Candidate decides to quit job and stand at federal election
A POLITICAL candidate from the coalface of Ipswich's health system says more cash must be invested to reduce wait times and fight chronic disease.
Independent Simone Karandrews hopes to climb a high mountain and win the electorate of Blair on May 18.
She knows it will be a tough ask but says her resignation from the public service, a constitutional requirement to be a federal candidate, proves she is dedicated to the cause.
"It was a really difficult decision," she said.
"That creates an economic issue for me, standing as an independent with no political background is extremely difficult."
A medical imaging specialist who has worked in the industry for 25 years, Mrs Karandrews said investment in health and education were two areas that needed more investment.
"The healthcare sector is one of the largest employers in Ipswich," she said.
"Seeing first-hand the issues with a lack of funding and lack of provision for the expansion in the short term, medium term and long term is a real concern.
"In medical imaging, I can say we've got, in ultrasound, a two-and-a-half to three-week waiting list."
Mrs Karandrews said 149,000 Queenslanders were waiting for access to the government's dental scheme and more cash was needed to boost community-based healthcare.
The independent candidate believes more programs associated with preventing chronic health conditions like obesity and diabetes are also essential.
She said investment in education and a fix to the postcode 4306 issue was required.
Mrs Karandrews, who lives at Karana Downs, acknowledged it would be tough to knock off the other candidates.
"From a local perspective, I have a lot of support but it is hard to get your name out across the electorate," she said.
"I am a community-focused person who is standing up for beliefs."
The climate-focused candidate said better public transport provisions across the region would be another of her passion topics, especially with the region's population growth.
"We have issues with the Mount Crosby interchange and the Cunningham Highway interchange," she said.
"It costs the region money in congestion.
"It's calling out for more infrastructure funding, we need more investment."
Residents struggling with power prices will get a reprieve through investments in renewable technologies, she said.