Jerome to run against ’very lazy’ Perrett for Gympie MP job
GYMPIE teacher Tim Jerome has announced he will run as an independent candidate in October's state election, and said generating jobs and improving health care services were among his priorities.
After coming third in the three-way race for mayor of the Gympie Regional Council at the March 28 local government election, Mr Jerome has set his sights on the even higher office of State Member of Parliament.
Mr Jerome has been a teacher for 17 years, but said he became involved in politics about two years ago and had several ideas to improve the region if elected.
"Trying to create jobs is a big thing, and working with local businesses," he said.
"Working with local farmers (is important), making sure they get a fair deal."
"I honestly believe Tony Perrett is very lazy, and has let down the region.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
"Jobs being generated isn't happening, health care is in dire straits.
"We can't expect people or businesses to just come to the region, we have to get out there and advertise and push for it in government."
Mr Jerome described himself as a proactive go-getter, and said if elected, his office would be a point of contact for the community and open to everybody.
"If I get elected I'll open the office up to be a point of contact between local businesses, getting new businesses in the area and helping to generate jobs," he said.
"That's something Tony Perrett hasn't done.
"Especially with COVID, things are bad but we can't just hope businesses will come.
"We can sit back and hope or get out and make it happen."
Mr Jerome believes the Gympie region is ready for change, and that he has community support.
When he ran for mayor in March, Mr Jerome received 15 per cent of the vote, but said he knew he had an outside chance.
"I did it to get a feel for what's going on, and I learnt a lot, talking to the right people."
He said the three levels of government needed to work together, and if elected he would work closely with the council, one of the biggest employers in the region, to create change while keeping Gympie's country town charm.
"People in past have tried to keep country feel here and done nothing to change," he said.
"There needs to be balance; it's no good having the country feel but having people leave because there are no jobs."
Mr Jerome said he believed having a "regional mentality" was important, and vowed to work for the whole Gympie region, which he said Mr Perrett had not done.
"Tony Perrett lives in Kilkivan has had the mentality to just look after Gympie and some farmers," he said.
"There's other areas that are part of this region than just Gympie."
Mr Jerome believes Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay especially had "uncapped potential" that had not been tapped into yet.
Mr Jerome's campaign website also lists reformations to medical marijuana, firearms, fishing, education, outdoor recreation and political correctness as issues of importance to him.
Alongside Mr Jerome, the other candidates taking on Mr Perrett's seat so far are Greens candidate Lauren Granger-Brown, who is a local English teacher, and One Nation's Michael Blaxland, a former ADF serviceman.