Early poll an option due to Opposition disarray says Bligh
Anna Bligh ANNA Bligh thinks Queenslanders would want an early election if the Opposition’s new l eadership arrangements were detracting from the state’s disaster recovery.
The Liberal National Party plans to install Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman as leader at the next election, as long as he can be preselected in and win the seat of Ashgrove.
Ms Bligh said if the ‘‘ unseemly’’ electioneering got in the way of the state’s recov- ery from floods and cyclone, she might call an early poll.
‘‘ If the City Hall here is going to be used as an election platform by a candidate who is electioneering instead of helping people, that might just become dysfunctional,’’ she said.
Ms Bligh said she would ‘‘ watch and see’’ whether the Brisbane City Council and s t a t e o p p o s i t i o n d i s i nt e - grated. ‘‘ I think that’s what people would expect of me,’’ she said.
‘‘ I want people to be looked after, people back in their homes, and the rebuilding of Queensland to go on without interruption.’’
The government argues the LNP should not be electioneering in what it had coined the year of rebuilding, ahead of an election that isn’t due for another 12 months.
Ms Bligh said many disaster victims were still waiting to hear from their insurance companies, and she understood their frustration.
The premier is to chair a meeting of the disaster recovery cabinet committee on Friday.
M e a n w h i l e , T r e a s u r e r Andrew Fraser said the gove r n m e n t w a s ‘ ‘ p r e t t y relaxed’’ about taking on Mr Newman in the election.
E n v i r o n me n t Mi n i s t e r K a t e J o n e s , As h g r o v e ’ s incumbent member, would be tough to beat.
‘‘ I think Mr Newman hasn’t picked his mark well in Kate Jones,’’ he said yesterday.
‘‘ She is member.’’
He s a i d o t her p o p ul a r mayors had failed to make the switch to state or federal politics, like former Brisbane mayor Clem Jones and T o wnsv i l l e mayor T o n y Mooney. Deputy opposition leader Tim Nicholls said the LNP needed to snatch many Labor-held seats, like Ashgrove, to win government and Mr Newman had shown guts by deciding to contest the seat.