Independents 'as popular as E-coli'
INDEPENDENT candidates in the next election will be “as popular as E-coli,” Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg said yesterday.
His comments came in the wake of Bob Katter’s launch of a new political party – named the Australian Party – and fellow Independent MP Rob Messenger suggesting he may be interested in being one of the party’s first recruits.
Mr Springborg, who is credited with the invention of the Liberal National Party, said Mr Katter created the party to save himself from failure as an Independent and the new party will have no impact in the forthcoming election.
Mr Springborg said Mr Katter, an Independent for the federal seat of Kennedy, saw the failed experience of the Independents in Canberra.
“He’s created this new party to try and get some sort of justification,” he said.
“He’s running away from his past.”
Mr Springborg said if the state wanted change, it would vote for the LNP making the Independents in the forthcoming election “as popular as E-coli”.
“Every other year he [Mr Katter] talks about forming a new party,” he said.
Mr Katter announced he had registered the Australian Party along with a logo and T-shirts.
The 65-year-old said he had lost faith in being an Independent MP.
Despite claims voters were disenchanted with the Labor-LNP choice, polling has shown support for Independents and minor parties remained stagnant.
Mr Katter has called for candidates to come forward and join the Australian Party, and Queensland Party MP Aidan McLindon said the two parties would hold discussions.
Independent MP Rob Messenger yesterday suggested he might be Mr Katter’s first recruit, saying the MP had his attention and he wanted “to hear more”.
He said he would like to see the new party pledge to turn back asylum seekers, ban Sharia law and boost military numbers before agreeing to sign up.
Mr Messenger said he’d ask Mr Katter to add those three policies to the party’s agenda when they meet on June 14.
The party could be the most significant new political presence since Pauline Hanson’s One Nation won 11 seats at the 1998 poll and hurt the Nationals.
Mr Springborg insisted he was unconcerned with the news.
Despite recently resigning as Deputy Leader of the Opposition after former Lord Mayor of Brisbane Campbell Newman staged an external coup of Opposition Leader John Paul Langbroek, Mr Springborg insisted the LNP was still on track.
“The party is focused and not taking anything for granted,” he said.
“People will vote the way they will vote but I feel confident the LNP is on track.
He bashed the Bligh Government for its failure to pay doctors and nurses and for its Buy Queensland campaign, which controversially featured promotional shirts were made in Bangladesh.
“The Bligh Government can’t do anything right,” he said.
“That’s why people are over the government.”
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