Independent candidate Innes Larkin launches campaign for Wright

A SCENIC Rim tourism operator vying to win the federal seat of Wright has been arrested standing up for his beliefs.

CAMPAIGN: Mount Barney Lodge co-owner Innes Larkin is contesting the seat of Wright as an Independent. Photo: Jacob Wilson

CAMPAIGN: Mount Barney Lodge co-owner Innes Larkin is contesting the seat of Wright as an Independent. Photo: Jacob Wilson

Independent candidate for Wright Innes Larkin spearheaded a Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic campaign against coal and coal seam gas development with Kerry Valley farmers in 2012.

Mr Larkin told the Jimboomba Times he was prepared to do whatever it took to stand up to local, state and federal governments.

"I wanted to protect the Scenic Rim from coal and gas for two years and ended up getting arrested for that belief," he said.

"The Scenic Rim is now coal and gas free and at the time there were a number of projects coming in and encroaching on it."

The co-owner of the award-winning Mount Barney Lodge has lived and worked in the Wright electorate for the past 18 years.

Mount Barney Lodge was presented with a Scenic Rim Business Award for Excellence in Tourism, Accommodation and Hospitality on Friday, March 29.

Prior to his tourism career, Mr Larkin worked as a physical education teacher.

Mr Larkin said he was not interested in toeing a party line.

"I want my decisions to be based on principles. Not on what a party says," he said.

"The Greens have good policies, Labor has good policies and I struggle to find some great policies but the budget brought about nice policies from the Liberal Party, but they all have their issues.

"As an independent I can sit there and represent the people of Wright and what is good for Australia."

Mr Larkin compared his bid to win the safe LNP seat to climbing 7000 metre mountains in Nepal.

"It is a big job, a huge mountain I have to climb,' he said.

"Being a safe seat just means I've got to work harder. People are really disappointed with parties. There is a unique movement happening with independents and capturing that moment in Wright may occur."

On the controversial $9.3 billion Inland Rail project from Melbourne to Acacia Ridge, Mr Larkin said the project should proceed with measures to protect against potential coal dust exposure and noise.

"The concept of (inland) rail is good...it takes trucks of the road and is environmentally friendly," he said.

"We need to find the right answer. From what I have heard, it is coming whether we like it or not. We need to make sure everybody is compensated."

Mr Larkin said he would be guided by the principles of fairness, inclusiveness, government as a service and being a voice for the voiceless.

The federal electorate of Wright is held by LNP incumbent Scott Buchholz on a margin of 9.6 per cent.

The federal election will be called this month ahead of a likely May 18 or May 25 election.

This story Tourism operator launches independent bid for Wright first appeared on Jimboomba Times.

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