Let’s wind the clock back to 2014. George Christensen was six months into his second term as the federal member for Dawson, a seat he held with a margin of 5%. Dawson is a north Queensland electorate that spans 14,630 square kilometres stretching from Mackay to the southern side of Townsville and west to the Burdekin River. That’s a lot of distance to cover, even before factoring in the travel to Canberra (a five-hour trip on two flights each way) for parliamentary sitting weeks.
Many regional MPs cite that kind of time on the road as one of the most gruelling aspects of their job. But long-distance travel wasn’t just part of George Christensen’s job as a politician -- he was also covering many more thousands of kilometres on personal trips to south-east Asia.