LNP MP calls for fair play

Lockyer Valley’s LNP MP Ian Rickuss.
Lockyer Valley’s LNP MP Ian Rickuss. File

AN LNP MP says he fears the party's "machine men" who authorised paid dirt digging on Labor MPs could lead to a tit-for-tat muck racking campaign in the lead up to the next state election.

It was revealed yesterday that Opposition officials had paid a former ALP staffer to find dirt on Labor candidates ahead of the next election, due in March.

There are reports the files contain information on all sitting MPs and cover everything from their sex lives to professional standards.

LNP Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss said he was disappointed that party officials had taken that step and he joined leader-in-waiting Campbell Newman in damning the practice.

Mr Rickuss said he had no idea it was going on behind the scenes and that it had no place in politics.

"It's silly, and unfortunately that is done by the machine men," Mr Rickuss said.

"Let's keep it to the issues and be fair dinkum."

He said he had good relationships with Ipswich's Labor MPs but feared the ALP could now return fire in the muck racking stakes.

"Hopefully this will all slow down, but it almost becomes tit for tat," he said.

Ipswich's three Labor MPs said they have nothing to fear from any potential dirt files on them.

While Labor has been criticised for its targeting of Mr Newman's wife and family's financial issues, Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said those were legitimate issues and not the same as this "malicious gossip".

"I have been an active player in Queensland politics for 15 years and have never seen anything like this," she said.

"While in politics, like in most workplaces, gossip does go around, for a party campaign director - a very senior figure - to pay for this stuff as part of a campaign strategy is to my knowledge without precedent."

She said given that the campaign director who ordered it came from the UK Conservatives, it has a "clear connection" to British Conservative politics with its recent phone hacking scandal.

"These people and their methods should not be tolerated as a part of Australian politics," she said.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said it showed the LNP would "stoop at nothing" to win the next election, and said it showed the character of the Opposition party.

"The fact they have admitted to paying a former ALP staffer to collect dirt is classic LNP," she said.

Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt said he'd be interested to see what the LNP file on him said.

Mr Wendt said Opposition members were quiet in parliament yesterday as they copped a barrage during question time.

"I don't know what they thought they would gain from doing this," he said.

Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser yesterday call on Mr Newman to sack those behind the scandal.

Mr Newman said he would not fire the pair.

Topics:  australian labor party election information labor lnp politics

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