Voters in Fisher braved the Queensland cold to make their decision about who will be the next leader of this part of the Sunshine Coast region.
A roughly equal mix of Labor and Liberal volunteers handed out cards to voters, with two volunteers for Rise Up Australia, one person for the Greens and one for The Veterans Party.
First-time voter Ethan Brog, 18, said there were key factors that would inform his vote.
“I’m a uni student and I work on Saturday and Sunday so I rely on penalty rates,” Brog said.
Another student, Michael Carr, said he felt disillusioned by Labor.
“The Labor Party actually used to be working class, now they’re just professional politicians like everyone else,” Carr said.
Voters were looking to pick a new candidate after the retirement of the LNP's Mal Brough, who replaced Peter Slipper in 2013.
Labor candidate Bill Gissane said he felt the seat of Fisher had been cursed and that the region deserved better.
“They’ve had the bad luck to have had two representatives who totally failed to represent the interests of their constituency and this is a seminal moment for the people of Fisher to say we’re going to move away from that,” he said.
If elected, Gissane said the first things he would do would be to establish a department of sustainable economics at the University of the Sunshine Coast to generate jobs and convene a meeting of business representatives to resolve the issue around penalty rates.
LNP candidate Andrew Wallace was in Maleny but said via phone it was his party that would provide stability.
“We need stability with immigration, a stable monetary system and a political parliamentary system,” Wallace said.
He said that the Labor Party was trying to win office based on a lie that the LNP would privatise Medicare.
“I can’t be any clearer than what the Prime Minister has already said and that is, Medicare will not be privatised, he has given his written undertaking to that effect, and the Labor Party continuing to try and scare people is frankly appalling,” Wallace said.
Greens candidate Tony Gibson said he wanted to be judged on employment, rail duplication to Nambour, renewable energy and the NBN.
“Renewable energy is the future and the Greens are leading the way with that and it gives people so many job opportunities especially in regional Queensland,” Mr Gibson said.
Mr Gibson also criticised the LNP’s approach to the National Broadband Network.
Veterans Party founder Jason Burgess said his party would support the LGBTI-focussed Safe Schools program and would tackle congestion on the Sunshine Motorway.
For older voters, it was transport and roads that were influencing their decision.
“We have to really upgrade our public transport system here,” Jan McClaren said.
“We’ve got to get someone to do something with the roadworks because in another 10 years, you won’t be able to move around here with all the building that’s going on,” pensioner Peter Ogden said.
A minor party drew the ire of a young mother on her way in to vote.
“The names of the parties are confusing, like the Health Party, because they’re anti-vaccination, so it makes me angry,” Mather said.