News State Queensland Springborg to lead Qld LNP

Springborg to lead Qld LNP

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Lawrence Springborg has won a party room ballot to lead the Queensland Liberal National Party.

His deputy will be John-Paul Langbroek.

Mr Springborg and Dr Langbroek jointly contested for respective leader and deputy against several other contenders.

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Outgoing transport minister Scott Emerson, outgoing parliamentary speaker Fiona Simpson and outgoing housing minister Tim Mander had also put their hats in the ring for the leadership.

However, Mr Springborg and Mr Langbroek, both former opposition leaders, emerged as the winners after a two-hour ballot.

The decision is expected to gain the support of two crossbenchers, Katter’s Australian Party MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth, who are yet to decide which major party to support to form minority government.

The party was left leaderless after Premier Campbell Newman lost his seat of Ashgrove at last week’s election.

Mr Newman is still caretaker premier because Labor and the LNP have both failed to gain a majority in the 89-seat parliament.

The LNP has 39 seats and remains ahead of Labor in three of four undecided seats.

Labor has so far won 43 seats and has the backing of Independent MP Peter Wellington, giving it a total of 44 seats.

With four seats still in doubt – Maryborough, Ferny Grove, Whitsundays, and Mt Ommaney – Labor needs to gain at least one more to win the race to govern.

Compassionate government

Mr Springborg, who lost three elections as opposition leader in 2004, 2006 and 2009, promises any government he now has the opportunity to lead will be compassionate.

“We understand the people of Queensland were disappointed in certain aspects of our government,” he told reporters.

“We understand the people of Queensland wanted us to be far more empathetic with the concerns they had.”

The Newman government made massive public service cuts during its first years, and in the lead up to the election presented a plan to lease out state assets that was widely viewed as a sell-off.

However, Mr Springborg wasn’t backing away from the policy, which includes the state’s power assets, on Saturday.

“We understand the people of Queensland want us to know that as we have to make those particular decisions that aren’t always popular, we actually have a proper consideration in a compassionate and real way about the impacts of those decisions,” he said.

“We are going to make sure as we travel forward, hopefully in government or as opposition, that we’ll rebuild the faith and trust which the people of Queensland invariably should expect of their elected representatives.”

Mr Springborg said discussions would continue with Mr Katter and Mr Knuth about forming a minority government.

KAP says it will keep talking to both the LNP and Labor.

“We will not negotiate with the old (LNP) leadership team,” Mr Knuth said.

“Now it’s clear cut who we are talking to … but we’ll also continue talking to the Labor party.”

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