Snap election forces MP into early retirement
IT'S the end of an era for Nicklin MP Peter Wellington with the early election bringing his retirement plans forward.
In February, the independent member announced he would be not be contesting the seat of Nicklin in the next election after almost 20 years in the position.
Now, Steven Ford (One Nation), Mick Tyrell (Greens), Justin Raethel (Labor) and Marty Hunt (LNP) have a chance of taking the seat in the November 25 election.
The snap election was no surprise to Mr Wellington, who said the "rumour mill" in parliament had been working overtime in the lead-up to the announcement.
He said while he expected the political campaigns to be "full on", he reiterated when he spoke on the Government's security of sub-contractors funding last week he "won't be getting involved in supporting any candidate for the seat of Nicklin".
"I made it clear as well I will give whoever the successful candidate is clear air: I won't be speaking from the sidelines and I'll let them get on with the job of representing Nicklin in the parliament," Mr Wellington said.
While Mr Wellington will remain in his role as Speaker until the night before the new parliament is due to sit, he's currently clearing out his office to make way for the new member once the election result is called.
They say behind every great man is a great woman and Mr Wellington is no different.
He credited his wife Jenny with his election and re-election and, with almost decades in the seat, it's obvious they're a dynamic duo.
"We're a pretty close team. We bounce everything off (each other) and work out where we'll go," Mr Wellington said.
"Sometimes I've sort of got it wrong, but you move on."
The next chapter of Mr Wellington's life will be a "whole new world" spent helping his parents and wife look after their respective farms.
"I've got a quite a bit of work to do to help them (my parents)," he said.
"A lot of fencing to be done and I'm looking forward to helping them and helping my wife run our farm.
"My wife's been the manager - the farmer - while I've been doing other things so now it's my turn to help her out. She's already for a jobs list lined up for me when I get out of politics."
Having remained independent through his political career is a badge of pride for Mr Wellington.
It allowed him to fight for what he believes is right without having to answer to any pressure groups, but he said it hadn't been without difficulties.
"I'm able to speak up and have a go because I owe no favours to any lobby group or influence group and so that's been one of the strengths," Mr Wellington said.
"The other challenge as an independent is there's nowhere to hide when the pressures on.
"You've got to stand up and cop it on the chin."
Mr Wellington said it'd been a "real privilege and an honour" to represent his electorate, but he was ready to move on.
"I've got a lot of fond memories and I'll be certainly remember the years with a great deal of satisfaction that we've been able to fight for things we've had real wins on," he said.