Tell us a little about yourself Tanika…
I’m a North Queenslander through and through. Born in Townsville, raised in the Cape and then returning to Townsville for boarding school and university, I’m a Registered Nurse and care deeply about the community and Queensland’s north. I live in Mowbray with my partner Doug.
What inspired you to join the political world?
I saw an article in The Australian newspaper on Bob Katter fighting to allow the community of Yarrabah to exit lock down. At that time, every other community in North Queensland had been allowed out of lock down except for Indigenous communities. You cannot have a society where there is one rule for one, and another rule for others. I was inspired by Bob taking a stand and decided to run for the KAP in Cook.
KAP has a proven track record of results and punching above its weight. KAP has delivered legislation to ensure growers have choice in sugar marketing, an ethanol mandate to give an alternative income source to farmers and cheaper fuel prices; and ensuing people who have vision impairment can legally access disability parking. KAP’s Shane Knuth secured $80M for the Atherton and Dimbulah hospital whilst the Mareeba and Mossman hospitals are neglected by ALP and LNP.
What are your three top priorities for the Cook electorate?
- Ensure Mareeba and Mossman hospitals get the funding a regional hospital of significance deserves – including maternity services for Mossman hospital.
- COVID-19 tourism recovery in the Douglas Shire.
- Get a fair share of funding to fix Cook’s roads which are the artery for the commercial and tourism industry in Cook.
What are your top three priorities for the Douglas Shire?
- Tourism Jobs – payroll tax exemption for tourism operators for two years to allow them to get back on their feet and start back operating and Tourism small business funding injections.
- Mossman Hospital – restore maternity services
- Make Mossman Police Station 24 hours
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the Douglas Shire for 2021?
Tourism recovery. So much of the area’s tourism is interstate and international tourism.
What are you most excited about for our region in 2021?
Get a fair share of the Brisbane party money into the regions. For too long the Brisbane based major parties have neglected us and not provided the investment for the region to reach its full potential.
How will you specifically support tourism to get back on track?
- Payroll tax exemption for tourism operators for 2 years to allow them to get back on their feet.
- Tourism small business funding injections.
- Support the newly-formed Douglas Shire Accommodation Co-Operative with close to 100 members (and almost 2,000 rooms) and representing the whole of Douglas Shire and the total spectrum of accommodation providers. The Co-Operative is seeking to turn the tide on on-line travel agents who are draining $20m from the Douglas Shire each and every year through commissions on all holiday bookings. KAP supports the Co-Operative members who are seeking $800,000 in financial support from State and Federal Governments to establish a new Douglas Direct website, and in doing so creating a “whole of Shire” marketing platform.
What are your views on development in the Daintree? ie the proposal to build a bridge, and to introduce microgrid power?
KAP supports the micro grid power. KAP believes the current two ferry system is working well. The ferry delineates that crossing the Daintree river is special. There is a sense of expectation and arrival by travelling by Ferry. You are leaving your worries behind and entering into a pristine and very special area.
What does your professional experience in the health industry bring to your new political career?
As a nurse you meet people from all walks of life and you have to be able to connect to people, understand their issues and communicate. Politics is very similar.
When you have a snippet of it, how do you enjoy your down time?
Spending time with my animals and playing sport.
What is your favourite place to escape to within the region?
We are blessed for choice. But I love being in the great outdoors camping and fishing.
Where can Douglas Shire residents catch up with you next?
On the Mossman pre-poll – I will be there over the next week, as well as other pre-polls in the Cook electorate.
Tanika is pictured above with KAP Leader, Robbie Katter.