KAP Candidate Promises to put Mundingburra Back on Track

Nov 8, 2023

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) have gone to new heights to announce their candidate for Mundingburra, Mr Michael Pugh.

Mr Pugh is a father who has a work history ranging from managerial positions in the petroleum industry to the disability sector. He is no stranger to a hard day’s work but is best-known by Townsville locals as a self-proclaimed adventure addict.

Today, Mr Pugh has used his hiking and exploring expertise to prove he has the energy to put Mundingburra back on track, by literally dropping in on today’s 2024 campaign launch, abseiling down the side of Castle Hill alongside KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto.

Born in central Queensland, Mr Pugh moved to Townsville as a child in 1985. His strong connection to the outdoors led him to kick start the Townsville Hike and Explore Group, a social outdoor group, which he has grown to over 15,000 members. 

Mr Pugh uses the group to make positive connections, while challenging himself and others on hiking and exploring adventures around the many picturesque and unique locations located right on our doorstep.

Not satisfied with just conducting bushwalking expeditions, he has enlisted the help of group members to add things such as ziplining, canyoning and abseiling to the Townsville Hike and Explore calendar. Most importantly he encourages others to work on pushing their own boundaries and become more active.

Mr Pugh also dedicates time to other volunteer roles including a role on the management committee of Volunteering North Queensland and being an advocate for men’s mental health as an Ambassador for Real Mates Talk.

For his selfless contributions, Mr Pugh has received a number of awards and nominations for his dedication and service to communities across North and Central Queensland, including multiple Australia Day Award Nominations, a citizen of the year award nomination and a Gold Volunteer Tourism Award.

“I love Townsville, the people who make up this community and the outdoors. Leading a group of hikers from Townville on a hike is a way for me to combine everything I love about living here while sharing it with others,” Mr Pugh said.

“But over the next 12 months I will be getting heavily involved in the community in another way, engaging in a real conversation about what the electorate expects from their future MP and how I, alongside my KAP colleagues can work hard to deliver on those expectations.

“The bottom line is I am here to raise the bar of what is demonstrated by and expected of the Member for Mundingburra.

“One thing I pride myself on is my communication skills. I can talk to people in a boardroom one day, and the next day be talking to a group of hikers on the summit of one of the highest peaks in North Queensland.”

Crime and cost of living will headline Mr Pugh’s campaign but as a strong advocate for the outdoors Mr Pugh will also focus on activation of outdoor spaces in the electorate, eco-tourism initiatives and opportunities for increased use of our National Parks and State Forests for recreational activities.

“Crime is now a day-to-day issue for people in Townsville.  We are living in paradise, but until we fix this it is a paradise with a rotten core.

“The statistics don’t lie. In Mundingburra you’re more likely to be broken into than anywhere else in the nation, according to insurers.[1]

“The State Government has earmarked $750 million for youth detention facilities over the next two years. I’d bet my last dollar that none of that investment will make a dent in the crime problem in Townsville.”

Mr Pugh said he would be campaigning strongly on the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing policy, which is a plan to send recidivist youth offenders to an outback detention facility for a period of six to twelve months.

“Having spent a lot of time in the bush growing up, and seeing the benefits these rural and regional settings can have on building resilience and character, Relocation Sentencing just makes sense to me as a policy.

“In a metropolitan seat like Mundingburra it’s imperative that the sitting member works hand in hand with the Townsville City Council to provide support and funding for critical road and social infrastructure, projects that build this city’s wealth and supports the liveability of this great part of Townsville.”

KAP leader and Member for Treager, Robbie Katter says there are several things the State Government could do right now to help Queenslanders with the cost-of-living.

“In North Queensland our premiums are four times higher than what people are paying in Brisbane,” Mr Katter said.

“The Federal Labor Government has completely ballsed up the North Queensland Reinsurance Pool.

“The State government could provide immediate relief by eliminating stamp duty on our insurance premiums instead of making money off our financial suffering.

“Mr Pugh gets this, and I must say it would be very refreshing for the people of Mundingburra to finally have a State Member of Parliament that advocates on their behalf for the things that matter most to them.”