Terry Young makes himself known among the vendors of Wamuran Country Markets. He goes from tent to tent, making friendly small talk and asking about their wares. He is in his element here. His ability to connect with the locals on a personal level is refreshing.
The markets fill a modest lot with about 20 to 30 stalls. Anything that can be crafted by hand is sold here. From metal signs and doilies to homemade jam and cheesecake.
Tucked away in the back corner, visible from the road, is a blue tent with Young’s name plastered across it. Beneath that is a ‘Vote Terry Young’ sign and a banner stretched over a table. Two to four LNP volunteers crowd beneath it at any one time.
In 2019, he beat Susan Lamb for the Longman seat with a four-point swing. In his maiden speech, he said he believed in personal responsibility. He said he wanted to help make positive changes in the lives of Longman residents. The Liberal National Party (LNP) volunteers at the Wamuran Markets believe he has.
None of the volunteers wanted to give their names or be photographed, but they only had nice things to say about Young.
An elderly volunteer who stayed beneath the LNP tent said Young’s work ethic was relatable. He considered the representative an improvement on other politicians. “I’m very impressed with him,” the man said. “He’s down to earth and he has the basic skills in life which a lot of people don’t, a lot of politicians don’t.”
Another volunteer didn’t have as much to say, but she considered Young to be a “great boss”. “He’s a good guy, and as a woman, that means a lot,” she said.
Not everyone has been thrilled with Young’s work. When asked how he had accurately represented Longman residents, Young turned the question to two elderly women listening on. One of them, a resident of Mt Mee who did not want to be named, spoke out. “I don’t feel like self-funded retirees are represented,” she said. “We’ve gotten nothing.”
Passers-by split their attention between market stalls and Young as he confidently handled the woman’s concerns. He explained how the LNP has helped self-funded retirees, including the recent extension of the reduced drawdown rate on superannuation.
Young appears caught off-guard by the confrontation but handles it easily. However, tension grows when a Junction reporter asks about his voting record. Young spent much of his first term of Parliament advocating for what their elected representatives stood for. Some of these appearances include the launch of an augmented reality welding training centre and a Services Australia Agent. However, there were occasions when his voting record conflicted with his public statements.
In October 2019, Young voted in favour of drug testing welfare recipients despite multiple experts suggesting it would not help prevent drug addiction. The following year, he attended the launch of Wunya in Caboolture, the new Lives Lived Well drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. He said the centre helped with the LNP’s fight to stamp out drug and alcohol issues in the Longman community. “It will change the lives of so many people who are struggling to cope with these issues and allow them a second chance at a better and healthier life,” he said.
How has Terry Young voted?
Again in 2019, Young voted in favour of a Bill that would make it more difficult for seniors to receive the Age Pension. In March 2020, he attended the launch of Beaumont Care’s state-of-the-art aged care facility in Wamuran. He said the facility was of the highest standard for residents from financially and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. “I commend the staff at Beaumont Care for being there to offer vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, including those who have experienced homelessness,” he said.
When asked how his vote to make the pension harder to receive benefited Australian seniors, Young said he couldn’t remember voting on the Bill and would provide no comment. “I want to give accurate answers, but I can’t without all the information in front of me,” he said. He said he would only accept an email with questions about his voting record and said he was unlikely to answer before the election.
When asked how he felt about the election, he said he didn’t feel nervous or confident. “It is what it is,” he said.
From his teens to his 30s, Young made his way up the ladder in various sales jobs. He went from sales assistant at Glenfords Power Tools to a joint venture partner at The Good Guys in about two decades. Then he was a franchisee of three Drummond Golf stores between 2007 and 2019.
Young once said he believed in personal responsibility. That he wanted to improve the lives of his constituents. “I won’t promise you perfection, but I promise that you will get 100 per cent of me. I will fight for you with every breath,” he said in his maiden speech.
Young has a knack for connecting one-on-one with hardworking locals. He has put in the hours on the ground and displayed his face across the electorate. But his voting record can show a different story. It will be up to the residents of Longman to decide if that story deserves another chapter.