LNP reveals business owner as Gladstone election candidate
THE LNP has announced Ron Harding as its candidate for Gladstone to take on Labor incumbent Glenn Butcher at the October 31 state election.
Federal Queensland Senator Matt Canavan and Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd will join Mr Harding to officially announce his candidacy today.
The CQ Tools owner of 25 years-plus has been a prominent Gladstone figure and supporter of the region, contributing money and equipment to businesses, after himself beating intellectual challenges to land his dream job.
In recent years, Mr Harding has donated equipment to Central Queensland Radiology, backed trainees and been acknowledged in Queensland parliament for his philanthropic deeds.
"I am extremely proud, happy and humbled to be selected as the LNP candidate to serve my community, which has given me so many happy memories over the years," he said.
"I have spent many years helping out my community, which I am extremely passionate about, and I have loved every minute of it.
"If I could do this all for nothing, to help out the community that I love, I would do it in a heart beat.
"I moved up here many years ago and I absolutely love the Gladstone region, and I will fight for the community with every last breath I have."
For years Mr Harding has harboured the ambition to give back as much as he can to make Gladstone the best city it can be.
"I have a burning desire to get into politics and I am putting my heart, mind, body and soul into it," he said.
"I am on a mission to ensure the community gets what they want, so for me politics is only about giving, not taking, and if I could do it for nothing I would.
"That's how passionate I am to achieve my burning desires for the community of Gladstone."
Mr Harding was a driving force behind the HMAS Gladstone project at East Shores which is set to open to the public soon.
He has been involved with the project in a private capacity for many years.
He donated $20,000 from his own pocket to fund the staircase to board the HMAS Gladstone and allow patrons to view the boat and engine room.
"That to me is just a donation to my community, for something I am extremely passionate about, which I have have been doing for more than 25 years," he said.
The soon to be open former Royal Australia navy ship is now part of the Maritime Museum.
Work on the project has been completed by local companies McCosker Contracting and Wells Constructions.