Gor­don vows de­ci­sion soon on run­ning again

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Chris Calcino

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.

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