Steven Ciobo. Picture: Jerad Williams
Steven Ciobo. Picture: Jerad Williams

Eight-way fight for LNP seat after Ciobo's resignation

THE city's planning boss is considered the frontrunner to replace outgoing MP Steven Ciobo in the federal seat of Moncrieff.

Councillor Cr Cameron Caldwell leads a field of eight candidates contesting preselection to become the Liberal Party's candidate in the safe seat.

Cr Caldwell, 39, is understood to have nominated at a meeting of the Moncrieff federal electorate council on Thursday night.

Cr Cameron Caldwell. Picture: Richard Gosling
Cr Cameron Caldwell. Picture: Richard Gosling

When approached by the Bulletin yesterday, Cr Caldwell declined to comment.

"I can't comment on internal party matters. It's a matter for the members," he said.

Cr Caldwell, a long-time Liberal Party figure, has been a councillor since 2012 and was re-elected in 2016.

If successful in seeking preselection, it is expected he would stay on as councillor.

Also understood to be contesting the seat is local businesswoman Fran Ward, who contested a council seat in 2016, and Karly Abbott, a Ciobo staffer.


Cr Cameron Caldwell and Cr Hermann Vorster. Picture Glenn Hampson
Cr Cameron Caldwell and Cr Hermann Vorster. Picture Glenn Hampson

Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek had been rumoured as a contender but chose not to nominate.

The preselection meeting is expected to be held in the first week of April, just days before the election is due to be called for mid-May.

Party sources told the Bulletin the preselection battle would be tough.

"There's a lot of people who have lined up for this one because it's such a safe seat so expect to see fireworks," the party figure said.

Moncrieff takes in much of the central and northern Gold Coast including Surfers Paradise and Southport.

The Coalition holds the seat with a margin of more than 17 per cent, making it the third-safest seat in the state and ninth safest for the entire country.

Mr Ciobo, who had most recently served as Defence Industries Minister, announced this month that he would not recontest the seat he has held since 2001.

He is expected to take up a post in the corporate sector.