Capricornia is “politically relevant” after nearly 20 years

MICHELLE Landry acknowledges the Abbott Government "could do better", but says for the first time in nearly two decades Capricornia is "politically relevant".

The Member for Capricornia this week said the electorate was finally getting the attention it deserved.

She claimed previously the leaders of the major political parties had shown little interest in the region.

That was because Capricornia was considered a Labor strong-hold.

Now as the end of her first full year in Canberra draws to a close, she says her active and "feisty" approach is putting the electorate back on the political map.

Labor powerbrokers struck back though, saying Ms Landry's tenure would be "very short" as they pointed to the government's poor poll results.

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Ms Landry conceded that at a national level the government - "hamstrung by a difficult Senate" - "could do better"

"While the debt Australians are now paying off today is the debt left by the Australian Labor Party, the Coalition has not sold its own message quite as well from a national perspective," she said. "People are genuinely concerned about several key policies including the $7 GP payment, paid maternity leave and others. We must continue to listen to people more clearly and apply the handbrake on some things... too much all at once overwhelms people."

She said despite the imperfections, the government was genuinely trying to be financially responsible.

And on the local situation, she said: "I take great pride in being out there pushing and pushing for Capricornia at every opportunity in Canberra, to the point where we now have some considerable relevance in the political sphere".

Ms Landry said the fact that 20 key government ministers and senators had visited showed Capricornia was firmly on the government's radar.

My focus

Here is a list of the things Michelle Landry said she had lobbied hard for:

Improved mobile communication services at Clarke Creek: It's described as a place 'worse than Africa' when it came to mobile phone black spots and internet coverage.

Declared war on Australia's Far North: After northern leaders had hijacked the decision-making process by ignoring Capricornia. As a result, CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman was appointed to the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Northern Australia.

A gainst 100% FIFO: Ms Landry spearheaded two successful National Party motions on the adverse impact of 100% FIFO on small towns. She also spoke on a fairer tax system for people in remote mining towns. One motion called on state governments to ensure that all mining contracts included requirements to employ locals.

Capricornia's share in Regional Australia's $1 billion Stronger Regions Fund: Ms Landry said advocating for at least five key projects for Capricornia, including construction of a Rockhampton convention centre and stage four of a revitalisation of Yeppoon's beachfront.