Paul Neville in his office.
Paul Neville in his office. Michael Jones

Neville fights to hold Hinkler

MEMBER for Hinkler Paul Neville will travel to Brisbane today to thrash out his political future with high ranking party officials.

He denied reports he had been asked to step aside by the LNP and not contest Hinkler at the next election.

The Chronicle understands challengers are already working the phones to corral numbers in anticipation of a pre-selection battle.

The seat of Hinkler covers a large swathe of the Fraser Coast, including Hervey Bay and extends north to Bundaberg and inland to Childers.

Mr Neville said the Brisbane meeting was convened at his request and was part of the natural political rhythm.

"Every term it comes to the stage when I want to consider my own future, the future of the seat, my constituents and the future of the party.

"I am comfortable with continuing. My party and friends have always encouraged me to stay on but every term you have got to have a look."

Mr Neville said he had not been challenged once for pre-selection in seven elections, one of which he won by 69 votes and others by less than 450 votes.

He acknowledged that factions within the LNP were working to crystallise support around two potential opponents.

"I know who they (the challengers) are - there are two from

Hervey Bay - but if I was to be challenged I would say that it is part of the democratic process," Mr Neville said.

Asked directly if he was considering stepping aside, Mr Neville said it was an option that he considered in the shadow of every election.

By the end of the current term, Mr Neville will have held the seat of Hinkler for more than 20 years.

Today's meeting in Brisbane will allow Mr Neville to assess the level of support for him within the LNP party machine and will be a key factor as to whether he nominates in the coming days.

A call for nominations for Hinkler will be made this week.

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