Tayley’s focus is health in Cook electorate


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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North Queensland First candidate, Desmond Tayley is running for the seat of Cook. Image: Supplied.
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The State election is just around the corner and there are eight candidates officially vying for our seat of Cook. Over the next few weeks through a series of articles Newsport will introduce them.

The overarching issue across this electorate is a focus on health which will be key to North Queensland First Party’s Desmond Tayley’s platform, who will be seeking election for the Cook electorate at the state election on October 31.

“Each community or town across the electorate has some different priorities but one key issue is with health. Some hospitals are struggling to get equipment, some are struggling with specialised services and some patients need more support.

“Some people are not attending medical appointments because of the cost and some have no family or friends to help them. The decision makers need to understand the needs for each town or community within the electorate and improve specific areas of need,” says Tayley.

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He says it comes back to talking with people and understanding needs.

‘It is not a one size fits all approach for the whole electorate and this needs to be respected. Where one community might need improved dialysis equipment, another might need improved mental health support and the next might need better communication and support with the patients attending appointments.

“Whatever the issue is, the overarching issue across this electorate is a focus on health,” he said.

Born in Cairns, raised in Wujal Wujal, he has spent most of his life in Cape York, but has also lived in Cairns and Mareeba too.

“My recent career focus was Local Government, with the previous four terms as Mayor of Wujal Wujal until 2020 which saw a change of leadership and opened up opportunities for me.

“My passion is doing what I can for people, while creating opportunities. Far north Queensland is our home and having been the Chair of Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, Director for Cape York NRM and Mayor, I have developed the skills to bring a strong voice for this electorate,” he says.

Tayley says he is running for the Cook electorate because his heart is here, his family are here, and he wants to see Cook fairly represented in Government.

“It is about time we had a voice as people, and had a representative listen to the people across the whole electorate as we strengthen the region of Far North Queensland. This electorate is diverse, which is a strength we need to embrace.

“We have so many industries, cultures and land types that our Government needs to understand better to be able to truly deliver for each. A holistic approach is needed but not a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” says Tayley.

He says environmental issues across the electorate are diverse. 

“My home is World Heritage. I’m aware of the balance needed for preservation and protection at the same time as enabling economic opportunity.

“We can ensure and allow both with careful and thorough community engagement and consultation with stakeholders. 2020 saw small businesses impacted as well as community but local employment is core to a strong and vibrant community. The environment and people go hand in hand.

“It is about transparency, communication and understanding of the land and people that will see a sustainable future for everyone, as well as the landscape,” he says.

Tayley says roads need investment and further upgrading.

“It is important we develop new roads, but continue to improve existing roads as well as care for our local businesses. We need economic recovery across the whole electorate, not just parts and the Government must work with people around land management, farming, agriculture, mining, tourism and other industries.

“We need less regulation and more understanding from our Government which starts with the people, through communication and engagement. Let’s see a Government invest in our people and believe in our people through education, upskilling and capacity building rather than regulation and red tape.

“Investment into sustainable practices and efficiency will bring better quality outcomes, increased local employment and a healthier community.

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