Shayne Neumann's shadow Cabinet spot facing NSW threat
QUEENSLAND Labor MPs are fighting to save a shadow Cabinet spot for Shayne Neumann as NSW MPs push for Kristina Keneally to be promoted over him.
In a sign of tensions, Senator Anthony Chisholm and Oxley MP Milton Dick have both demanded Mr Neumann remain to show Labor was committed to Queensland.
"Having representation from regional Queensland is vital," Senator Chisholm told The Courier-Mail.
"Shayne Neumann did a great job last term and needs to be there for the next term."
Mr Neumann is the only Labor MP left with a regional seat after he narrowly held on to his electorate, which stretches north from Ipswich.
Concerns about Labor's need to rebuild support in Queensland have been heightened as Victorian Richard Marles firmed as the likely deputy to Anthony Albanese.
Mr Marles was slammed by state Labor MPs Julieanne Gilbert and Barry O'Rourke, who wrote to their federal colleagues calling for him to be shunned over his "radically out-of-touch" views on coal.
In the lead-up to the election, Mr Marles said it would be "a good thing" if the thermal coal sector collapsed. But he appears set to be elected to the deputy role unopposed after Victorian Clare O'Neil yesterday pulled out of the race.
"I think Richard Marles has got the skills and the qualities and the experience at this stage to be able to do that job really well," she told the ABC.
Queensland young gun Jim Chalmers has also decided not to run for a leadership spot, but could be appointed to a key portfolio such as Treasury spokesman. Mr Albanese is set to be confirmed as Labor leader today.
Mr Neumann said Labor needed to address issues raised by Queensland voters, ranging from support for the Adani coal mine to tax.
He also warned that religious people had turned away from Labor, particularly in Queensland, and needed to be won back.