ALP: Craig Wallace. Photos: Alf Wilson
ALP: Craig Wallace. Photos: Alf Wilson

Top transport trio falter in State Election contest

PROMINENT North Queensland road transport identities Liz Schmidt and Mick Pattel polled well at the March 24 Queensland State Election but failed to win their seats.

The LNP won the election in a landslide and one casualty of the massive swing against the ALP was Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace who lost his northern seat of Thuringowa.

Mrs Schmidt and Mr Pattel were both LNP candidates.

Richmond Road Transport operator Mr Pattel was a candidate in the far north Queensland seat of Mt Isa which was won by Robbie Katter for the Katter Australian Party.

As president of the National Road Freighters Association Mr Pattel was a prime mover in the Red Ribbon campaign which urged truckies around Australia to fix red ribbons on their vehicles to protest against laws and registration costs.

Mr Pattel was also an organiser of the "Convoy of No Confidence" which was part of a national protest against the Federal Government's decision to introduce a carbon tax.

This culminated in 11 high-profile convoys from around the country converging on Canberra last August.

Mrs Schmidt and her husband Owen run Schmidt's Livestock Transport, based at Oak Valley near Townsville just off the Flinders Hwy and stood for the seat of Dalrymple.

Their triple road trains carrying cattle are common sights around the area and Mrs Schmidt has been involved in the industry for 33 years.

The seat of Dalrymple is vast and stretches from the Atherton Tablelands up north, to Pentland out west and down to the mining centre of Moranbah.

Mrs Schmidt only joined the LNP early in November and was unopposed at pre-selection for the seat.

Her main opponent was sitting member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth who joined Bob Katter's Australia Party on October 30.

Mr Knuth retained the seat.

Mrs Schmidt is well respected in the road transport industry and was the Queensland Livestock Transporters Association president for four years until May.

She was Townsville Businessman of the Year in 2004 and Australian Transport Woman of the Year in 2006.

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