LNP insiders tell VEXNEWS when George Christensen was preselected for Dawson for the LNP there were reasonably low expectations of victory. The tide has since turned for the conservatives in Queensland and his prospects are much improved.
Since then, after shock revelations in VEXNEWS on Monday about the candidateâ€™s published views excoriating women, gays, the transgendered, aborigines and Jews, he has achieved a certain national prominence, so much so that after we had to bump his story on from our â€˜featuredâ€™ section this morning, we felt a certain sadness.
But there is more, we are pleased to report, on the eccentric ways of the LNP candidate, with locals pointing to a letter he wrote to the company controlling the delightful Sizzler all you can eat buffet outfit.
The letter â€“ written in December last year â€“ makes it clear – in return of nothing other than a chance to pile up the pasta salad on a Friday night â€“ that the councillor was willing to use his high office to expedite any planning issues to get the all you can eat operation into Mackay:
As a Mackay Regional Councillor, I am more than happy to facilitate meetings between personnel from the Collins Food Group and the Economic Development and the Strategic Planning sections of council in order to explore potential opportunities for a site for a Sizzler Restaurant in the Mackay region. I can assure you that, if you wish to explore this opportunity, it would be given a high priority by our Economic Development team who are responsible for facilitating the establishment of industry and major businesses including large food retail outlets such as those owned by Collins Food Group in the Mackay region.
The rest of the letter is here.
Locals say the company has so far declined to take the commercial risk of establishing in Mr Christensen’s home-town.
VEXNEWS learned last night that the context of an unpleasant article in Christensenâ€™s publication denigrating those whoâ€™ve had gender reassignment surgery was actually aimed at an occasionally persecuted transgendered person at the same small Central Queensland University campus where the big lad was studying at the time. Even by the rough standards of undergraduates in general and central north Queenslanders in particularly it was seen as a very low blow indeed.
Mr Kevin Perkins
Chief Executive Officer
Collins Food Group
PO Box 268
NEWMARKET Q 4051
Monday, 14 December 2009
Dear Mr Perkins,
I write regarding what I see as a strong market opportunity for the Collins Food Group to establish a Sizzler Restaurant in the Mackay region.
Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. My name is George Christensen and I am a local government councillor on Mackay Regional Council. (You can view my bona fides here:http://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/about_council/councillors#gc)
During the last (near) six years as a councillor, there has been a constant query that has come my way, particularly from many young families in Mackay, this being ‘Why doesn’t Mackay have a Sizzlers?’ As someone who is well-placed to take a critical look at the region, I actually can not fault the question.
The Mackay region contains a population of almost 113,000 although including the great region of Mackay, Whitsunday and hinterland the population is almost 168,000. The region’s economic situation remains positive, with an unemployment rate of just over 2% which is enviable to say the least for most regional areas. In the wider region, the vast majority (almost 67%) of those in employment are in full time employment with some 12% engaged in the lucrative mining industry. Those classified as managers and professionals make up almost 25% of those in employment. These figures bear fruit when the individual median income is considered. In the Mackay, Whitsunday and hinterland region, the median income is $1,343.95 which is near 12% above the State average.
Due to the high level of young people and young families moving into the Mackay region to take advantage of the prosperous economic climate here, our average age is 35 across the wider region, which is a year younger than the State average.
Last year, in Mackay specifically, we had near 700,000 tourist visitors, which was slightly down on the previous year. Tourism Mackay is expecting tourist figures to peak again this coming year.
You can actually find a lot more information on the Mackay region’s key demographics and other relevant statistics on the website of the Mackay Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Corporation which can be found here:http://www.mwredc.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30&Itemid=11
I think you would appreciate that the economic situation and the demographics are there to quite capably support a Sizzler Restaurant in the Mackay region. However, can I tell you that there is not a night that goes by that I do not see our restaurants (particularly family restaurants such as Hog’s Breath and Cactus Jacks as well as the local Austral Steak House) overflowing with clientele. Indeed, on many nights bookings are essential because of the excess demand.
As a Mackay Regional Councillor, I am more than happy to facilitate meetings between personnel from the Collins Food Group and the Economic Development and the Strategic Planning sections of council in order to explore potential opportunities for a site for a Sizzler Restaurant in the Mackay region. I can assure you that, if you wish to explore this opportunity, it would be given a high priority by our Economic Development team who are responsible for facilitating the establishment of industry and major businesses including large food retail outlets such as those owned by Collins Food Group in the Mackay region. (You can read more about our Economic Development plan here:http://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/business/economic_development)
Should you wish to contact me to discuss this matter directly, I am available either by return e-mail to this personal e-mail address or my work e-mail address which is email@example.com or alternatively you can phone me on my mobile phone number which is 0448 608 206.
I hope that this unsolicited letter does spark some interest in the prospect of establishing a Sizzler Restaurant in the Mackay Region. I am most serious about this request and will ensure all that can be done by Mackay Regional Council is done if there is interest forthcoming from the Collins Food Group in this regard.
I look forward to hearing from a representative from the Collins Food Group in the not too distant future.
Cr George Christensen
Mackay Regional Councillor
Phone: 0448 608 206
Address: PO Box 373, Walkerston Q 4751
Personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Work e-mail: email@example.com
UPDATE: In what can only be described as a golden moment for VEXNEWS, the mama of George Christensen has slammed the “smear campaign” against her boy in the Mackay press, which has vigorously defended the lad from the scandal over his published vicious assertions about Jews, women, Aborigines, the transgendered and anyone else that took his fancy. We’re brave enough to take on even the biggest and baddest anti-Semite but his fiercely loyal mama looks fierce enough to leave well alone. With punters expecting big George to storm home, despite offending a majority of the population with racial and sexist epithets, we can surely all look forward to him lumbering into Parliament with Mama Christensen in tow.