No hate at great debate

Moderator Simon Irwin speaking at the CQ Today debate held for Capricornia's Federal candidates at CQUniversity.

The nine people vying for the seat of Capricornia did their best to convince voters why they should put them first on their ballot paper at CQ Today’s great debate this week.

The candidates faced four questions at the event held at CQUniversity and moderated by Beef Australia CEO Simon Irwin.

They were asked their plans for attracting GPs to the region and fixing the health crisis; the projects they would bring to the region to drive the economy and creating jobs; reducing the cost of living; and, addressing the rental and housing crisis.

Kylee Stanton from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON), Paula Ganfield from the Informed Medical Options Party (IMOP), Mick Jones from the Greens, Russell Robertson from Labor, Steve Murphy from the Liberal Democrats, Independent Ken Murray, Nathan Harding from the United Australia Party, Michelle Landry from the Liberal National Party, and Zteven Whitty from The Great Australian Party all attended the debate.

Despite their increasing rivalry as Election Day inches closer, candidates were largely respectful of one another.

When asked how they would address the health crisis, the minor parties and Independent Ken Murray said they would remove Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

More funding for training health professionals was also common solution among candidates.

Mr Jones said the Greens would make university and TAFE free, increase welfare, and increase the minimum wage.

Mr Robertson said Labor would increase bulk-billing, increase funding for training, encourage more people to live in regional areas, and build urgent care clinics.

Defence was a theme among a few candidates when asked what projects they would bring to the region.

Mr Murphy said the Liberal Democrats were committed to an army base, and the current Capricornia MP said she would continue to work with the Prime Minister and Defence Minister about bringing a base to the region.

Ms Landry, said she was passionate about funding the Rockhampton Airport Bay 7, providing a platform for it to work towards becoming an international airport.

Meanwhile, Mr Whitty from GAP listed satellite army defence bases among his projects.

Ms Ganfield suggested investing in barramundi and agriculture industries and said the party would invest in permaculture.

Ms Stanton said some of the biggest issues were black spots and problems with the Bruce Highway. She said the party backed the Bradfield Hybrid Scheme.

Mr Murray suggested building oil refineries in Australia to bring down the price of fuel and reduce the cost of living overall.

Mr Harding said the UAP would pause the fuel excise permanently and create a 20 percent regional tax cut to encourage people to move to or settle in regional areas to decentralise Australia.


How will you attract GPs to the region and fix the health crisis?

What projects do you plan to bring to the region to drive the economy and create jobs?

What measures will you introduce to reduce the cost of living?

What will you do to address the rental crisis and how will you make it easier for people to achieve their dream of owning a home?


People who were unable to attend the debate or watch the livestream, can see it on CQ Today’s website at