|EVERY year it comes up and every year I say the same thing - that is, I will not support any moves to introduce daylight saving in Queensland and certainly not here in North Queensland.|
Having lived in NSW for a decade, as well as the north of England where sunshine for most of the year is a bonus, I understand why some places have daylight saving although I must say that in NSW, especially in rural and regional communities, there is still a lot of resentment towards it.
I accept that in some parts of my own electorate, there are people who want daylight saving and many of these people are either working in the tourism industry in Airlie Beach or the Whitsunday Islands or are from outside Queensland or in many cases, both.
However, the vast majority of my constituents don't want it and they include people from the heavily populated Northern Beaches of Mackay through to the canefields of Calen, Proserpine and beyond.
How do I know this? Because I talk and listen to my constituents each and every day and there is a general feeling that we should leave our clocks alone, including the John Mackay Clock in Mackay's struggling CBD, where I recently reaffirmed my opposition to daylight saving.
At school, when not following the footy, I was a keen student of geography and so I've known for a long time that Mackay is almost as west as Roma and that Cairns in the Far North is almost as west as Charleville.
Yes, the further north you go and the further west you go, more and more people despise daylight saving because it only causes issues — for our farmers and graziers who work by the sun to young children who'd be getting up for school in the dark and coming home in the heat of the day.
Quite frankly, I don't believe any Government in Queensland will touch daylight saving with a barge pole and if they did, as I remarked recently on social media and local radio, it would only strengthen the argument for North Queensland to break away from the rest of the State.
As most readers would appreciate, especially those north of the Tropic of Capricorn, that argument isn't going away any time soon and if there was one single issue that would tip people in the North and Far North over the edge, it would be the very contentious issue of daylight saving.
In conclusion, don't be surprised if you hear more on this in the coming weeks as NSW and other jurisdictions push their clocks forward after the NRL grand final. Good for them, I say.