Councillor threatens to quit LNP if council rules changed
A TOOWOOMBA councillor has threatened to quit the Liberal National Party if voting changes for local governments pass through the State Parliament.
Changes introduced by the Queensland Labor Government could see Senate-style above the line, below the line voting introduced to local governments, which some councillors fear could lead to political parties such as Labor and the LNP taking control of the council.
Cr Nancy Sommerfield, a life-long LNP member, said she would resign from the party if those changes were implemented and she was forced to run on a ticket with the party.
"I believe that party politics doesn't belong in local government, we need to keep party politics out of local government," Cr Sommerfield said.
"We are too close to the community to be playing party politics.
"It would be a huge decision for me as I've been a member of the party since I was 18. I would resign rather than have party politics come into local government."
Cr Sommerfield said while she was personally a member of the LNP and was very active within local branches of the party, she considered herself an independent on the council.
"I have never in my time in local government gone with party beliefs," she said.
"I have the freedom in local government to vote how I think is best for the local community.
"An example of that is when the waste levy was proposed to be introduced by the current state government and the LNP was opposed, they came to me and asked me to speak out against it. I refused as I believed in the waste levy. That's an example of where I am an independent."
Cr Chris Tait is also a member of the LNP, while Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan is a member of the ALP.