CQ grazier explains why regions turned on major parties

PARTIES FAILING: Kev Teal at the CQLX sale yards at Gracemere.
PARTIES FAILING: Kev Teal at the CQLX sale yards at Gracemere. Chris Ison ROK011217ccqlx6

IN 75 years, Kev Teal has seen more bad times than good in Central Queensland.

Although people keep telling him it's time to hang up his hat, Mr Teal is still running about 350 head of cattle on his Oakey Creek property and doesn't plan to stop until his love for the land disappears.

He has spent his whole life in Central Queensland, having built his land holdings from nothing (three heifers and a gold watch, to be exact) as a young man.

"People on the land are the biggest gamblers of the lot," he said.

"They plant a crop, probably six months' work, and then a big storm just before you're ready to harvest and you've got nothing.


"I'd do it all again, but in my case not having it handed down to me, I tell you what it was a bloody battle."

It's this mentality Mr Teal said politicians and major parties did not understand, and that was why he supported One Nation in the election.

The only thing that surprised him about the election result was that One Nation did not do better, because he believed people in the bush were crying out for someone who would listen, and were being met with city-centric policies that did not support farmers.

"Queensland doesn't exist outside the Southeast," he said.

Mr Teal once supported the Country Party and later the Nationals, but said they too had "slipped away" from their rural roots in their partnership with the Liberals.

And in his view, they had gone too far to come back from any split in the LNP.


CQLX sale yards at Gracemere.
CQLX sale yards at Gracemere. Chris Ison ROK011217ccqlx5

In weekly visits to CQLX in Gracemere, where The Morning Bulletin spoke to him, Mr Teal would often come across tourists and give them an insight into the cattle industry.

When asked if the politicians in Brisbane should get that insight too, he said it would do no good.

"I'd say yes, but ... they'd come here with a closed mind," he said.

"I think this is why people are so disgruntled with all these parties.

"They come to these places and you talk to them, but they've made up their mind before they've even walked in the door that they're not going to do anything.

"That's what's showing up this time."

Topics:  cattle industry cqlx gracemere gracemere tmbelection2017 tmbpolitics

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