'No more to say on LNP leadership'
REFUSING to add fuel to the LNP’s political fire yesterday, Member for Gympie David Gibson declined to comment further about Liberal National Party leader John-Paul Langbroek.
However, Mr Gibson (right) did say now he was no longer a Shadow Cabinet member, he had “a little more space” in his diary to focus his energies on local issues.
On Monday he said on Brisbane radio Mr Langbroek was an every day man pretending to be a political leader.
“Mate, if I believed that we had a leader I would remain in shadow cabinet,” he said on air.
Mr Gibson, now a backbencher after resigning from Shadow Cabinet, had previously called his LNP leader “unpredictable”.
The comment came after Mr Gibson read in the media that Mr Langbroek was giving the Planning part of his Infrastructure and Planning portfolio to Lawrence Sprinborg. Mr Langroek had not discussed the matter with the Gympie MP.
Mr Gibson said the recent storm around his and other LNP MP’s comments about their leader did not spell the end of the party.
“I think we’ve got to keep in mind what the end game is – it’s about beating Labor in the next election,” he told The Gympie Times yesterday.
“He (Mr Langbroek) should never have floated the idea of a reshuffle in the media. We need to deal with it; it’s clear we need to have a discussion and move back into the game.
“Labor would like us to think this is the end of the LNP, it’s not.
“Barnaby (Joyce) didn’t kill the National Party when he crossed the floor.”
Mr Gibson said it was important political parties weren’t full of “yes” men.
He said it was better to stand up with “courage in your convictions” and take the fight to the government.
So far he has received comments of good will from Gympie constituents.
“At the weekend I was in Tin Can Bay and people were coming up to me saying ‘well done, keep the fight up’.”
He also said there were no plans to go independent. “No, I would never consider that.
“Just because you face some rough water doesn’t mean you abandon ship.”
And Mr Gibson rejected claims that his opposition to the State’s planned beach vehicle fees and restrictions proved the LNP was divided just because neighbouring MP Glen Elmes was supportive.
“The impacts are fairly different between the Rainbow Beach end and Noosa end, I’m focusing on how it will affect my electorate,” he said.
Saying the “leadership of the party was always a decision of the party room” Mr Gibson backed up his comments to 4BC that he was unaware of any calls being made among his colleagues about the leadership.
Mr Gibson said he never stopped fighting for Gympie and was passionate about standing up for his constituents.
On Facebook he announced his to-do list: campaigning against beach 4WD and fishing closures and the State’s asset sales; for Gympie Hospital staff, a new helipad, the Bruce Highway upgrade and improved rail services.