Snubbed LNP senator goes rogue
LNP senator Ian Macdonald has gone rogue, running a quasi-independent campaign and accusing his party of ignoring north Queensland by choosing candidates who are not "star recruits".
The longest-serving senator in the country, who is seething at being placed in the unwinnable fourth spot on the LNP ticket, has lashed out at his party for choosing three Brisbane-based candidates above him.
"They're all good people," Senator Macdonald said of the top three LNP Senate candidates.
"But why do we have three people from Brisbane?
"None of them are star recruits. None of them have achieved greatness in their own right."
The LNP last year pushed Senator Macdonald from the top spot on the ticket and placed him below mining executive Paul Scarr, beef magnate Susan McDonald and accountant Gerard Rennick.
The Townsville based Senator, who was first elected in 1990, has prepared how to vote cards that direct people to ignore the LNP ticket and instead vote for him first below the line.
He has emailed every local councillor in the state to implore them to vote for him, arguing he has a better record on delivering for them in his former role as federal Local Government Minister.
"For the next election, my Party has placed me No.4 on its ticket after three Brisbane Candidates, none of whom have any connection with local government," he wrote in the letter.
In a series of other letters, Senator Macdonald has targeted LNP members as well as lawyers and doctors in north Queensland to argue they would be better served by a Senator committed to the north.
Senator Macdonald told The Courier-Mail he supported Prime Minister Scott Morrison and was "not being critical" of other LNP candidates.
"I've just pointed out the facts," he said.
"I'm just saying what a lot of people from within the LNP from regional parts of the state have said."
ALP national president Wayne Swan said the letters, which have been sent to councillors aligned with every political party, were a sign of further division in the LNP.
"Senator Macdonald's guerilla below-the-line campaign is another example of the internal chaos and disunity tearing Mr Morrison's LNP team apart," Mr Swan said.
"If Mr Morrison had any authority left over his chaotic team he'd immediately pull his senator into line."