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FEDERAL ELECTION 2022 Fairfax: Profile - Ted O'Brien

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Name: Ted O’Brien

Age: 48

Current occupation: Federal Member for Fairfax and Special Envoy for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Party: Liberal National Party of Queensland

Where do you live? Buderim, Sunshine Coast.

1 Finish this sentence. Voters should elect me because ...?

I have a proven track record of delivery for the Sunshine Coast and a clear plan to deliver more.

I’m proud that our region is receiving more Federal Government investment than ever, including $3.2 billion for Bruce Highway upgrades, nearly $400 million for rail upgrades, $160 million for the Sunshine Motorway and over $300 million for locals roads and community infrastructure. I’ve also delivered over $13 million for community groups, over $2 million for sporting groups and over $5.5 million for new homeless shelters and support centres.

But there’s more to do. I want to deliver $1.6 billion for a new heavy passenger rail line to Maroochydore, a design for rail duplication – that’s two tracks – to Nambour, and a $33 million world-class food and beverage manufacturing hub, plus more.

2 Cost of living pressures are being felt across your electorate with CPI at 5.1% and interest rates likely to continue rising. What will you do to ease those pressures?

Due to COVID-19 and international conflicts, household budgets are being stretched.

That’s why our Government is providing cost of living relief by slashing fuel prices so motorists save money at the bowser; lowering taxes for workers and businesses and providing a $420 offset so people can keep more of their own money; and a $250 one-off payment for pensioners, veterans, students and the like.

But something else is also key – jobs! As our economy recovers from COVID, our plan has seen unemployment drop below 4%, the lowest in 48 years. Jobs provide people with the cash they need and the tighter the jobs market, the higher the salaries go.

3 Many people in your electorate have been affected by the housing and rental crisis. What will you do to address this issue in your electorate in the short and long term?

The Federal Government is committed to tackling housing and rental affordability and so we must pull both supply and demand levers.

On the supply side, our Government has introduced unprecedented support measures to ensure more Australians can enter the housing market.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, New Home Guarantee and the Family Home Guarantee have supported over 13,000 Queenslanders enter the market and 50,000 across Australia, putting home ownership at its highest level in nearly 15 years.

Unfortunately, however, new housing supply is badly constrained by planning and regulatory bottlenecks at a state and local government levels.

4 As the population grows in your electorate, critical infrastructure will be crucial. What vital projects will you push for in your electorate?

Building infrastructure ahead of the population curve is a priority of my local plan for the Sunshine Coast. Here are four projects I am fighting for:

(1) Heavy passenger rail between Beerwah and the Maroochydore CBD - which the Federal Government has already committed $1.6 billion to build;

(2) Full rail duplication – that’s two tracks – all the way to Nambour - which I’ve secured $5 million to complete a detailed business case for;

(3) Six lanes on the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane and upgrades at key interchanges, for which we’ve already committed $3.2 billion;

(4) improvements to the Sunshine Motorway – with $160 million already committed to fix the Mooloolah River Interchange.

5 If elected, what is the key issue you will champion in parliament?

If elected, the key issue I plan to champion is the delivery of better rail.

I have two rail projects in mind. Firstly, a new heavy passenger rail line between Beerwah and the Maroochydore CBD and secondly, full rail duplication – that’s two tracks – between Beerburrum and Nambour.

Despite me securing funds to take these two projects to their next steps respectively, the Labor Party remains silent and uncommitted.

There is no time to waste if these projects are to be built ahead of the population curve and in time for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

You don’t secure record funding for infrastructure without fighting for it, and that’s what I do best.

 

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