How Gladstone can haul QLD out of COVID slump
"GLADSTONE is the powerhouse of Queensland."
Those were the words of Federal Senator for Queensland James McGrath who visited the port city this week as part of a week-long Queensland coastal catch up, from Cairns to Nambour.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr McGrath said travel was curtailed, but he was now able to get out and talk to constituents about issues that matter, like the future of Gladstone.
"My office is where ever I wake up, it's my mobile phone and I spend my life on the road," he said.
"I am meeting with mayors, I am also meeting with LNP members of parliament and LNP candidates."
LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding took Mr McGrath on a tour of the HMAS Gladstone yesterday, guided by Maritime Museum president Lindsay Wassell.
"I am in Gladstone supporting Ron, our candidate for the upcoming state election," he said.
"Anyone who knows Ron knows he is passionate about Gladstone as a community, and he's passionate about getting Queensland moving forwards.
"He wanted me to come along to another passion of his, which is the HMAS Gladstone, and he has given me a tour of that because he knows I love our history."
The potential for Gladstone to haul Queensland out a COVID induced slump is massive.
"So much comes out Gladstone in terms of energy, in terms of production," he said.
"What comes in to Gladstone comes out a lot better, because of the work that gets put in by people in Gladstone.
"I here to meet with Ron and some other locals in private meetings to talk about how great Gladstone is and what Ron can do with Ken O'Dowd about pushing Gladstone forward."
Mr McGrath said he wasn't in town to announce any potential projects for Gladstone, but to talk about securing what it already has.
"We have got to protect what we have here now in Gladstone," he said.
"We have got to have electricity and if electricity prices go too high and we don't have reliable electricity, that is going to have an impact upon some of the industries that are here in Gladstone at the moment.
"That is something that the state team, which Ron is part of, are going to take forward to the next election.
"I'm here to support them to protect what we have got in Gladstone and build upon it."
Due to the current pandemic, Mr McGrath said there was never a more important time to protect what the region had.
"The Prime Minister has said its all about protecting lives and its also about saving livelihoods," he said.
"It is making sure people have got jobs and we have got businesses that can grow."