Member for Cook’s controversial move out of her electorate

STATE GOVERNMENT

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Member for Cook Cynthia Lui is moving her office out of her electorate. Image: Supplied.
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It has resulted in significant backlash, but the State Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, is standing by her decision to re-locate her offices in Cairns from Mareeba. Cairns is not in the Cook electorate.

Her Electorate Office will re-locate to Suite 3, (Commonwealth Centre) Corner of 104 Grafton Street and 40 Shields Street, Cairns on Monday 4 November and will be open for business on Thursday 7 November. The Douglas Shire falls within the Cook electorate.

“Currently the vast number of constituents, peak bodies, industry and community organisations want to meet with me in Cairns. This move will ensure I can spend more time meeting with the people I represent.

“I firmly believe that the new office location will give all constituents better access to my office, so I can continue to deliver for all the communities throughout my electorate,” said Ms Lui.

Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President Joe Moro said at a Chamber luncheon earlier this year that “as an organisation, we’re of the strong view that the office should remain in Mareeba. 

“Although the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce is opposed to her office relocation, Ms Lui deserves to be commended for her work as the Member for Cook,” he said.

Liberal National Party Manager of Opposition Business Jarrod Bleijie was reported in August saying that the Labor MP is betraying her constituents by moving from Mareeba to Cairns, which sits outside her electorate of Cook.

“Cynthia Lui is turning her back on the people of Cook and to make matters worse taxpayers will foot the bill,” he said.

State KAP Leader Robbie Katter said in a report that this decision is “the latest slap in the face from Labor to rural, regional and remote Queenslanders.”

Mr Katter said he was astounded that the Member for Cook had backed down from a pre-election promise and opted to move her office to Cairns.

Speaker Curtis Pitt approved her request to relocate the office, around March last year.

The cost of the fit-out is around $70,000, while the yearly rent bill will skyrocket to more than $71,000 per year, it has been reported.

Ms Lui said she had worked hard to advocate for the needs of Mareeba and had given the local community a strong voice in Parliament. 

“I am proud of all of my key achievements in the Mareeba Shire, including:

• $5 million CT scanner for the Mareeba Hospital
• $1.5 million Hospital Staff Accommodation
• $1 million for the re-opening of the Theatre and introduce the new Endoscopy Service at Mareeba Hospital
• $2 million for a replacement ambulance station in Mareeba
• $500,000 for the Mareeba Animal Refuge
• $7.5 million for the Burke Developmental Road between Chillagoe and Almaden.

“I will continue to work collaboratively with the Mareeba community by holding regular mobile offices and meeting days to deliver an effective and efficient service to the community. I will continue to fight hard for Mareeba and the Cook electorate.”


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