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26 April 2022

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Federal Integrity Commission would benefit farmers and small business owners

Independent Candidate Suzie Holt, will strongly back the establishment of a Federal Integrity Commission if elected as the Member for Groom at the upcoming Federal election.


“A Federal Integrity Commission will ensure that the needs of all community members are met, without political donations skewing the balance in favour of big businesses."


"The LNP has forgotten about people in our community. I am extremely concerned by the lack of quality Federal representation of our community, and some of the worst affected are farmers and small business owners. The LNP is no longer the party of farmers and small business owners."


While Ms Holt appreciates the difficulty of governing during the pandemic, she believes that some of the inconsistencies with JobKeeper may not have occurred if MPs knew they would have to answer to a Federal Integrity Commission.


“Why do we have big businesses keeping $100s of millions in JobKeeper payments, while small businesses in our community have suffered greatly?”


“In the case of disputes between different groups in the community, such as when farmers’ properties are being impacted by coal mining or coal seam gas extraction, it isn’t the Federal members role to pick a side, but rather to advocate for the whole community."


“In the case of the New Acland Mine, it is a difficult situation. I have spoken with farmers whose properties are impacted by the mines and they say will be further impacted by the planned expansion. On the other hand, you have businesses that say they benefited from the mine and are struggling now that investment has been removed from the community by the company.”


“New Acland say that water will not be affected, the farmers say it will. The case is going before the courts with the farmers being impacted represented by the Environmental Defenders Office. The Federal Member has refused to meet with the farmers and has publicly on many occasions taken the mine’s side.”


“I think most people would not view it as the role for the Federal member to try to referee the dispute, but rather to find solutions. If the mine is not going ahead, rather than doing nothing, it should be the role of the Federal Member to advocate for more development for workers in that part of our electorate. One local business I spoke to said that in the absence of a mine, another industry that would employ 200-300 people would make a big difference economically for Oakey”.


“As the Federal Member I would work with local business groups to find solutions for Oakey. If the mine expansion isn’t going ahead, is the local member planning to work with organisations like TSBE or Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce to expand economic opportunities in the region? I commit to continuing my advocacy of the business community through working with these organisations to find solutions for our electorate.”


“Receiving representation as a constituent of Groom shouldn’t be a ‘pay to play’ system. Farmers cannot compete with companies that can donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties, including the LNP. Would our local member’s behaviour stand up to the rigours of a Federal Integrity Commission when the LNP seems to be influenced by how much money the party has received in donations?”

Independent Candidate for the Federal seat of Groom.

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