As the LNP works to wash a “bitter taste” from their mouths following last weekend’s resounding electoral defeat, MPs have already begun putting their hands up to take over the party leadership.
- Former federal Liberal MP Peter Lindsay says David Crisafulli is “well qualified” for leadership
- Mr Crisafulli is currently standing unopposed to fill the role left vacant by Deb Frecklington
- Deputy leader contender Dale Last says the party needs to “make changes”
Some time next week, a party room meeting will be convened to decide on the new-look opposition leaders after the final vote has been counted.
Yesterday, Broadwater MP David Crisafulli confirmed he would stand for the LNP leadership.
In quick succession, Toowoomba South MP David Janetzki, Burdekin MP Dale Last and Moggill MP Christian Rowan announced they would make a tilt for the deputy leader position.
Who is David Crisafulli?
The Gold Coast father of two began his political career in North Queensland, well before he moved to the south east.
He is a former journalist who grew up in Ingham and worked both there and in Townsville before becoming the youngest person elected to Townsville City Council.
He moved into State Parliament as part of Campbell Newman’s landslide victory in 2012, then went on to serve as local government and community recovery minister.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters yesterday she thought “everyone” remembered the fact Mr Crisafulli was a Newman minister.
Mr Crisafulli moved to the Gold Coast when he lost his seat in the LNP’s drubbing in 2015.
Ahead of the 2017 election, he trumped former MP Verity Barton for preselection in the seat of Broadwater, and won his second term in the seat on Saturday night, picking up a substantial first preference swing.
Currently, Mr Crisafulli is standing for the LNP leadership unopposed.
He released a statement yesterday saying he would speak further with colleagues before commenting publicly.
‘Same mistake election after election’
Former federal Liberal member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay, said he regarded the Gold Coast MP as “well qualified” for the leader’s job.
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“David has always wanted to contribute to the LNP and to Queensland through a leadership role — this is his opportunity, he won’t let us down,” Mr Lindsay said.
“He’s a great bloke and he’ll do a good job.
“They make the same mistake election after election, there’s got to be a change.
“There’s got to be a new broom that goes through headquarters, and I think under Crisafulli’s leadership that will happen.”
Mr Lindsay said while it was for the party room to decide, he thought outgoing Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington should be deputy.
The deputy contenders
Deputy Leader Tim Mander joined Ms Frecklington yesterday in stepping aside, announcing he would not contest either leadership position.
Ms Frecklington said she would not play favourites.
“I’m so pleased that we’ve got such a depth of talent in my party room,” she said.
“I’m not going to pick any favourites or publicly declare who I would back, but I do have confidence in my party room that we’ll make the right decision.”
Burdekin MP Dale Last has pitched that if elected deputy he would provide “beautiful balance” to Mr Crisafulli as leader.
“At this stage, I’m happy to back David Crisafulli into that role,” he told the ABC.
“Some big questions need to be asked and, of course, we need to take some learnings out of this and make changes because clearly we can not keep going down this pathway.”
When asked if a Crisafulli-Last partnership could lead the LNP out of the wilderness, Mr Last said he thought it was possible.
“We’re both similar characters, we’re both highly motivated, driven people,” Mr Last said.
Both he and Mr Crisafulli have served as deputy mayor of Townsville City Council.
The Burdekin MP also worked for two decades as a police officer and in emergency management prior to being elected to Parliament.
Dr Rowan, who will also run for deputy, said the party needed to focus on rebuilding and winning seats in Brisbane.
He told the ABC his background as a former president of both the Australian Medical Association of Queensland and the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland would help with bridging that gap between rural and urban Queenslanders.
Mr Janetzki said little in throwing his hat into the contest for the deputy leadership.
“These are matters to be determined by my parliamentary colleagues in the days ahead,” he said in a statement.
Mr Janetzki has worked in several leadership and legal positions for multiple companies and organisations.