Seeing blue, police and placards at Whitsunday electorate

Eimeo Road State School on election day.
Eimeo Road State School on election day. Tara Cassidy

A SEA of blue placards welcomed voters at Eimeo Rd State School in the heart of Mackay's Whitsunday electorate.

Some welcoming the site of Costo's grinning face every turn, others said it was overkill, the remainder unperturbed, ducking in and out to vote, and avoiding hand outs like the plague.

Sitting member for Whitsundays Jason Costigan arrived with heavy police numbers not far behind, filing "stalking" charges, claiming protesters had interrupted his earlier polling booth visits.


Jason Costigan talks with police after allegedly being
Jason Costigan talks with police after allegedly being "stalked" by protesters this morning in the Whitsundays. Tara Cassidy

"I've been at Shute Harbour this morning and then over to Hamilton Island and we had some stalkers this morning too, everyone loves Costo but you know, get a number," Mr Costigan said pacing toward the polling booths.

"But in all seriousness I am all for people having their democratic right exercised, this is North Queensland not North Korea but you've got to draw the line somewhere.

"They have had a fair chop at us in Cannonvale then they pop up at Proserpine and last seen just up the road from where my Mum used to live in Calen so look they could turn up here any minute and I have referred this to the police."

Mr Costigan said the protesters were participating in "scumbag" behaviour, interfering with not only his campaign but voters attempting to get to the polls.

"The electoral commission of Queensland chastised these ratbags in Proserpine today along with their mates, they are interfering with my discharge of duties," he said.


"There are people who are my political opponents and they didn't even disagree with what I was saying, I had the ticker and guts to say you know you lot should piss off and let people come through.

"If they don't vote for Costo that's fine but just let them vote to start with, those protesters they were just stinking the town out."

As he entered the Eimeo Rd school yards heading toward the polling booth, there was a bit of back and forth between the other coloured shirt volunteers, green and red "throwing some chat".

Replicating the sound of a horse trotting by as he walked in, volunteers teased Mr Costigan's proud appearance on horseback up the main street of Proserpine Friday afternoon.

Mr Costigan stormed up to the polling booths, grabbed his card, made his vote and then placed it in the Whitsunday voting box, sealed with a kiss for good luck.


Sealed with a kiss for good luck.
Sealed with a kiss for good luck. Tara Cassidy

Voters at Eimeo Rd were staying tight lipped about who they were voting for, but most made it clear, it was still a Labor verse LNP fight to the finish, no other parties were mentioned at the polling booths Saturday afternoon.

Phillip Lapthorne of Northern Beaches voted for the party that pushed hardest for jobs, being a skilled man himself yet currently without work.

He felt it was one of the most pressing issues in Mackay at the moment and needed to be addressed.

His vote this year was different to his last.

"It changes every year for me to be honest, because our needs change every year," he said.

"This year I want cheaper power and definitely more jobs, the decrease in jobs has hit me hard.

"I'm not working at the moment and the more people not having jobs the harder it is for us to also find them, so something needs to change here."


Phillip Lapthorne's number one priority in this election was a party that pushes for jobs. He is skilled and yet currently unemployed, he feels it is a huge issue in the region.
Phillip Lapthorne's number one priority in this election was a party that pushes for jobs. He is skilled and yet currently unemployed, he feels it is a huge issue in the region. Tara Cassidy

Strict Labor voter Kerrianne Smith said while she was sticking with her guns voting for Bronwyn Taha, she admitted that LNP had a "stronger crew" this year and probably the first time she had considered changing.

She welcomed the face of Nicole Batzloff on the LNP side, saying she was the most relateable of the bunch, but, it still wasn't enough to sway her from her safe seat.

"It'll take a lot more for me to switch," she said.

"I want jobs and I still think Labor are the most focused on regional Queensland and what we really need up here over other parties.

"Although even Labor has room for improvement, they all do, too much political back chat between the parties not enough focus on themselves and just focusing on doing good for the people."

Topics:  election politics qld politics state election state politics whitsunday electorate

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