North Queensland based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald.
North Queensland based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald.

Macdonald dumped from LNP top spot

VETERAN North Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald has been dumped from the number one position on the LNP's Queensland senate ticket for the next federal election.

In a tough contest the Senator lost the top spot on the LNP ticket to newcomer, Brisbane mining company executive Paul Scarr.

Senator Macdonald had nominated to contest each position on the six-person ticket and ultimately secured the fourth spot.

Although there is a slim chance the long-serving Senator could be returned to Parliament it is understood many in the party believe it would be unlikely.

The last time the LNP won four senate positions in Queensland was in 2004, before the official merger between the Liberal and National parties.

Meanwhile his fellow sitting Senator Barry O'Sullivan lost the number two spot on the ticket, which is reserved for a Nationals party member, to businesswoman Susan McDonald.

The third position was won by financial manager Gerard Rennick.

The Bulletin understands former Newman-government minister Scott Emerson also challenged for the number one position but was unsuccessful.

Businessman Brad Carswell was selected for position five and Nicole Tobin was elected as the sixth person on the ticket.

LNP President Gary Spence said the party's senate team represented a "renewal" of new energy and new ideas for the future of Queensland.

"I pay tribute to both Ian Macdonald and Barry O'Sullivan for their tremendous service to the

LNP and the people of Queensland," he said.

"I'm sure that the balance of their current terms in the Senate will be as energetic, spirited

and outspoken in standing up for Queensland as it has always been."

Mr Spence said Senator Macdonald would use his decades of experience to assist the team as they work together to win the next election.

Senator Macdonald, who lives in Ayr, is the longest continuously serving member in the Australian Senate and the only one currently based in the state's North.

He was elected to the Upper House in 1990 and had repeatedly led the LNP Queensland Senate ticket at each re-election.

Reacting to the result Townsville Enterprise chair Kevin Gill said it was "exceptionally disappointing" to learn Senator Macdonald had been relegated down the ticket in preselection.

"Senator Macdonald has been a great champion for our region and a loud voice for the development of Northern Australia for over 28 years in Parliament," he said.

"We hope this outcome will not impact on our region's growth and that the North remains firmly on the Senate's radar.

"We welcome the opportunity to hear from those higher on the ticket how they propose North Queensland interests."