Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

Time spent with dad in final days has MP ready to fight

TIME spent caring for her late father in his final weeks of a cancer battle has renewed Fiona Simpson's desire to extend her political career past 30 years.

The sitting Maroochydore state member said she was "fired up" for next year's state election.

"We've obviously got to hold these seats and win others," she said.

"You never stop (campaigning)."

She said the federal result had been very encouraging, but recognised the LNP was "still the underdog" at a state level.

Ms Simpson said the state needed a government focused on infrastructure spending all over, to deliver road and rail needed on the Coast.

She said she expected the region would be rewarded with a number of ministers, if the LNP were to win government next year.

Sunshine Coast Daily's Future Sunshine Coast event. MPs Dan Purdie, left, Brent Mickelberg, Fiona Simpson and Marty Hunt. Photo: Patrick Woods
Sunshine Coast Daily's Future Sunshine Coast event. MPs Dan Purdie, left, Brent Mickelberg, Fiona Simpson and Marty Hunt. Photo: Patrick Woods

"We're positive, but not cocky," Ms Simpson said.

She said the Coast had contributed a lot of depth to the team.

The former speaker said her party was eager to see a level playing field when it came to electoral rules, after changes to donation procedures.

"Every election you approach as if it's your first," she said.

The departure of retiring Caloundra MP Mark McArdle was set to take out nearly two decades of experience from the Coast's strong LNP ranks.

Three MPs, Marty Hunt (Nicklin), Brent Mickelberg (Buderim) and Dan Purdie (Ninderry), were all first-term MPs set to seek re-election for the first time.

Ms Simpson, who was elected in 1992, will see her career pass three decades, if successful next year.

Her leadership was set to prove vital to the party's chances at the polls.

"We all work together," Ms Simpson said.

She said the Coast contingent met every parliamentary sitting week, and they "work well together".

She said looking after her late father, Gordon, in early-2017, before he passed away, had been a bittersweet time, but the support she'd been shown had only increased her love of the region.

"It was obviously the right thing to do," she said.

Fiona Simpson LNP sitting member for Maroochydore at Coolum with father Gordon (left) who held the Sunshine Coast seat of Cooroora for the National party between 1974 to 1989. Photo: Megan Slade
Fiona Simpson LNP sitting member for Maroochydore at Coolum with father Gordon (left) who held the Sunshine Coast seat of Cooroora for the National party between 1974 to 1989. Photo: Megan Slade

She said the support given to her during those times had helped give her more of a passion and a belief about how to build a community.

"It's not just about bricks and mortar," she said.

"It only strengthens my love of this area."

Ms Simpson said it had made her grateful, but also more aware of her calling, and why she was in her role.

"It's about the type of community we want to see," she said.