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26 October, 2020

Cook MP's 14-month snub of Weipa region

Cook MP's 14-month snub of Weipa region Cynthia Lui


CYNTHIA Lui has not been to Weipa, Napranum or Mapoon this year and has gone more than 400 days since her last visit.

With six days until the polls close, Ms Lui’s major rivals are asking Cape York residents to vote the Labor incumbent out of office in the Cook election.

Between Weipa, Napranum and Mapoon there are more than 2500 eligible voters – 10 per cent of those who turned out for the Cook electorate in 2017.

But the incumbent MP has not been seen in 2020.

Ms Lui’s last appearance was in late August last year when she was with Minister Grace Grace in Napranum.

The first-time MP was meant to visit Weipa and Napranum last month but cancelled her trip at the eleventh hour.

A Labor insider said there was a growing concern Ms Lui would be voted out this Saturday.

“It’s going to be very close. We might not know on election night,” they said.

“Not visiting Weipa and those surrounding communities will hurt Cynthia.”

In the 2017 election, Ms Lui won about 37 per cent of the primary vote in Weipa, more than places like Cooktown, Mareeba, Mossman and Port Douglas.

In Napranum she won two-thirds of the primary vote.

Ms Lui refused to speak to Cape York Weekly.

Her office was emailed last week and responded within a day, requesting questions in advance, which felt was unnecessary.

However, an interview time was arranged for 2.30pm Friday.

At 2.10pm on Friday, Ms Lui’s office manager Sharryn Howes called to cancel.

“Something has come up,” Ms Howes said.

Another interview time was not put on the table.

When asked if she knew when her boss last visited Weipa, Ms Howes said: “it wasn’t long ago”.

She was shocked when told that Ms Lui had not been in Weipa for 14 months.

“Has it been that long? That can’t be right.”

Ms Howes confirmed on the call that it was in fact correct when details of that last trip were passed on.

All of Ms Lui’s major rivals in Saturday’s election – the LNP’s Nipper Brown, Katter Party’s Tanika Parker and One Nation’s Brett “Beaver” Neal have made at least one trip to Weipa during the campaign.

Speaking to Cape York Weekly in Weipa last week, Mr Brown said it was unfathomable that his Labor rival had not made the effort to visit the community.

“I’ve been here twice and had to drive, which I like,” he said.

“If I’m elected, I would be here at least once a quarter. And for more than just one day, because you can’t do much in one day.”


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