DIRTY BERRY: Ipswich MP Ian Berry channels his inner Clint Eastwood (image digitally altered).
DIRTY BERRY: Ipswich MP Ian Berry channels his inner Clint Eastwood (image digitally altered).

Go ahead Shayne, make my day

IPSWICH MP Ian Berry has thrown down the gauntlet to Blair MP Shayne Neumann, challenging him to declare his candidacy for the Ipswich state seat immediately.

The high stakes game of dare from the city's LNP state member follows reports that Labor MP Neumann is planning a tilt at state politics if he loses his seat at the next Federal election.

Mr Neumann and Labor's Queensland State Secretary yesterday dismissed the claims and told The QT no such plan had been discussed. Regardless, Mr Berry has demanded that Mr Neumann "bring it on now".

"He must now, immediately and categorically, either declare his ALP candidacy for the state electorate of Ipswich or rule out a State Parliament run forever," Mr Berry said.

"Representing the people of Ipswich in the State Parliament is not a back-up plan. It isn't a political rehab clinic for rejected Federal Labor MPs."

Mr Berry accused Mr Neumann of "arrogance" for "thinking he can just parachute into the State Parliament".

Mr Neumann laughed off Mr Berry's challenge.

"There are no plans, plots or proposals for me to parachute anywhere, or to run in the state seat of Ipswich," he said.

"I've been selected unopposed for the fourth time in the Federal electorate of Blair. I don't wake up in the morning thinking about state pre-selections. I wake up every day thinking how I can help the people of Blair.

"Ian Berry should worry about doing his job rather than the future internal ALP internal pre-selection processes in Ipswich. I just can't believe he is giving the ALP advice.

"This is the guy that has promised the people of Ipswich nothing and has done his best to fulfil it."

The race for Blair between Mr Neumann and LNP candidate Teresa Harding is believed to be on a knife's edge, while polling released yesterday revealed Mr Berry could lose his own seat if an election was called now.

Labor's Queensland state secretary Anthony Chisholm said "there hasn't been one conversation" about any switch by Mr Neumann. "We have one plan for Shayne and that is for him to run in Blair and win," he said.

Mr Chisholm said he couldn't think of a single Federal MP who had gone into state politics in such a fashion. "Generally, they go the other way," he said.

The QT understands that Labor's former member for Ipswich, Rachel Nolan, has no plans to stand again.

Mr Chisholm said the party intended to open nominations through an expression of interest process as soon as possible after the federal election.

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