Traeger is the state’s second largest electorate covering 428,911 square kilometres in the north of the state. It runs along the Flinders Highway from Charters Towers through Hughenden, Julia Creek, Cloncurry to Mount Isa and on to the Northern Territory border. It also includes Burketown, Normanton, Karumba and the Aboriginal community on Mornington Island in the gulf country, as well as the old mining towns around Georgetown.
The seat of Traeger is based on the former Mount Isa electorate, which Robbie represented since 2012. In 2017 it was established by the Electoral Commission of Queensland by merging the Mount Isa electorate with an area encompassing the Charters Towers Regional Council (that was absorbed from the abolished seat of Dalrymple). In turn, the Diamantina, Boulia and Winton Shires were lost to the seat of Gregory.
It is a vastly diverse electorate that encompasses the mining powerhouse of Mount Isa in the west and the heritage and gold-rich community of Charters Towers in the east, as well as all the communities in between that are situated along the flinders highway. Much of this area is home to very valuable agricultural and grazing land, and alongside mining this is a major pillar of the region’s economy.
The electorate name “Traeger” commemorates Alfred Hermann Traeger. In 1926 he started working for John Flynn, who was then planning his Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service for remote communities. For the service Traeger invented a cheap and durable radio receiver known as a pedal wireless, a pedal operated generator which provided power for a transceiver. The introduction of the first pedal sets in Queensland in 1929 created a communications revolution by diminishing the loneliness of the inland world. In 1933, he invented a typewriter Morse keyboard as an accessory to the pedal set.
The issues in Traeger are as wide and varied as the many communities within it. Robbie also has a deep empathy and passion for assiting all rural, regional and remote communities across Queensland to ensure their voices are being heard at the state-level.
Some issues include: