Shock as LNP senators dumped for fresh faces
THERE was bloodletting and renewal for the LNP as a veteran senator and party powerbroker were rolled in preselection for the Senate, as new talent took the top spots for the party.
Veteran LNP Senator Ian Macdonald will be replaced by mining executive Paul Scarr, while former LNP treasurer Senator Barry O'Sullivan lost his spot to Nationals royalty Susan McDonald by one vote.
It took place on a wild first day of the LNP state convention taking place at the RNA Showgrounds this weekend.
National party stalwarts were said to be shocked, as two regionally-based senators lost their spots to Brisbane-based nominees.
"Brisbane took over the LNP today, which is what we've always feared," one source said.
But others called it "a day of renewal for the party".
The McDonalds are a respected family in the Nationals within the LNP, and Susan McDonald is considered strong, new talent. She grew up in Cloncurry and is treasurer of the RNA.
LNP president Gary Spence paid tribute to Senators Macdonald and O'Sullivan's service, but it was an exciting new team.
"This Senate team represents renewal within the LNP - new energy and new ideas for the future of Queensland," he said.
While there had been talk about challenges for the two sitting senators, many in the party were shocked yesterday, saying there was not culture in the LNP to dump elected members.
It will bring to an end the 28-year parliamentary career of Senator Macdonald, who served as a minister in the Howard government, and a political career which dates back to 1979.
Senator Macdonald did secure fourth position on the ticket, but it is an almost unwinnable spot.
There had been a push from within the party for Senator Macdonald to go, urging renewal as the stalwart would have been 80 by the end of another next six-year term.
Senator O'Sullivan's backers had been confident that he had the numbers and were taken by surprise.
Gerard Rennick, who has a background in banking, will be in the tough-but-winnable third spot, while tree-lopper Brad Carswell secured fifth position and Nicole Tobin the last.
Former Newman government minister Scott Emerson sought the top ticket spot, but missed out.