LNP leadership meeting “premature”

Retiring Member of Gregory Vaughan Johnson
Retiring Member of Gregory Vaughan Johnson

RETIRING LNP stalwart Vaughan Johnson has labelled Saturday's meeting to determine former premier Campbell Newman's successor as "premature".

With postal votes still coming in, the Gregory MP of 25 years said it was too soon to decide who should lead the party - whether they end up as Queensland's 39th premier or opposition leader.

He would not predict whether the LNP or Labor would be in minority government and said it was not his place to say who should be the new leader.

The rushed meeting mirrors Mr Johnson's description of the Newman government's leadership team as being prone to making hasty decisions, non-inclusive and arrogant.

The much-respected former grazier, who served in various roles, including as transport minister under the Borbidge government, said it was those attributes that brought about the Newman government's demise.

Mr Johnson praised Treasurer Tim Nicholls' moves to get government debt under control, but said the leadership should have taken more time to tackle issues.

Instead, he said, they ploughed ahead and left the rest of the party behind.

As chief government whip since 2012, Mr Johnson said he was a team player yet he saw numerous LNP MPs treated with contempt.

He said if any government could take away one message from this election it would be to treat people with respect.

Mr Johnson said irrespective of gender, colour, race or which side of politics you came from, everyone "should treat people the way you want to be treated".

And in his straight-shooting style, he warned "if you treat people like a mongrel dog, you'll get treated like a mongrel dog".

But Mr Johnson was saddened by the LNP's political casualties, particularly the loss of MPs in northern and central Queensland.

He said he hoped the next LNP team would be inclusive and embrace all members of the party and community.

Mr Johnson said if he could offer any advice it would be that the next government remembers there was more to Queensland than Brisbane and the south-east corner.


Topics:  campbell newman lnp politics queensland election 2015

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