THE suspension of two high profile North Queensland LNP party members for speaking out about the poor performance in the State election was the elephant in the room at a media conference designed to instill confidence in the party in the North today.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington and Deputy Leader Tim Mander traveled to Townsville to spruik Burdekin MP Dale Last’s new role as Shadow Minister for North Queensland.
Ms Frecklington said she was determined to win back the confidence of North Queenslanders, but refused to be drawn on how the suspensions of Richmond Shire Council Mayor John Wharton and former Herbert MP Peter Lindsay would impact on that quest.
“That’s a matter for the party, but what I would say is both Tim Mander and myself and Dale Last, we’re really keen to get up here to North Queensland to rebuild not only the faith and trust of Queenslanders but also within the party as well,” Ms Frecklington said.
She said while she understood that people are interested to state their opinions following an election loss, it was not LNP policy to air their dirty laundry in public.
“I do think it’s important to acknowledge though that people do have something to say around an election loss and I’m keen to hear it all,” Ms Frecklington said.
“I think it is good to give people their voice and the opportunity to talk, the party have their process in relation to that.
“It is an internal matter for the party, one thing I will say and one thing I love about the LNP is that we really don’t want to air our grievances in public.
“What I would say is my door is always open and my phones always on.”
Mr Wharton has been the Mayor of Richmond for 20 years and a councilor for 26. He joined the LNP in 2014 and after receiving written notification of his suspension, told the North Queensland Register that he would be resigning.
Mr Lindsay, who held the federal seat of Herbert from 1996-2010, was also suspended last week after telling media that the LNP would have won the seat of Mundingburra if they had pre-selected Sam Cox, whose nomination was rejected.
Mr Cox instead joined One Nation to contest the seat of Burdekin.