LNP state leader John-Paul Langbroek has been invited to meet members in Central Highlands for a spot of ‘country-style problem solving’.
In the wake of Vaughan Johnson’s demotion to the back benches, LNP Gregory electorate council chairman Mike Burns convened an emergency teleconference session on Monday night with representatives from Blackwater, Capella, Emerald, Blackall, Barcaldine, Longreach, Alpha and Tambo on the line.
They resolved to invite Mr Langbroek to meet with them at the earliest opportunity to explain first-hand the reason for tipping one of the party’s most senior serving MPs in Mr Johnson out of the shadow cabinet.
“We’re not staging a mutiny, and we’re not going to resign or withdraw, but collectively in politics you’re only as strong as how many of you stick together,” Mr Burns said. “We’re not telling Mr Langbroek to change his position because the process won’t allow us to do that, that’s his call. He needs to listen to what is happening out of this and if he wishes to reconsider, especially how vital this area is to Queensland to get us out of the economic mire… he really needs this part of the state to be on the front bench to win in 2012.
“We don’t want conflict, we just want dialogue. We just want him to tell us why he came to this decision.
“They’ve shot the best working dog in the paddock… and it beggars belief.”
Mr Burns said members had rallied behind Mr Johnson, who they believe would have an excellent chance of retaining Gregory at the next election.
Council representatives are prepared to meet Mr Langbroek in Emerald or Longreach to resolve the issue.
“We’re not telling him we want to change his decision; we just want to understand why he has taken one of the biggest wealth producers in Queensland off the front bench.”
Mr Burns said members will accept the umpire’s decision with Mr Langbroek not to be challenged if he stands by his decision.
“Vaughan is an immensely popular man... but for all that period of 21 years he wouldn’t have been an angel and we’re not going to canonise him; he’s not St Vaughan, because in politics you can make mistakes and you’ve got to be man or women enough to accept them.”
“We just want him to tell us why he came to this decision.”
LNP Gregory electorate council chairman Mike Burns
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