Old hand steering ship
Springborg ‘right decision’ to lead LNP in rough seas, says local MP
THE RE-ELECTION of Lawrence Springborg as LNP leader has raised eyebrows but Burnett MP Stephen Bennett says he is happy with the decision.
Mr Springborg was elected by his party colleagues in Saturday’s marathon party room meeting, with John-Paul Langbroek endorsed as his deputy. Many commentators have questioned the decision to re-endorse Mr Springborg, with the Health Minister having lost three elections as leader in the past.
But Mr Bennett defended the move, and said it was that experience that helped Mr Springborg’s case.
“We were talking about a fresh, new start but we also need to be able to operate effectively in opposition,” Mr Bennett said.
“It’s going to be very tough.
“People should have no disillusions about how difficult electoral reform and supply of government will be in this hung parliament.”
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson publicly announced her decision to run last week and public opinion polls placed her among the LNP’s top echelon in the eyes of voters. She was expected to be a front-runner for at least one of the roles, but while she missed out on top billing, Ms Simpson may feature in the LNP’s ministry.
When asked for his opinion about the former speaker’s decision to publicise her plans to stand, Mr Bennett said it epitomised the party’s culture.
“You have to think of the courage of these people to stand, especially when you consider if you lead in opposition you may not necessarily be there to lead in government,” Mr Bennett said.
“I think it just showed the commitment of the party. We had very experienced people come out and stake their claim.
“We’ve made the right decision in that they have the experience to lead us in these tough, uncertain times.”
Mr Bennett did not explicitly state who he backed, nor did he disclose how each prospective leader polled, but he did say there was a “clear result”.
The party room meeting was called after former premier Campbell Newman was dumped by Ashgrove in January 31’s historic election and former deputy Jeff Seeney relinquished his leadership role.
Mr Bennett said Queenslanders should know who won each seat by (Wednesday), with the exception of Ferny Grove after revelations Palmer United Party candidate Mark Taverner was ineligible to run.
At the time of going to print, several seats were still in play, including Bundaberg, where Labor’s Leanne Donaldson was likely to unseat Jack Dempsey.
Stephen Bennett, Burnett MP They have the experience to lead us in these tough, uncertain times.
MOVING AHEAD: Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett at Millennium Park, Childers.