George Christensen shrugs off "fat joke"

FEDERAL ALP candidate for Dawson Frank Gilbert is claiming an election campaign advertisement released by his party was not a personal attack on current Dawson MP George Christensen, despite it featuring the large MP's stomach shrinking as it makes the point Mr Christensen is "full of hot air".

While Mr Gilbert said the video he shared on his Facebook page featured a caricature of Mr Christensen, he said it highlighted only Mr Christensen's "overinflated idea of himself" and was not an attack on his weight.

"LNP member George Christensen talks real big about jobs in North Queensland," the video begins.

"But he's done nothing about them. He talks big on local roads. He's done nothing there either. He talks big about local health. But he wants to privatise Medicare. He talks big about all kinds of issues in our region. But sadly, George Christensen is just a lot of hot air."

As the voice speaks, Mr Christensen gradually deflates until he is a puddle on the floor.

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While Mr Christensen said he wasn't bothered by the video, he said he didn't think the Labor party would get away with it, if it had targeted a female politician.

"I'd love to have seen them try and do that to a female MP," Mr Christensen said.

"But anyway, it doesn't bother me.

"If a fat joke is the best they've got then bring it on."

He said while election campaigning had always been a "free for all", he said this year had been particularly nasty.

He also claimed other ALP advertising had been misleading, such as claims the Coalition would privatise Medicare.

"(But) people are realising it's just complete nonsense," he said.

However, Mr Gilbert remained confident wheels were in motion to privatise health care and pointed to Coalition plans to outsource the payments arm of Medicare as evidence.

But Mr Gilbert also said claims had been levelled in his direction that were untrue, such as the notion he did not support the Adani Carmichael coal mine.

When asked if he had copped criticism for any other unfounded claims, Mr Gilbert brought up the idea of resettling Syrian refugees in Mackay, but did not definitively state whether he was for or against the idea.

"The fact is once people come to this country they are free to move around anywhere they like anyway. I would love to see the Mackay Whitsunday region become really attractive for people for investment and a place to settle," he said.

"I think all people should be welcomed no matter what. We're a very fortunate country and this is a really great region.

"But we haven't got any services here to support them. (Resettlement) would have to be on a case by case basis. It would depend on the economic circumstances faced in the region at the time."

Topics:  alp coalition federal election federal election 2016 frank gilbert george christensen

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