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Palmer United Party to announce Gympie candidate

Clive Palmer has hinted at an advertising blitz, saying his party would spare no expense.
Clive Palmer has hinted at an advertising blitz, saying his party would spare no expense. Warren Lynam

CLIVE Palmer's PUP will announce its candidate for the Gympie state electorate on Saturday.

That may be the wildest of the wild horses making the January 31 snap State Election much less predictable, especially around here.

Optional preferential voting means smaller party candidates are in with an absolutely unforeseeable chance.

With voters allowed to "just vote 1" for the candidate of their choice, or to allocate preference votes for all other candidates or only some of them, literally anything can happen.

Other potentially chaotic wild things in the mix include the sheer diversity of candidates and politics, looking to replace the LNP representation of sitting MP David Gibson.

Mr Gibson has announced he will not contest the poll, announced by Premier Campbell Newman yesterday.

Even the circumstances of Mr Gibson's withdrawal from politics are a potentially chaotic influence, with LNP support divided at least a little, between pro and anti-Gibson factions.

Shane Paulger will run for Katter's Australian Party.

Shena MacDonald is the Greens' candidate.

Tony Perrett, generally regarded as the favourite to win, will run for the LNP.

Stephen Meredith is running for the ALP.

And nominations have not even been officially declared open yet, in the poll announced yesterday.

Clive Palmer came out with all guns blazing yesterday as he vowed his party would "repeal every single act that's ever been introduced by the Newman Government".

And he said he did not care how much it cost to campaign for 50 candidates across the state.

With just over three weeks for the campaign, he hinted at an advertising blitz, saying his party would spare no expense.

He told The Brisbane Times: "We'll spend all we can."

Mr Palmer said his party would announce its Gympie candidate on Saturday.

But he has already announced candidates for the Gympie region's north-western district, which is part of the Callide electorate, held by deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

Mr Seeney is opposed by PUP Queensland leader and son of the state's best known former premier, John Bjelke-Petersen.

Graeme Martin will represent the ALP in the Callide contest.

On Gympie's northside, the LNP's Anne Maddern is opposed by Labor's Bruce Saunders, independent former MP Chris Foley and PUP's Steve Anderson.

KAP Gympie candidate Shane Paulger was philosophical about the LNP stealing his idea of exporting milk products to China as a way of rebuilding the Mary Valley.

As he said when he proposed what became a precursor to the big Hope Dairies plan in the Mary Valley and the South Burnett, Mr Paulger said: "Let no-one forget it was the LNP who deregulated the dairy industry and destroyed it".

Mr Paulger had campaigned to involve other Gympie region dairies in his exporting of milk products to China and had called for State Government help to provide land for a processing plant.

The Greens called for public support for its candidates and campaigning, "in the context of ongoing poor governance, concerns of corruption, further planned environmental vandalism, erosion of public services and a party that is increasingly unpopular and deservedly untrusted".

Responding to claims that the ALP was in bed with bikie criminals, candidate Stephen Meredith said Labor had introduced the first laws tackling crime gangs "and the LNP didn't back them because they were worried about the civil liberties of bikies. We plan to take the laws we had and strengthen them and give more resources to tackling organised crime".

Tony Perrett said he would work hard to win the support of voters.

Topics:  gympie palmer united party politics state election

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