UNDER fire Gympie MP David Gibson, who spent yesterday touring Gympie schools, expressed relief that issues from his past were now out in the open.
He declined to talk about the theft of $7335 from an army mess hall that saw him plead guilty as a 31-year-old with no conviction recorded but which ended his military career.
"I'm glad it's now out in the open,'' Mr Gibson said.
"It has been used as a political threat hanging over me by an associate of a developer.
"I intend to seek pre-selection ahead of the next State election. Ultimately I've served the people of Gympie. My future life in politics should be decided by the people in Gympie.
"I spoke to my boys by phone and with my daughter before the story appeared in the press.
"Yesterday the Gympie community by their actions reinforced my faith in humanity, contacting myself and my wife. It was comforting and reassuring.
"They told me 'David we judge you by the man we see today not a man who 15 years ago made mistakes'.
"It's been re-invigorating. Political life is hard and it's hard on families who don't sign on for it. It's really re-enforced what a great community Gympie is. If it's willing to give me a second go I will continue to do the best in whatever capacity.
"It's now out in the open. The family has lived under the pressure for the past two years. It's been Gympie's worst kept secret.
"Scott Elm's actions have released the pressure.
"I was vulnerable but took an ethical stance. If I had succumbed and fallen victim to political blackmail this would not have reached the surface."