MEMBER for Gympie David Gibson yesterday said he was disappointed veteran MP Ray Hopper had defected to Bob Katter's Australian Party ... and categorically ruled out following him.
"There is no way I would join Mr Katter as the people of Gympie made it very clear - by their disgust at the Katter Party homophobic ads during the last campaign - that they do not want me to align myself with such an extreme party," Mr Gibson said.
The Gympie MP dismissed Mr Hopper's allegations the LNP was Brisbane-centric, citing a line-up of front benchers and back benchers representing rural and regional Queensland, including those not far from Gympie, like Deputy Premier Jess Seeney, David Crisafulli, Jack Dempsey and John McVeigh.
"The LNP Government is rolling out a raft of new laws, which will be of huge benefit to rural and regional Queensland, such as putting power back into the hands of local councils, cutting red tape for graziers on leasehold land and supporting regional tourism," he said.
"Another local example of the LNP listening to regional areas is the fact Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne is on the Bruce Hwy Crisis Management Group. He is joined by Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and Cairns Mayor Bob Manning."
Mr Gibson said Gympie had a voice inside government for the first time since the mid-1990s.
"That has meant the needs of our region are being directly heard by ministers and discussed around the cabinet table," he said.
"Just yesterday, we saw the Gympie council successful in funding to look at options to improve the flood immunity of the Gympie CBD and, of course, being in government has meant our community is represented on the Mary Valley Economic Development Committee."