He was quick to suggest the Coalition is wasting time on mining.

“Rural and regional Queensland is hurting,” he said.

“Towns like Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Kingaroy are screaming out for the government to start taking an interest in other industries other than mining.

“The mining boom is over. The government need to start looking at agriculture, tourism, renewable energy and education.

“If a young person wants to better themselves with their education or get a decent job, they have to go to Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney.

“The other big issue in rural and regional Queensland is health, particular mental health. The LNP state government cut the guts cut of the health system when they were in and it just hasn’t recovered and that issue is growing all the time."

He believed the Sunshine Coast electorates of Fairfax and Fisher needed change, with particular mention of the Coalition’s 16-year hold on the latter.

“It’s very blue ribbon up here. It’s like the old saying ‘if you do as you always do, you will get what you always got.”

“It’s very relevant here on the Sunshine Coast so we continue to see Coalition MPs both at state and federal level being elected and there’s large parts of this region that are just crying out for some inspiration or a shot in the arm as far as the economy and jobs."

"We hear the coalition say jobs and growth, jobs and growth but they’ve had three years and done nothing. I can't see them doing anything for another three years because they’ve got this appetite for mining and they haven’t realised, well they don’t realise or they don’t want to realise, the mining boom is over and people are looking at new industries.

“I’ve spoken to councillors from different regional areas who have great ideas.

“They’ve sussed out what niche industries they could have in their particular area, they’ve gone and got it planned and approved and ticked all the boxes and all they’re needing is a small amount of federal funding and they just can't get it so they are people out there who are coming up with solutions but unfortunately like most governments of the day, they just don’t listen.”

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