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CFMEU deserts ALP in Gregory

FAIR GO: Katter’s Australian Party candidate Ross Stockham.
FAIR GO: Katter’s Australian Party candidate Ross Stockham. Contributed

ON ELECTION eve, the CFMEU has been accused of deserting Labor's heartland and Gregory candidate Cheryl Thompson by sensationally backing Katter's Australian Party hopeful Ross Stockham.

Mr Stockham is one of the 21 candidates to sign his name on the union's Fair Go Pledge, with the other 20 all hailing from the ALP.

The CFMEU took out a full page advertisement in Wednesday's CQ News naming Mr Stockham as its candidate for support in Gregory, with Ms Thompson's name nowhere to be found.

Ms Thompson's baffling response to the CFMEU's choice to trumpet Mr Stockham was to "follow the advice of the union".

"If Ross is your preferred candidate, then I urge you to vote for Ross who incidentally is our number two preference for the ballot paper," Ms Thompson said.

"Ross has views that are aligned with the Labor Party's thinking on many issues."

The CFMEU's brand new relationship with the KAP candidate was shown with the misspelling of his name on both the ad and its website, pushing voters to support a Ross "Stockholm".

Ms Thompson said she had officially signed the pledge in Blackwater last week but, due to the timing, it would not be formally recognised until the branch's next meeting.

Mr Stockham said he was a "proud member of the union" through his job at Crinum Coal Mine.

"I could see no wrong with it (the pledge), everything in it is good for the community," he said.

An LNP insider who wished to remain anonymous said Ms Thompson's timing oversight was "mind-boggling".

"Cheryl is from the birthplace of Labor and the CFMEU has backed a non-Labor candidate who is an embarrassment to his own party," they said.

"The union endorsement will deliver hundreds of votes to Ross Stockham over Cheryl and it's an embarrassment to Labor state-wide."

The Fair Go Pledge called for politicians to support jobs for locals, freedom of lifestyle choice for FIFO workers, limited contractors on work sites, and investment in regional communities.


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