Jeremy Parker running for the seat of Nicholls

By Myles Peterson

Jeremy Parker was late to the election campaign for Nicholls, suddenly deciding to run as an independent mere weeks ago.

The Liberal Party supporter said lacking a candidate from that party to vote for, he decided to put up his own hand.

Like many of the other candidates in the race, Mr Parker has a background in dairy farming and is heavily influenced by the issue of water policy.

‘‘Water — this whole region really needs water. We don’t have anything else. We don’t have any mining, so we need our irrigation situation fixed up,’’ he said.

Whereas once his entire extended family ran dairy farms, many have now left the land, leaving only his father and uncle to continue the family business.

Himself a small business owner, Mr Parker has worked across Australia, including Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel operation.

‘‘I’ve dealt with Clive Palmer. I’ve done a bit of work at Queensland Nickel,’’ he said. Despite the controversy over workers’ entitlements when the mining operation went into administration in 2016, Mr Parker said he was never out of pocket.

‘‘I always got paid. Everyone I know got paid,’’ he said.

Mr Parker holds strong views on drug reform, the Age Pension and military spending.

He advocates instituting the death penalty for trafficking illicit drugs.

‘‘We really need to do something about drugs, it’s getting out of hand. I’m only young but a lot of people I grew up with have been involved in drugs,’’ he said.

‘‘I had an uncle die of a heroin overdose a couple of years ago.’’

The solution to the problem is to copy the hard anti-drug regimes of some Asian countries, according to Mr Parker.

‘‘We need to stop the supply, you see countries with the death penalty for trafficking like Singapore and China — they don’t have drug problems,’’ he said.

‘‘You need to have something serious to deter these people because they don’t care about jail. They don’t care about community corrections orders.’’

Raising the amount paid by the Age Pension and lowering the pension age are also on Mr Parker’s agenda.

‘‘(Pensioners) have given us all this infrastructure, they’ve given us the means to be where we are today and they’re not really being looked after,’’ he said.

A large increase in military spending is another of Mr Parker’s policies.

‘‘I’d like to see more priority put on military spending and veterans.

‘‘Our military is far too small for a country our size.’’

On the other candidates, Mr Parker said he was not interested in ‘‘playing politics’’ or slinging mud and complimented his fellow independents.

‘‘We’ve got Andrew Bock, he’s pretty good as well … Nigel’s all right. We’ve all got pretty similar views,’’ he said.