Monday, April 03, 2006
Stirling Hinchliffe will be the new ALP candidate for the seat of Stafford in the next Queensland state election.
Mr Hinchliffe, a policy and research manager with the Property Council of Australia,
said Labor sitting member Terry Sullivan would not defend the seat he won in the 2001 and 2004 elections.
“Terry had to declare his intention to the caucus in September 2005 and he chose not to continue. I was then nominated unopposed,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
Mr Sullivan won Stafford with a majority of 20 per cent in 2004 and Mr Hinchliffe said he expected a closer contest next time round.
“2004 was a high-water mark for Labor,” he said.
Mr Hinchliffe said his local priorities were improved public transport and taking care of the accommodation needs of Stafford’s aging population.
“Stafford is a real estate ‘hot spot’ and we need to make sure that affordable public housing is available to those who need it most,” he said.
Mr Hinchliffe said the state of the health service was the most serious issue facing Queensland.
‘We need to work closely with Canberra and look at creative schemes such as bonded scholarships to encourage doctors to work for Queensland Health,” he said.
Mr Hinchliffe has impeccable Labor credentials as a member and party staffer for 15 years.
“My grandmother in Rockhampton introduced me to the party,” he said.
The Liberal Party has yet to announce a candidate for Stafford.
Tracy Davis, the Liberal candidate for the neighbouring seat of Aspley, said Mr Hinchliffe might struggle to retain Stafford for Labor.
“Peter Beattie’s popularity is diminishing, the incumbent is standing down and there is a crisis in the health service.
“People are tired of Labor,” she said.
Mr Beattie is obliged to call the election before the end of February 2007.