Retiring LNP president tells of tension under Newman
RETIRING LNP president Bruce McIver (pictured) has revealed his relationship with former premier Campbell Newman soured soon after the party’s 2012 election victory.
Mr McIver will today announce the end of his tumultuous decade in leadership positions, which encompassed the merger of Queensland’s conservative parties, the historic 2012 victory and this year’s devastating election loss.
The former trucking magnate, who forged a relationship with former prime minister Bob Hawke while he built his family’s business into one of Australia’s largest road-freight companies, will seek a return to the corporate world.
“This is after 10 years in leadership positions for the conservative side of politics and I think it’s time for a change, both for the party and for my life,’’ Mr McIver told The Courier-Mail. He said he left with no regrets.
“I think it went wrong in 2012 after the election, maybe even in the lead-up to the election, and then afterwards,” he said of his relationship with Mr Newman.
“The organisation has a vested interest in making sure members’ views are heard, and perhaps they weren’t being heard well enough.”
Mr McIver and Mr Newman mended their relationship in 2013 and the pair “tried to work together from there very closely”, he said. “But I think Queenslanders spoke this year because of what they thought was happening.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Mr McIver as a “great servant of the conservative side of politics”.
“He helped create a strong and united LNP out of a fractious coalition,’’ he said. “I’ve appreciated his friendship and encouragement.”
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg praised Mr McIver for his role in the merger and dedication towards empowering branch members.
He will remain on the LNP executive as the party’s immediate past president.