Jim Pearce.
Jim Pearce.

Former MP keen to take on Malone

POPULAR Central Queensland politician Jim Pearce yesterday announced a surprise comeback having conquered his depression demons.

The sprightly 63-year-old says he feels “like a kid on red cordial” these days, fuelled by his motivation and passion to get involved again.

Three years after standing down as the long-serving Labor Member for Fitzroy, Mr Pearce has announced he is seeking endorsement as the ALP’s candidate for Mirani, where if successful he will go head-to-head with “good friend” Ted Malone.

He says he intends to run at least two terms if victorious.

“I am prepared to go into more detail later but I want to make it clear from day one that my health is good,” Mr Pearce said.

“I will relocate to Central Queensland (from near Brisbane) if elected.”

He said his advocacy work for mining communities in Central Queensland had refired his passion.

Mr Pearce said he wanted to help farmers in their battle against miners and continue the fight against 100% fly-in, fly-out workforces.

“Everywhere I go in Central Queensland I am approached by workers and families who are frustrated by the out-of-control behaviour of mining companies and a government that shows no commitment to wellbeing of communities.” He said the mining companies were “dishonest bully boys” that showed no respect and little consideration for people affected.

While he seeks ALP endorsement, it’s clear he won’t follow party line if he thinks it runs against what’s in the community’s interest.

“ ... If the party is against FIFO and the way the community thinks it should go, I certainly would be saying my thing in parliament and making decisions about legislation when it occurs,” Mr Pearce said.

He said Premier Anna Bligh had been “tipped off” about his intentions and he’d also spoken with several ALP members.

He’s confident he can win.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ted ... but I will do the job differently,” he said.

Mr Malone yesterday declined to comment.

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