LNP president Cynthia Hardy and successful candidate Garth Hamilton leave the Groom LNP preselection vote. Picture: Kevin Farmer
LNP president Cynthia Hardy and successful candidate Garth Hamilton leave the Groom LNP preselection vote. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Who is Groom LNP candidate Garth Hamilton?

When The Chronicle shared the news on Sunday evening that the LNP selected Garth Hamilton as their candidate for the Groom by-election, a number of comments flooded in with a simple question: Who?

"I'm a mining engineer," Mr Hamilton told media when asked after the vote.

"My wife's a Toowoomba girl and we came to live in Toowoomba because that is where she was born and raised.

"I've been very fortunate to have been able to take my engineering degree around the world with me and build some big things.

"But I'm very much settled here now with three kids and I'm a happy family man."

Further glimpses into who the LNP has selected as their candidate can be seen from the information booklet Mr Hamilton sent to party members before Sunday's vote, as well as articles he has written for Spectator.

 

Garth Hamilton talks to media after the Liberal National Party's membership chose him to stand at the Groom by-election. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Garth Hamilton talks to media after the Liberal National Party's membership chose him to stand at the Groom by-election. Picture: Kevin Farmer

 

Early life and career

Mr Hamilton was born in Southport in 1979 and won a scholarship to attend Ipswich Grammar School.

"It changed my life," Mr Hamilton said in his candidate booklet shared to party members before the vote.

"Without that financial support, my parents could never have afforded to send me there and the wonderful opportunity was not lost on me.

"Very early in my time at Ipswich I decided to follow the school's proud history of producing mining engineers and in 1997 I entered UQ to do just that."

After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Engineering in 2001, Mr Hamilton worked in London.

"The London Tube Map now displays four stations that were built under my watch and I'm very proud to have led some of the Middle East's most significant water infrastructure projects," he said.

 

 

Charity and volunteer work has also been key to Mr Hamilton's life.

"I became heavily involved in the Wooden Spoon Children's Charity, fundraising for projects that provided specialist facilities for children with serious physical and mental challenges" he said.

"The opportunity arose to create a new branch of the charity focused on London city based fundraising and served in the role of secretary in its initial two years."

He is also an active member of the Rural Fire Brigade.

He lives in Toowoomba with his wife Louise and three children, Adeline, Red and Claude.

"We have made the Darling Downs our home and have come to realise our own little piece of the Australian dream," he said.

Mr Hamilton is currently employed as a project manager with the Cooperative Resource Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction.

 

Groom LNP preselection winning candidate Garth Hamilton (right) talks to Senator Matt Canavan. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Groom LNP preselection winning candidate Garth Hamilton (right) talks to Senator Matt Canavan. Picture: Kevin Farmer

 

What he wants to achieve for Groom

In his candidate booklet Mr Hamilton said he had three priority points for Groom.

"My three priority points for Groom are pulling apart the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to free up major infrastructure project approvals," he said.

"Industrial relations reform and reduction of employment taxes to make it easier to employ young people and splitting income for taxation purposes for couples raising families."

Speaking to media after the vote, Mr Hamilton said jobs and the economy were two of his focuses if he were to be elected to parliament.

"That's what the country needs us to be focusing on right now coming out of this interesting period that's been 2020," he said.

"We need to secure people's jobs, we need to drive the economy, increase our productivity.

"I'm an engineer. I love to build things. My focus is fully on infrastructure.

"I'm very certain water infrastructure will be the next big thing for us to be looking at here and growing."

 

Garth Hamilton and his family in a Trevor Watts campaign promotional photo.
Garth Hamilton and his family in a Trevor Watts campaign promotional photo.

 

His political views and activities:

Mr Hamilton joined the LNPs predecessor in 2006, five years after he graduated university.

When he moved to the United Kingdom he helped on local Conservative Party candidates campaigns.

In 2017 he led Trevor Watts' re-election campaign in Toowoomba North.

In 2020, Mr Hamilton started writing for the right-wing publication Spectator, with his articles providing an insight into his views on various political and social issues.

His biography on the site describes him as someone who "has worked with governments around the world to deliver significant infrastructure and policy outcomes".

"He writes on issues facing right of centre politics, stating the case for a compassionate conservatism and strength in leadership," his biography said.

In his pieces on the Spectator, he's vocally supported the Coalition Government's border policies, slammed the Labor opposition for proposing a zero carbon emission target by 2050, and he has also been highly critical of Australia's reliance on China.

"The West's embrace of China has been our downfall," he wrote.

"We have built societies on foundations of Chinese manufacturing and incentivised the consumption of Chinese goods."

He said he believed "further confrontation with China is inevitable".

 

LNP president Cynthia Hardy and successful candidate Garth Hamilton leave the Groom LNP preselection vote. Picture: Kevin Farmer
LNP president Cynthia Hardy and successful candidate Garth Hamilton leave the Groom LNP preselection vote. Picture: Kevin Farmer

 

He also written a few articles on the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States of America and said "scenes of Australians trying to connect the ongoing US protests with Australian Aboriginal issues seem tedious" as "US protests don't fit in the Australian story - we are just not that divided".

He's also written about the role fathers play in the family unit and said "if the Black Lives Matter movement wants to be taken seriously then it should demonstrate a commitment to their own cause".

"Black fathers need to show that black lives matter and stay at home with their kids."

The Groom by-election will be held on November 28.

It is unknown yet who any other candidates for the by-election will be.

 

Originally published as Who is Groom LNP candidate Garth Hamilton?


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