Rob Messenger quits LNP party
MEMBER for Burnett Rob Messenger has quit the LNP to become an independent.
Mr Messenger said being hemmed in by party politics had left him feeling frustrated and had effectively stopped him from representing the people of Burnett.
He will formally announce his decision today.
“I'm not going to sit back and watch my community and state be destroyed by, on one hand, entrenched waste and corruption ... and on the other, complacency, incompetence and lack of courage,” he said.
Mr Messenger is not the only LNP member to ditch the party, with Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon joining him to become an independent.
The pair has been closely associated since Mr Messenger was one of four MPs to back Mr McLindon's attempt to oust LNP deputy leader Lawrence Springborg in February this year.
Mr Messenger said he believed he would be able to serve the Burnett better as an independent.
“There is a hell of a chance that independents will hold the balance of power after the next election, which will enable me to have my issues heard,” he said.
A new hospital for the Bundaberg region is the main issue Mr Messenger hopes to push with his new independent status.
“Both parties are taking our community for granted. At the last election, the LNP failed to give a clear guarantee that we'd get a new hospital and Labor only want to deliver cheap band-aid solutions,” he said.
Mr Messenger and Mr McLindon plan to work with the four other independents in the house to form a co-operative, each putting the needs of their constituents first.
“I will always put my constituents' needs first, but I will also help other independents with their number one needs,” he said.
A list of guidelines for those independents who choose to operate as a part of the co-operative has been written up.
The guidelines include always putting people before politics, to protect and care for all children, sick, elderly and disabled, and to act as responsible guardians for the environment.
Mr Messenger rejected the idea the co-operative would become a pseudo-party.
“We're going to walk like a duck and quack like a duck but at the end of the day we won't be a duck — we won't be tied down to a party,” he said.