‘Impossible’: Furious LNP members slam Currumbin deadline
FURIOUS LNP Currumbin branch members say they had an "impossible'' three hours notice that nominations for preselection in the seat were closing - leaving successful candidate Laura Gerber the last woman standing.
Disgruntled branch members told the Bulletin yesterday they believed head office had "predetermined'' the selection of barrister and mother-of-two Ms Gerber by making the decision to suddenly close nominations for a looming by-election the day long-serving MP Jann Stuckey said she was resigning.
The branch had previously been told by LNP state secretary Angela Awabdy there would be "one to two weeks notice" before nominations closed.
LNP head office said yesterday nominations had already been open for more than 100 days.
A by-election is expected to be held on March 28.
"The sudden by-election meant that the LNP was forced to close nominations quickly, and at the time Laura was the only candidate who had passed the applicant review process," a spokesman for the party said. "In order to get her into the field as quickly as possible, the party's state executive endorsed her on Monday night, as it is able to under the LNP constitution."
According to members, an email from head office was sent to branch members at 11.44am on January 23 informing them applications for preselection would close at 3pm. Until that point there had been no preselection closing date.
Branch members questioned why they were not given at least 24 hours.
"It would be impossible for anyone to submit an application, as that person would need to source five members to support them, pay the $2000 nomination fee, and gather evidence of their character in two hours," a long-term member told the Bulletin.
"Not possible, this usually takes an applicant three to five days to prepare."
Another said no "real'' process had taken place despite assurances from LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington that the vetting process had been rigorous. The Bulletin reported yesterday Ms Gerber applied to run for the LNP in December. She said she only recently joined, saying she submitted her application "late last year".
Yesterday a branch member said there had been "no preselection''.
"The local branches were denied a preselection,'' the member said.
"They wanted Gerber."
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni went on the attack yesterday. "Nobody actually knows who the LNP's candidate is," he said.
"If the LNP's local MP Jann Stuckey doesn't back the LNP's candidate, why should anybody else?"