Queensland’s LNP Opposition has a new leader. Tim Nicholls has taken over from Lawrence Springborg as the party tries to establish a new direction and win back Government. Nicholls won a three-way contest.
Jacob Miley reports.
Today marks the fourth occasion Mr Springborg has been dumped as leader, the question remains whether he’ll remain in politics, or whether he’ll leave Parliament, forcing a by-election.
It was the LNP Whip who broke the news.
Ian Rickuss LNP Whip: “We’ve had the exhaustive ballot, and the new leader of the LNP in Queensland is Tim Nicholls.”
The voting process took two rounds behind closed doors.
Challenger, Tim Mander, dropped out of contention in the first round, with just 10 votes.
Springborg had the most votes, with 17 votes to Nicholls’ 14.
But then Mander’s supporters apparently got behind Nicholls and the former Treasurer left the room victorious, 22 votes to Springborg’s 19.
Tim Nicholls, Opposition Leader: “Can I say, what a tremendous honour it is to have been supported by the party room to be the leader of the LNP here in Queensland.”
It was straight down to business for the new Opposition Leader.
Tim Nicholls, Opposition Leader: “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The party also elected a new Deputy Leader, Deb Frecklington.
She’s the first woman in the LNP to take the position.
Deb Frecklington, Deputy Opposition Leader: “I am very proud to be representing rural and regional Queensland, and that is something that I am extremely passionate about.”
Independents who hold the balance of power in the State Parliament say they will work with the new team.
Shane Knuth, Katter’s Australian Party MP: “In a time when it’s a hung parliament, we believe that we have to work with the crossbenchers and likewise the Government. Tim Nicholls is now Leader and obviously, you know, it’s put us in a position where we’re prepared to work with Tim Nicholls.”
Nicholls took a predictable swipe at the Labor Government calling it frozen and incompetent.
It now remains to be seen if the new LNP leadership can topple them.
With the vote now decided, the LNP will be looking to unite behind their new leader in time for the next election in 2018.