Southern Downs deputy Mayor Jo McNally (left) and council colleague Cameron Gow (third from right) are reportedly among the nominees for the LNP preselection for the seat of Southern Downs at the next state election.
Southern Downs deputy Mayor Jo McNally (left) and council colleague Cameron Gow (third from right) are reportedly among the nominees for the LNP preselection for the seat of Southern Downs at the next state election. Sophie Lester

Councillors on LNP pre-selection list

THE Southern Downs is set for a shake-up, with councillors Jo McNally and Cameron Gow both tipped as contenders for LNP preselection at the next state election.

Nominations closed on Monday following the announcement by long-serving MP Lawrence Springborg he would not re-contest the seat after 16 years as Member for Southern Downs.

Goondiwindi councillor Rob Mackenzie is another potential contender for the safely conservative seat, along with at least two other nominees.

Cr Mackenzie did not confirm whether he had put forward his candidacy.

"Nothing is official at this stage and there is certain protocol that needs to be followed," he said.

"It will be up to the LNP to announce, which I hope would be very soon."

If any of the councillors are successful in securing the LNP candidacy, they are permitted to remain as councillors until they are elected to State Parliament.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association of Queensland said with the next local government elections not due until 2020, a by-election would be required to fill their seats on council, should Crs Gow, McNally or Mackenzie be voted in as state member.

Another rumoured candidate is Glen Morris, principal valuer for the Department of Natural Resources and Mining based in Warwick.

The Daily News contacted Mr Morris and asked whether he had chosen to nominate for pre-selection, but he declined to comment.

A state election is not due until January 2018, however it has been speculated Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk could call the election as early as next month.

LNP campaign director Lincoln Folo said prospective candidates were strictly barred from speaking to the media about their nomination.

"We don't publicise the number of nominees until we have narrowed down the candidates for pre-selection and we will now be going through that process," Mr Folo said.

"There is no set deadline for when we would need to have that done by, though if an election were called soon we would accelerate that process.

"Bear in mind though Labor is yet to nominate a candidate. While it's possible it could be called soon, it is entirely the Premier's decision and we'll be ready whenever that is."

Crs McNally and Gow did not return several calls made to them by the Daily News yesterday.



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