Family first for newly announced Greens candidate
With an election looming, the Greens’ team has been unveiled.
A Cairns-based systems engineer says his 10-month old son has inspired him to take the plunge into Queensland politics.
First-time political candidate Cameron Boyd will run for the Greens in the seat of Barron River at the next state election.
Mr Boyd is one of three candidates announced by the party that will run in tropical north Queensland.
The young father says tough issues like the environment and youth employment hit close to home for his family.
“I started looking at Australia and how we’re moving as a country,” Mr Boyd says.
“I thought, ‘We’re bleaching the Great Barrier Reef. We’re destroying jobs for our youth.’
“We need to address that and build up our manufacturing and service industries. We have the capacity to do it. We need to build it.
“What we want is to provide pathways and decrease the 25 per cent youth unemployment rate in our community.”
The rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in Australia and Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the United States have further motivated Mr Boyd.
“My son is Muslim,” he says.
“My wife is Muslim. I’m not [Muslim] but the diatribes and rhetoric that a lot of [political] parties and individuals are sprouting at the moment do hurt my family directly.
“The idea of someone becoming an extremist or being radicalised comes down in a lot of ways to blaming people for something they haven’t done.
“We need compassion. We need respect and without that, there’s not much point.”
Queensland political candidates are no stranger to prejudicial and racist attacks.
In 2012, current Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s Gordonvale office was graffitied with racist remarks.
Mr Pitt, whose wife and children are Indigenous, labelled the attack as ‘utterly disgraceful’ at the time.
Mr Boyd says similar attacks may occur during his campaign but it won’t deter him from contesting the bellwether seat.
“I do expect it but that just proves my point,” he says.
“Any vitriol that is tossed my way for my son being Islamic actually shows the degradation of our values.
“I expect that there will be some of that but it will just serve to prove my point.”
Barron River will be hotly contested with former member Michael Trout announcing he will run for the Liberal National Party.
Labor’s Craig Crawford currently holds the seat.