Abbott not sweet on Turnbull talk in Mackay
FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Dawson MP George Christensen, confessed members of 'Team Turnbull', visited canegrowers at Farleigh this morning.
While at the property of Michael Deguara, which he first visited in 2012, Mr Abbott, member for Warringah, spoke about challenges for Mackay growers, and the wider region.
Mr Abbott endorsed Mr Christensen and was keen to answer questions related to Mackay, but shied away from questions unrelated to local matters, such as his former prime ministerial role.
When asked whether he was enjoying his relatively low-key campaign for the seat of Warringah, Mr Abbott said it was "a change of pace - obviously I was under a bit more stress last time than this time".
He also said he would not be running "a commentary on a commentary" when asked trickier questions about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's leadership.
"It's lovely to be back here at Mick's farm to remind people of the strong record that the government has, the Abbott-Turnbull Government has, when it comes to this area," he said.
"We scrapped the carbon tax and obviously that's been very, very good for the sugar industry.
"We've got some half a billion dollars on the table for the Mackay Ring Road and I really would urge the State Government to get the planning done quickly so that money can be spent and the Ring Road can be built.
"And, of course, the other thing we are desperate to do is see the Adani mine finally get going.
"We put legislation through the lower house of Parliament to end environmental activist lawfare against this important project which is promising 10,000 jobs for the people of central Queensland."
Mr Abbott and Mr Christensen both mentioned the Urannah Dam and other infrastructure projects as proof the Coalition was working hard for Central Queensland.
Mr Christensen disagreed with a question by media about whether Mr Abbott's visit showed disruption in the Coalition.
"Tony Abbott is here to help me campaign for re-election as part of the Turnbull Government. Tony himself is running for re-election as a member of the Turnbull Government," he said.
"We're Team Turnbull, we quite obviously are. We're part of the Turnbull Government and running for re-election against the Labor party..."
Kevin Borg, chair of Canegrowers Mackay, was pleased to have Mr Abbott in town and said he hoped Labor candidate for Dawson Frank Gilbert would stop by for a chat during his election campaign.
In addition to his farm visit this morning, Mr Abbott was guest speaker at a function for Coalition supporters at Harrup Park last night.