The election campaign is unofficially gearing up in the North West, with a number of politicians visiting in the past month. Senator James McGrath&nbsp;met with with LNP candidate for Traeger, Ron Bird, Mayor Joyce McCulloch and Deputy Mayor Phil Barwick in Mount Isa on Sunday. Senator&nbsp;McGrath said he was here as part of a two week ‘listening tour’&nbsp;of 20 towns, starting in Cairns&nbsp;and including Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Camooweal, the Gulf, Boulia, Birdsville and Dalby. "What that means is meeting with constituents and councils. The main thing is listening, and part of that is meeting up with Ron and letting him take me through the issues he sees,” Senator McGrath said. He praised Ron Bird for his ‘rough hands’, saying Parliament needs more people like him. “I&nbsp;think Ron would make a great member for Traeger because he has rough hands. We need more people like that who&nbsp;will listen and speak the language of the broader north west,” Senator McGrath said. Meeting with Councils and building relationships in the regions is an important part of his own job, he said. “The&nbsp;best thing&nbsp;senators&nbsp;can do is become de facto members of councils.&nbsp;That way we build up that relationship.&nbsp;I&nbsp;want to come back in the new year and there are projects they want to take me through,” he said. Prior to arriving in Mount Isa, Senator McGrath did a tour of the New Century Mine at Lawn Hill, and enjoyed&nbsp;the Morning Glory Festival at Burketown.