Camp­bell New­man prom­ises ‘ can do’ lead­er­ship

Townsville Bulletin - - LNP leadership change -

SNIDE gov­ern­ment at­tacks have not damp­ened the con­fi­dence of Queens­land’s newlook op­po­si­tion, which has de­clared Camp­bell New­man will be the next premier.

Op­po­si­tion leader Jeff Seeney, who is warm­ing the chair un­til Bris­bane’s lord mayor can take the spot, faced a fiery day in par­lia­ment as gov­ern­ment mem­bers at­tacked the un­ortho­dox plan.

Mr New­man will take up a role as the LNP’s elec­tion and party-room leader once his pre­s­e­lec­tion is se­cure, which is ex­pected to hap­pen in the next fort­night.

Premier Anna Bligh said the ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion had ren­dered Queens­land’spar­lia men­tarysys­tema ‘ ‘ na­tional j oke’’ and de­scribed Mr Seeney as ‘‘ noth­ing more than the ves­sel through which the will of Camp­bell New­man­wil l pass’’.

She said the Op­po­si­tion had out­sourced its lead­er­ship to an un­elected per­son who would call the shots over demo­crat­i­cally elected MPs be­cause they lacked the tal­ent to do the job them­selves.

But Mr Seeney said he was happy to fill the po­si­tion for a ‘‘ can-do’’ fu­ture premier as he bel­lowed at La­bor MPs that ‘‘ Camp­bell is com­ing’’.

‘‘ They ( La­bor) know their days of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion are com­ing to a close as one of the best recog­nised civil ad­min­is­tra­tors in Queens­land’s re­cent his­tory makes the tran­si­tion from lo­cal gov­ern­ment to state gov­ern- ment,’’ he said. ‘‘ We are not fright­ened of fight­ing an elec­tion any time when we can put Camp­bell New­man up against Anna Bligh.

‘‘ The peo­ple of Queens­land get a choice be­tween Camp­bell New­man and his can-do rep­u­ta­tion and Anna Bligh and her can’t-do rep­u­ta­tion.’’

Mr New­man said the only way the con­ser­va­tives could win the elec­tion was with him as leader.

‘‘ All the pun­dits and com­men­ta­tors are say­ing it’s a risk,’’ he said. ‘‘ Yes, it is a risk, but we are do­ing it be­cause it’s the only way we can get rid of this La­bor gov­ern­ment.’’

But Treas ur e r Andrew Fraser said Mr New­man had shown he was a ‘‘ supreme ego­tist’’.

‘‘ This has noth­ing to do with the peo­ple of Bris­bane, the ratepay­ers of Bris­bane or the peo­ple of Queens­land,’’ he said. ‘‘ This is all about one man’s view of him­self and his des­tiny.’’

OUT AND ABOUT: Camp­bell New­man kisses ba­bies and speaks with shop­pers in Ash­grove

Photo: LYN­DON MECHIELSEN

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