Topics:  campbell newman, john connolly, nambour alliance, peter wellington, queensland state election 2012

Sitting MP would be 'a liability'

Q&A; Forum at Nambour RSL for the state seat of Nicklin. John Connolly. Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily
Q&A; Forum at Nambour RSL for the state seat of Nicklin. John Connolly. Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily Cade Mooney

LNP candidate John Connolly told last night's Nambour Alliance forum that Peter Wellington and Campbell Newman don't get on.

He warned that with at least 30 new LNP members likely to be elected into an LNP government this weekend - all with wish lists for the communities they represent - Nicklin would "struggle to get a toothbrush".

Mr Connolly's remarks drew jeers and criticism from other candidates, but he made his point having earlier drawn attention to the fact that Nicklin was in the bottom 20 seats in terms of funding attracted from the Labor government.

It was sparked by a discussion on preference allocations in which Greens candidate John Law, the Australian Party's Matthew Smith and Labor's Luke Moore all committed to preference Mr Wellington.

Mr Connolly said his how-to-vote card would encourage Just Vote One as would Mr Wellington's.

The independent Mr Wellington then went on the attack, declaring that a pamphlet distributed around Nambour claiming a vote for Wellington was a vote for Bligh was a lie. "As for this slogan it's gutter politics," Mr Wellington said.

"I will work with whoever is elected to government."

Mr Connolly responded that the people of Nicklin needed to understand that "Campbell Newman and Peter Wellington have issues".

"The LNP has an agenda to do the right thing by the area," he said.

"But if it is the clean sweep it's appearing it will be and there are 30 new LNP members, we will be lucky to get a toothbrush."

The remarks brought other candidates to Mr Wellington's defence.

The laconic Greens' candidate John Law, who had earlier declared he was not going to win but would hold to their promises whoever was elected through his preferences, described the comment as a disgrace.

Despite sitting immediately beside the burly former rugby player with the nickname "Knuckles" he could get away with it. Mr Law's passion for Nambour was apparent as was that of the Australian Party's Matthew Smith.

But Mr Moore showed himself as a fish out of water early on, struggling to pronounce Peregian and calling it "hills" instead of Springs.

When he later chose to continuously interrupt an answer by Mr Connolly, he received a quiet lesson in manners in response and a reminder of his earlier slip.

If the LNP has wasted a potentially excellent state member in running Mr Connolly in an all but unwinnable contest against Mr Wellington, Labor has shown through its choice that it has nothing to offer Nicklin.



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