Willowbank - Scenic Rim Electorate
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Member for Lockyer, Ian Rickuss MP said that there were benefits of being a small fish in a pond with a lot of other small fish.
Mr Rickuss said he has great respect for George Hatchmann of the Willowbank Area (Residents) Group (WAG) and I regularly refer to George as the Mayor of Willowbank for the amount of work he does for the Willowbank, Amberley areas and Ipswich in general, together with his partner in good works, Ian Dainer, both ex-warrant officers in the RAAF at Amberley, who only have the best interests of the Willowbank/Amberley area at heart.
Mr Rickuss, however, did question if Ipswich MPs will put the effort into the fringe areas of their electorates. Their main population bases are firmly in the suburbs of Ipswich, North Ipswich, Booval, Silkstone, Raceview, Brassall, and unfortunately, constituents in outlying areas of these electorates will be disadvantaged by being the small fish in a big pond.
“A prime example of this lack of representation occurred late last year when I organised a meeting with Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey to try and resolve the concerns of the Rosewood / Cunningham Highway Amberley Interchange project. This intersection on the Cunningham Highway has 17,000 plus vehicle movements a day affecting thousands of people every day from all over the Ipswich and Ipswich West electorates, far more people than from Willowbank in the Lockyer electorate”.
“So, you would think it was important for both MPs to support the meeting and convey the concerns of their constituents in relation to this important issue, as both had previously advised me that they were keen to assist”, Mr Rickuss said.
“However, where were they when the meeting was taking place, nowhere to be found. I can only assume they do not belong to Minister Bailey’s faction of the Labor Party.”
Mr Rickuss said unfortunately, this only highlights how the Labor lap dogs do not bite the hands that feed them. Shane Neumann has been a Federal Member of Parliament since 2007 and for 6 of those years was a member of Labour’s Federal Government, and the Members for Ipswich and Ipswich West were members of the State Labor government during this time and yet the Cunningham Highway Amberley Interchange project has been totally ignored by the Labor Members. Local services such as the Amberley State School and Amberley Post Office were taken away.
“I have done some research on Mr Neumann and during the 6 years of the Rudd/Gillard/Shorten/Rudd (whoever was PM) government Mr Neumann never once raised the issue of the Cunningham Highway Ipswich Rosewood Road, Amberley intersection in Federal Parliament. Mr Neumann was happy blaming the Howard Government for its lack of action on roads, but what did Neumann get in his own electorate? Naught, nil and zilch.
“The proposed Electorate of Scenic Rim mostly consists of small villages such as Harrisville, Peak Crossing, Mutdapilly, Boonah, Willowbank and Purga but as such every small village will be important to the Member for Scenic Rim as it is a conglomerate of these small villages that make up the electorate, not one large population base”.
“The new Member for Scenic Rim will need to represent all these small areas, so places such as Willowbank are important, and would be well represented by the Scenic Rim MP as Willowbank is conveniently located for an MP based either in Boonah or Beaudesert as on any trip to the major centres of Ipswich or Brisbane, Willowbank can be part of the journey.”
“I was speaking to Jon Krause MP recently and he advised that he does not have any control over the boundaries but what he does have control over is representing people and working hard to ensure their points of view are heard at the highest level in State Parliament, and he’s been doing that very well all the way from Warrill View across to Beaudesert and beyond since 2012 and is already getting stuck into it for Willowbank”, Mr Rickuss said.
“So, George, I have to respectively disagree with you about transferring your area into Ipswich West as it has long resided with diverse rural based electorates dating back from Deputy Premier, Bill Gunn’s time and I feel being included again in the rural based Scenic Rim will be far more beneficial than any other electorate in the area”.