Gibson resigns to back bench

SPEAKING out about opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek’s sudden change to the Liberal National Party shadow cabinet has cost Member for Gympie David Gibson his Infrastructure and Planning Portfolio.

Mr Gibson met with Mr Langbroek yesterday and after a half-hour meeting offered his resignation from the front bench.

“The reason for my resignation is that I stand by the comments I made in the media this week and as such, it is inappropriate that I remain in Shadow Cabinet,” Mr Gibson said.

“It is my desire that my decision will bring this matter to a close and the LNP will carry on focussing its efforts on beating Labor at the next State Election.”

Mr Gibson said he will continue to put his full attention into his electorate and address the “ongoing damage caused by Labor’s failed policies”.

He criticised Mr Langbroek in the media Tuesday saying the LNP leader’s decision could lose them the election.

Mr Langbroek announced he would be handing Planning from Gibson’s Infrastructure and Planning portfolio to his deputy earlier this week and Mr Gibson said the first he heard of the move was in a Brisbane Times article that also alluded to a cabinet reshuffle.

“It’s another example of the unpredictable nature of John-Paul’s leadership,” he told The Gympie Times on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Mr Langbroek told the media yesterday Mr Gibson had gone to the back bench by mutual agreement.

Mr Gibson told AAP he was comfortable with the move to the back bench.

He told reporters later he had tendered his resignation at the meeting and stood by his comment on Tuesday about Mr Langbroek being “unpredictable”.

“John-Paul Langbroek and I met today and at the end of that meeting I offered my resignation as a shadow minister,” Mr Gibson said.

“I have no leadership aspirations at this time.

“This is not a challenge, this is about me standing by what I said.”

Independent Member for Burnett Rob Messenger congratulated Mr Gibson for taking a stand against Mr Langbroek’s unpredictable leadership.

“(Mr) Gibson did the right thing… he showed the courage of his convictions,” Mr Messenger said.

“He talked the talk and he has walked the walk. He should at least be Deputy Leader and Tim Nicholls should be Leader. They would be the best team that the LNP could offer to defeat Labor.

“Obviously being seen as Labor-light, lacking courage and being forced to vote with Labor many times in recent months, has played on the minds of David Gibson and other LNP members who want to try to look after their constituents.”

LNP Shadow Sustainability Minister Glen Elmes said he wasn’t surprised to learn of a cabinet reshuffle.

He said the start for the preselection process for all sitting MPs was announced last week.

Mr Elmes said if another front bencher resigned there would be a reshuffle anyway and he thought there may be a couple who were thinking of stepping down.

Mr Elmes said it was sad to see Mr Gibson leave the Shadow Cabinet.

“But I have no doubt he’ll be back on the front benches, serving with renewed vigour,” he said.

Gympie Times

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