MP James Lister attacks LNP leadership, backs Lawrence Springborg’s presidency bid

© Provided by ABC NEWS
Southern Downs MP James Lister has labelled recent decisions by the LNP leadership team “dumb” and “desperate”. (Facebook: James Lister MP)

A Queensland opposition MP has hit out at the state Liberal National Party’s (LNP) leadership team, as a former opposition leader announces his tilt for the top job.

Lawrence Springborg has confirmed he intends to run for the presidency of the party at the state convention in July.

Member for Southern Downs James Lister said electing his predecessor would be “a giant step” in the right direction for the party in the latest example of LNP in-fighting.

“In the meantime, I ask the current unelected leadership group to stop making dumb, unsupported and politically offensive decisions which hurt our reputation, our members and our voter support,” he said.

“Queenslanders expect us to clean up our act.”

Cr Springborg is now the Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor.

Mr Lister said he had campaigned “fruitlessly” to get LNP President Cynthia Hardy to bring Councillor Springborg back onto the party’s executive after he was removed last year following the party’s crushing election defeat.

“Kicking Lawrence off the party executive was one of a number of desperate and bone-headed moves by senior party members lately,” he said.

“Amazingly, they still maintain that it was because Lawrence wasn’t qualified. Are they for real?

“In my opinion, that’s an outright fib and a discourtesy to the intelligence of all Queenslanders.”

He urged LNP members to elect a “sensible group of loyal and capable people” to support Cr Springborg.

“David Crisafulli deserves clear air so that he can do his job of holding the Palaszczuk Government to account, and putting forward the policies and leadership that Queenslanders are looking for,” he said.

‘Refreshing’ comments: Opposition Leader

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli told ABC radio he would not comment on individual nominations, but said Cr Springborg’s comments were “refreshing”.

“Who people chose, that’s a matter for the members,” he said.

Mr Crisafulli said at the weekend’s state council he outlined his vision to give power back to grassroots members, admitting party current structures allowed a “concentration of power among a handful of people”.

“We’ve got to get our house in order,” he said.

“We go through a term, we get towards the end of it, we get the wobbles and we don’t do well at elections.

“I want to deal with this head on and I want to deal with it early.”

He said he wanted the party to pre-select more women, people from multi-cultural backgrounds, small business owners and young parents.

“Too much so in recent times it’s been just a tight group of elected people doing it [creating policy] and that’s not good, that’s not healthy,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“It’s a task and it’s a challenge we have to rise to.

“I’d like to see at least seven of those people [candidates] to be women.”

Strong support

Cr Springborg said he would continue in his current role as Goondiwindi Mayor regardless of whether his tilt at the party presidency was successful.

The Deputy Mayor Rob Mackenzie said Cr Springborg had widespread support.

“He was the man who put it together in the first place,” Councillor Mackenzie said.

“He’s got the utmost respect at all levels of government, as well as the current Labor Government in Queensland.”

Cr Mackenzie said Cr Springborg had consulted other councillors to ensure they we comfortable with his decision.

“In fact, most people are saying that, it would be a shame if he didn’t do it,” Cr Mackenzie said.

“We feel, as does he, that this in no way will jeopardise anything going forward as far as Goondiwindi Regional Council and receiving funding or support from the state government.

“He is going to treat this job, from what I understand, as more like the chairman of a board.

“He’s not going to let politics get involved, it’s more about getting the party back on track, and going in the direction that originally was intended by the members and himself.”

Acting LNP state president Cynthia Hardy has been contacted for comment.

Source: Thanks