Crime, sentencing, state debt, and cost of living issues are biting hard and worrying local Gympie residents according to an electorate wide survey.

Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, said that almost 1,500 residents or 6.6% of households responded to his 2020 Biggest Community Survey.

“It covered a range of issues including health, education, jobs and cost of living, environment, law and order, roads and transport, the economy, and agriculture,” Mr Perrett said.

“Out of a possible 36 responses the residents identified their top ten concerns as penalties for criminal offenders, government policies and debt impacting the cost of living, law and order issues, and renewable energy policies influencing electricity prices.

“The top four priorities were tougher measures to deal with dangerous offenders 95%; offences against children 94.3%; domestic violence 91.3%; and juvenile offenders 88.65%.

“Law and order also came under the spotlight with 84.5% concerned about illegal drug use in the region; and 78.6% did not think current sentencing of criminal offenders reflected community standards.

“People are clearly frustrated with extremists being let off with their criminal behaviour.

“84.5% of respondents wanted to give the police more powers to protect farmers from extreme animal activists and 79.86% believe penalties against illegal trespass on properties was inadequate.

“Cost of living pressures are hurting with many respondents saying have been created by State Government policies, our increasing debt, and the state’s poor financial management.

“Many residents said that government had a direct impact on the cost of living (87.4%) and that increasing State debt will affect the cost of living (84.3%).

“More than eight in every ten respondents (83.8%) were not happy to pay for higher electricity bills if it was generated from renewable energy sources.

“There is low confidence in the Queensland economy with 63.8% saying it is not in a strong position, 76.4% said State det is a problem; and 71.3% said the high debt level will affect the building of vital infrastructure.

“Many responses were made before the Government revealed that State debt will break the $100 billion barrier.

“It does not matter which department is responsible many Government policies have a flow on effect to household Budgets, the local economy, and the jobs market.

“The takeout from this survey is that some serious work needs to be done to restore confidence in law and order and how we will tackle the hard-economic issues confronting the State.

“I would like to thank everyone who replied to my survey.

“Input from comprehensive surveys such as this help to shape the issues and priorities which I take to Brisbane and gives supporting evidence to arguments about the priorities for this region, he said.