Paul Neville's departure could cause a tug or war among candidates.
Paul Neville's departure could cause a tug or war among candidates. Paul Zanetti

Neville's departure could spell war

FEDERAL Member for Hinkler Paul Neville has announced he will not re-contest the next federal election.

Mr Neville dropped the bombshell during a meeting with state LNP president Bruce McIver.

His decision to withdraw opens up a power struggle between the LNP power bases of Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

Political insiders consider Bundaberg to have the greater voting weight among card carrying members.

Young LNP Turks in Hervey Bay are advocating geographical, as well as generational, change.

While the numbers are hazy, there is talk that the northern part of the electorate has about 160 people eligible to vote in any preselection.

The southern end of the electorate can marshal perhaps 130 LNP members.

The split will be significant as senior members of the party predict the vote will be parochial.

The member for Hinkler has traditionally sat in Bundaberg.

Mr Neville said it was a difficult decision to retire but felt it was time for new blood.

"I would like to leave at the top of my game" he said.

"The electorate is secure with a 10.4% margin and I have built a team of excellent electoral staff.

"With the Coalition high in the polls, this is the appropriate time for succession."

Nominations for preselection opened on Monday and are due to close in late October.

Nominees are vetted and will travel to Brisbane for interview with senior party officials.

If more than one candidate is stands, a vote will be held among members to select the candidate for Hinkler.



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