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Former Whitsunday mayor jumps into state politics

HIGH FIVE: Jennifer Whitney with skydive instructor Adam Hardacre land at Hamilton Plains.
HIGH FIVE: Jennifer Whitney with skydive instructor Adam Hardacre land at Hamilton Plains. Peter Carruthers

FORMER Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney literally jumped into contention for the seat of Whitsunday today.

Catapulting herself out of a plane at 15000 feet, the Proserpine small business owner was officially endorsed by Katter Australia Party's Robbie Katter after making a perfect landing at Hamilton Plains.

Ms Whitney now joins Labor's Bronwyn Taha, the Greens' Jonathon Dykyj, One Nation's Noel Skippen and the incumbent LNP member Jason Costigan in the race for Whitsunday.

Mr Katter said through Ms Whitney the KAP was offering a "true representative of the electorate”.

"It is an enormous advantage to have someone with that wealth of experience, they know the game and it puts them on the front foot,” he said.

Jennifer Whitney takes the plunge into state politics.
Jennifer Whitney takes the plunge into state politics. Peter Carruthers

"We are excited at the prospect of having Jenny running for us and we know with her in parliament we can do some great things for Queensland.”

Ms Whitney said the community was looking for a candidate that they can go to with their problems and when probed about the performance Mr Costigan she said representation of the Whitsundays at a state level was "sadly lacking”.

"I would like to be a state member that works cohesiveness with all levels of government to achieve better results for our community,” she said.

She described her chances of out polling Ms Taha and Mr Costigan as "very good”.

Katter Australia Party's Robbie Katter and Jennifer Whitney front Mackay media at Hamilton Plains.
Katter Australia Party's Robbie Katter and Jennifer Whitney front Mackay media at Hamilton Plains. Peter Carruthers

"People are disillusions with the two major parties, the ALP and the LNP and they want some changes,” she said.

"This community has been sitting idly waiting for a progressive candidate, someone who has got the knowledge, the experience to some degree, that can hit the ground running... and fly the flag for our area.”

Ms Whitney served one term as mayor at the Whitsunday Regional Council and lost the mayoral race to Andrew Willcox in 2016.

She deflected questions relating to the adoption of KAP specific policies in the lead in the election and said policy announcements would be made later.

New Katter Australia Party candidate for the seat of Whitsunday, Jennifer Whitney comes into land at Hamilton Plains.
New Katter Australia Party candidate for the seat of Whitsunday, Jennifer Whitney comes into land at Hamilton Plains. Peter Carruthers

Ms Whitney reflected on the devastation of her Proserpine business in the wake of Cyclone Debbie and the disaster had not been well managed.

"The help that has been on the ground for the community was not led. The paper work was not filled in incorrectly... those were valuable moment that we lost and businesses can ill afford to not be operating,” she said.

Queensland elections are expected to be called before the end of the year.

Topics:  jennifer whitney kap proserpine queensland election robbie katter seat of whitsunday whitsundays

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