Joined: 03 May 2006
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:04 pm Post subject: GT 23 March 2011 MP welcomes LNP's new prospects
|MP welcomes LNP's new prospects
Arthur Gorrie | 23rd March 2011
QUEENSLAND faces the prospect of a snap election, after yesterday's Opposition leadership coup and Government reactions ranging from panic to strategy.
Gympie MP David Gibson
* New LNP leaders to front parliament
* Newman tilt a betrayal, says Bligh
* LNP eggs in Newman's basket
* Langbroek, Springborg step down
* Newman assured of preselection
QUEENSLAND faces the prospect of a snap election, after yesterday's Opposition leadership coup and Government reactions ranging from seeming panic to calculated strategy.
The emergence of Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman as the Opposition “leader in waiting” elicited a strong and almost flattering Government response, with Premier Anna Bligh saying Brisbane would be “leaderless” without him.
The Premier threw out her post-flood “no election this year” pledge, accused the Opposition of “undermining the parliamentary democracy of Queensland” and said parliament was now at risk of “descending into a dysfunctional farce”.
One man credited with a significant behind-the-scenes role in the Opposition coup is Gympie MP David Gibson.
He said democracy was functioning well in Queensland and Mr Newman was highly regarded throughout the state.
David Gibson would like his old job back, but he is not going to make a fuss about it – not this time.
Speaking from Parliament House in Brisbane yesterday, Mr Gibson was responding to yesterday's big news that Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman will stand for state parliament with the ultimate aim of becoming Premier.
He said he would run against Ashgrove MP and Environment Minister Kate Jones, who holds the seat by a substantial 7.1%.
If successful in obtaining LNP pre-selection (regarded as a foregone conclusion), he said he would then resign as Lord Mayor, as he would be required to do by law.
If successful at the election, he would contest the LNP leadership.
Now ousted LNP leader John-Paul Langbroek and his deputy Lawrence Springborg added to the day's drama by resigning and saying the electoral future of their party was “now up to others”.
Mr Gibson, regarded as a key player in yesterday's Opposition coup, would not comment on the LNP's behind-the-scenes action, but said he was confident in the party's new parliamentary leadership, Jeff Seeney and deputy Tim Nicholls.
Although that was some hours before last night's party meeting at which the new leadership was elected, by late afternoon they were the only nominees.
The job Mr Gibson wants back and the one he was referring to was his former Opposition front bench position (Infrastructure and Planning), which he partly lost and partly resigned from in a bitter stoush with Mr Langbroek last year.
That was when he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with what he termed Mr Langbroek's “unpredictable” Opposition leadership.
Mr Langbroek sacked Mr Gibson from the Planning part of the job and Mr Gibson resigned in protest from the remnants of his shadow portfolio.
“I'll be putting my hand up,” Mr Gibson said of his prospects in the new party room.
“There's no secret about my views on John-Paul. I was probably the first MP to go public on it before Campbell Newman made his announcement.
“When things happen in politics, they happen rather fast,” he said.
He said statements by Premier Anna Bligh on the issue showed that she was “running scared”.
She said the Opposition leadership drama meant she could no longer rule out an election this year.
“Today, I can't be in the business of ruling anything in or out,” she said.
“What we've seen today, in my view, is a direct attempt to undermine the parliamentary democracy of Queensland.
“Our parliament is now at risk of descending into a dysfunctional farce.”
She said the job facing Queensland was to rebuild after recent disasters.
“It is impossible, frankly, to imagine how we're going to do that with the capital city now being abandoned by the mayor and being left leaderless.”
Mr Gibson described Mr Newman as not only a great civic leader, but one well regarded across the state.
“His announcement today clearly rattled the government, but a lot of work needs to be done.
“On the conservative side of politics, there was a big shift today in our prospects at the next election.
“He (Mr Newman) is stepping up for a fight. It's not a conservative seat.”
Ms Jones, he said, was the Environment Minister who had supported the Traveston Crossing dam proposal.
“She's been a weak minister who does what she's told.
“She didn't cut the grade then and she still doesn't,” Mr Gibson said yesterday.
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