GOLD COAST BULLETIN Tuesday August 13, 1968
IN THEIR bid to wrest the Gold Coast state seats from the Country Party, the Liberals received support from an unexpected quarter – none other than Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
In his choice of Allen Hodges as the new Cabinet Minister, Mr Bjelke-Petersen clearly indicated that he was not prepared to manoeuvre politically to safeguard the Gold Coast seats.
He showed that he was not outwardly concerned about perpetuating the image of the Country Party as the party for the farmers in the state which every day was becoming more urbanised and therefore more vulnerable to Liberal influence.
Mr Hodges, who took over the Words and Housing Ministry, was the member for Gympie, an unassailable Country Party seat surrounded by other safe electorates.
He had a fine party record - 11 years in parliament and a fine background - farmer, cooperative manager and grandfather.
He was thought to no doubt make a solid and conscientious Minister.
But the Bulletin argued that there were others would fit that bill, MPs who were faced with a determined Liberal challenge at the 1969 election - including South Coast MP Russ Hinze.
Mr Hinze had won the seat with the aid of Labor preferences at the previous poll but couldn’t count on getting them again at his second tilt.
Also not considered as Albert MP Cec Carey who had a slightly more secure seat than Mr Hinze but who had only won in 1966 by 49 votes.
The Bulletin argued that both would have made a better choice.