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Rookie Qld Opposition MP loses deputy bid -

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Rookie Qld Opposition MP loses deputy bid

Charlotte Glennie reported this story on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:41:00

ELEANOR HALL: It's only 18 months since Queensland's Liberal and National parties joined together
in an effort to boost their electoral chances.

But in-fighting continues to dog the new party.

After losing three elections as the Leader of the Opposition, Lawrence Springborg was demoted to
the position of deputy leader.

And this morning, he faced a challenge for that job from a 29 year old, who was only voted into
Parliament for the first time less than a year ago.

In Brisbane Charlotte Glennie reports.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: It was a classic case of the seasoned politician versus the rookie. But 29 year
old Aidan McLindon had his deputy leadership aspirations dashed by the incumbent Lawrence
Springborg.

Queensland's Liberal National Party MPs met for less than half an hour before their whip Mike Horan
emerged and announced the result.

MIICHAEL HORAN: We had a meeting. We had a call for a spill motion. There was a spill motion and
that motion was lost 29 to five so the matter goes no further and has been dealt with.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: The first term member for Beaudesert Aidan McLindon had no apparent support
going into the meeting, but before it he told The World Today that wouldn't deter him.

(Question to Aidan McLindon) Aidan, how confident are you feeling this morning?

AIDAN MCLINDON: Oh look, you can never be confident in politics. It is always an unknown factor but
at least I have gone in there for the right reasons and if there is positive change that has come
out of this then it is a good thing for the party.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: And what are your reasons?

AIDAN MCLINDON: Oh, look I just hope that we become relevant and create significant inroads into
the ALP to finally become engaged with the public and transfer their thoughts into decent
alternative policy so that we can get Queensland back on track because I am certainly not going to
sit back and watch it being crippled the way it is.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: But the young MP's attitude has angered many of his colleagues, like the Member
for Condamine, Ray Hopper.

RAY HOPPER: I think it is all unnecessary really. I totally support Lawrence Springborg, always
have. You know, he deserves the right to be the deputy leader of this party. You know, he has built
the LNP and how dare they try and move on him.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: Aidan McLindon has brushed off the criticism.

(to Aidan McLindon) Some of your colleagues are of the opinion that you are doing more damage than
good. What do you say to them?

AIDAN MCLINDON: Well, I need people to step outside the square and look at the big picture and then
be visionary enough to see that we need a mixture of wisdom and youth and we cannot keep doing what
we have always done.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: What do you expect a failed bid on your behalf to do for the party?

AIDAN MCLINDON: Win, lose or draw, I will still be a team player. I will still make my contribution
to the party.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: At just 29 Aidan McLindon already has a colourful history.

(Rock music)

That's him singing in his rock band.

In 2005 he was fined for public nuisance after intruding onto the set of that year's final episode
of Big Brother.

He also once sparked a Crime and Misconduct Commission inquiry after claiming on stage with his
band that Logan City Council was corrupt.

It's a stark contrast to Lawrence Springborg, the man credited with being the founder of the
Queensland LNP.

The veteran politician has fought to be the state's Premier three times and lost.

He's kept a low profile these last few days but yesterday the man who succeeded him as Opposition
Leader John-Paul Langbroek said he wanted Lawrence Springborg to remain as his deputy.

JOHN-PAUL LANGBROEK: He is experienced. He is widely respected around Queensland. He literally is
the father of the LNP and I would welcome him being returned as my deputy and I expect that to
happen.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: But while that is what happened, Griffith University politics lecturer Dr Paul
Williams says the status quo may not last for long.

PAUL WILLIAMS: I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of Lawrence Springborg's grip on the,
in a senior position of the LNP. Not in the LNP itself and not as a future minister is some other
LNP government under some other leader or deputy leader but certainly I think the days of Mr
Spingborg's very senior leadership in the party are coming to an end.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: Dr Williams says Aidan McLindon actually did better than many predicted.

PAUL WILLIAMS: The fact that he could marshal five votes in the party room means it is more than
himself who is disconcerted with the way that the LNP is going and there is plenty of evidence
around that the LNP, despite being ostensibly harmonious, underneath the surface there are still
some of these old tribal loyalties - Liberal versus National - and a sense that the party is losing
a little bit of momentum despite its great inroads in 2009 elections.

So the fact that Mr McLindon has put a cat among the pigeons and has got a couple of votes means
that I think this issue will resurface again down the track.

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: What has what he's done done for the credibility of the party?

PAUL WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't think it has harmed the party in the longer term in any way. Of course
it has been a distraction for the LNP just as it is trying to take the fight up to the Government
over asset sales and a whole range of things, particularly as the new parliamentary year is about
to begin next week.

So obviously a lot of people in the LNP would feel this is an unnecessary distraction. They will
probably be a little bit annoyed at Mr McLindon for raising it but as Mr McLindon himself has said
that, you know, it is better to iron out these issues long before the next election is due than on
the eve of an election which the LNP has done time and time again.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University, ending that report from Charlotte Glennie
in Brisbane.