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LNP 'full speed ahead' as Gibson's ghost haunts campaign

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh with Gympie LNP candidate Tony Perrett at the Gympie cattle sales yesterday. Patrick Woods
FULL SPEED AHEAD: Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh with Gympie LNP candidate Tony Perrett at the Gympie cattle sales yesterday. Patrick Woods

LNP strategists took a leaf out of American Civil War history yesterday as they declared they would power on with the campaign to get Tony Perrett elected, regardless of rebellion in the Gympie branch.

In a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" approach (which worked in the civil war), party heavies said they were too busy on the attack to become defensive about internal matters now.

But there would be some sorting out in the Gympie branch after the poll.

LNP state officials declined to comment yesterday on continuing ructions within the Gympie branch, following the resignation of chair Ian Gordon last week and now, the departure of secretary Daryll Gordon, and vice-chair Janell Cox.

LNP officials yesterday said the party and its Tony Perrett campaign team was entirely focused on the January 31 State Election and would worry about Gympie branch politics later.

A written statement from the party yesterday afternoon said: "A highly committed campaign team is supporting our hard working candidate Tony Perrett, who remains focussed on providing strong local representation for the people of Gympie in a strong and stable LNP government which has a plan to create the jobs and build the infrastructure the region needs."

In its only reference to internal divisions in the Gympie branch, the party hinted its state executive might have a veto role in the appointment of a new committee.

"New internal appointments will be confirmed at the appropriate time but have no effect on the LNP campaign for the seat of Gympie, which continues full steam," the statement said.

The need to "confirm" new appointments was seen as a hint at what unhappy Gympie members say is state executive domination.

"They say it's a democratic party controlled by members, but it isn't true," said one insider.

Divisions within the branch are closely linked to the political destruction of MP David Gibson, as a result of revelations about his past by former supporter Scott Elms, in association with Tony Perrett campaigner Llew O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien is an associate of Mr Elms, but Mr Perrett has denied any personal link with Mr Elms, saying their contacts have been purely business except for an accidental meeting overseas.

In her letter of resignation, Janell Cox alleges attempts by the party's Wide Bay region to "intimidate and bully" her and says Gympie branch members defied pressure to postpone a general meeting on Saturday.

Former chair Ian Gordon said new committee members were not elected at the meeting because of advice that these would have to be approved by the party's state organisation, something not in the party's constitution.

Topics:  david gibson gympie lnp queensland election 2015

Gympie Times