The Courier-Mail

Retiring LNP president tells of tension under Newman

- STEVEN WARDILL

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.

 ??  ?? DROP IN POPULARITY: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with daughter Chloe yesterday in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Picture: Christophe­r Chan
DROP IN POPULARITY: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten with daughter Chloe yesterday in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Picture: Christophe­r Chan
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