New Springfield MP calls for Labor to embrace farmers
IN 1993 an anxious young Charis Mullen walked into the University of Queensland Young Labor Club, hoping to help Paul Keating remain Prime Minister.
The woman who greeted her was Annastacia Palaszczuk. Now, 24 years later, Ms Mullen is the first member for the new seat of Jordan in Ms Palaszczuk's second government.
A long-time political staffer, Ms Mullen admits she did not dream of becoming a politician, but when the opportunity arose to represent the community she lived in she took it.
"People think politics is a machine, but there is a lot of luck to it. If a seat had been established around Springfield earlier I likely would not have run,” she said.
A self-admitted "city girl”, Ms Mullen has called on her party to embrace Queensland's farmers.
Ms Mullen married into a north Queensland farming family and believes Labor has more in common with farmers than has historically been the case.
"In some circles Labor can have a reputation of being the enemy of the farmer. But I think there is a lot we should and can could be doing with farmers,” she said.
Ms Mullen said she wants to prioritise growing the Springfield economy to promote local jobs. She said the region needed to look to industries including health, aged care, technology and advanced manufacturing for the future.
She also promised to remain an advocate for extending the Springfield rail line - but warned the extension needed the Cross River Rail to be viable.
"I believe Cross River Rail is more important to outer metropolitan places like Springfield than it is to the inner-city,” she said.
"It will free up capacity and make extending the Springfield line, or building the Flagstone line, possible.” - NewsRegional