Super Saturday is coming to Longman
They call the Melbourne Cup ‘the race that stops a nation‘. The Longman by-election taking place next Saturday on 28 July 2018 is coming pretty close to stealing that title.
Labor’s Susan Lamb was elected in 2016 but recently left Parliament a dual-citizen along with a swathe of other serving MPs. During the Longman campaign the LNP’s ‘Big Trev’ has been decried for claiming he’d earned a medal he hadn’t during his time in the Army.
Matthew Stephen is a bit different from Lamb and Big Trev. He’s a hard-working contractor who’s been campaigning tirelessly in Longman. Matthew took some time out of his schedule to catch up with us.
LAFO: Thanks for taking the time out of your campaign schedule to talk to us, Matthew. We’re keen to ask you a few questions about your background and about subjects dear to our hearts here at LAFO.
Matthew: Glad to take the time to talk to you. Fire away.
LAFO: What’s your connection to the land?
Matthew: I have been a licensed shooter and hunter. I did my firearm safety course in Caboolture 2006. I have family that own cattle stations running Charbray cattle on some 90,000 acres in Winton and Longreach.
LAFO: Speaking of farming, we’ve seen seen a concerted campaign in Queensland against shooters and farmers by the Labor government in tandem with Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch. They’ve been trying to take guns off farmers but recently lost to a farmer (read the story here). What is your position on how shooters and farmers should be treated by government?
Matthew: Well as the old saying goes “every family needs a Farmer”. This has never been more the case. I fully understand the current battles through my family connections in the industry that so many of our farmers face. Labor and the Greens are the single biggest threat to the farming industry. With the current land clearing laws crippling Queensland farmers, I dread to think what a Federal Labor government would do if given the chance.
Licensed shooters are treated as criminals. Gun crimes committed by licensed shooters are rare, but the lazy governmetns are always looking to point the finger. I am a firm believer in gun laws, however I draw the line with the constant attacks and berating of licensed firearm owners.
LAFO: We’re seeing the media frequently pick up criminal incidents and use those incidents to smear the million licenses firearms owners in Australia and call for endlessly more restrictions. What’s your view on trend?
Matthew: As I mentioned earlier, gun crimes committed by licensed owners hardly rates a mention. Weak governments are looking for someone to blame besides themselves. They continue to berate law abiding firearm holders. We need a strong voice to support our licensed shooters and farmers.
LAFO: One example is the recent tragic double murder in Sydney, where a man who was unstable and unfit was refused a firearms license but the NSW Police Commissioner gave him special permission to use and own pistols. Existing laws were already working to stop this man accessing firearms but the Firearms Registry overrode the normal operation of the laws. What will you and One Nation represent in this face of this sort of maladministration?
Matthew: This is was a tragedy that should have been avoided. I believe in our laws and believe they should be enforced. Our agencies and politicians need to be held to account.
LAFO: You’re campaigning on Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan’s home turf against the LNP’s ‘Big Trev’ Ruthenberg and Labor’s incumbent until-recently-dual-citizen Susan Lamb. What do you see as your biggest challenges to winning the seat?
Matthew: Labor and the LNP have been running a strong negative campaign. My biggest challenge is making sure the people of Longman get the message that they can trust me with their vote. For too long the people of Longman have had faceless politicians, my biggest challenge is making sure they know that I am a man of my word, I will champion their cause and I will work hard to achieve positive outcomes for Longman.
LAFO: We know how hard it can be to get the message out. If Queenslanders want to support you by handing out how to vote cards at polling places on by-election day, who can they contact?
Matthew: I welcome all help! Please contact me via Facebook or call Tracey my fabulous campaign manager on 0400 596 713.
LAFO: Thanks Matthew, good luck on Saturday.