Gordon vows decision soon on running again
INDEPENDENT MP Billy Gordon is undecided whether he will recontest Cook at the state election despite reports he was chasing a preference deal with One Nation.
Senator Pauline Hanson rejected his reported attempt to secure a deal with her party, but Mr Gordon claims he was speaking hypothetically when he told The Australian he was willing to trade preferences.
“I think any politician, particularly independents, would be mad if they weren’t thinking about preference deals. But I can’t commit to running again yet,” he said.
“There are a lot of things I’m still thinking about.”
Mr Gordon expected to make a decision on his future within the next month.
His uncertainty means Cook currently has no named candidates, despite speculation of an early election.
One Nation has confirmed it will contest the Far North seat, with Senator Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby claiming the major parties were floundering to find decent candidates.
“They’re finding it difficult to fill seats in most central and northern Queensland electorates, that’s my understanding,” he said.
Mr Ashby said Labor’s deferral of candidate preselection until the release of new draft electoral borders was “a stalling tactic, without a doubt”.
The Electoral Commission Queensland is due to release new boundary blueprints sometime this month, with up to 90 days from the draft’s publication before they are finalised.
No party has been given a specific date in February when to expect the draft.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was confident Labor had worthy candidates waiting in the wings.
“I’m quite sure that there are many outstanding candidates, people out there who would be very interested in putting their hand up to be the Labor candidate for the seat of Cook,” she said.
LNP campaign director Lincoln Folo said the party was waiting until the draft boundaries had been released before announcing its candidate.
Former LNP Cook MP David Kempton has already ruled out recontesting the seat.
Rescue 510 helicopter retrieves a 69-year-old man from Saxon Reef after he was found unconscious in the water last year.