Jason Costigan
Jason Costigan

‘Highly insincere’ Costigan voted against NQ split

A renegade North Queensland MP who created a new political party aimed at splitting the state in two has been labelled a hypocrite and "highly insincere" after it was revealed he had once voted against the idea.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan, who has been traversing the North spruiking his new "North Queensland First" party, confirmed he had in fact voted against the move for a separate state when the idea last hit the parliament floor.

In September 2016, Katter's Australian Party state leader Robbie Katter moved a motion for parliament to support the separation of Queensland into two states and for the boundary to be recommended by an independent body.

The motion was struck down 82- 3, with the LNP voting with the Labor government. Labor-turned-independent Cook MP Billy Gordon at the time chose to abstain from the vote.

Mr Costigan, who was then in the LNP before being expelled earlier this year, confirmed he had toed the party line.

"At that stage, I still believed the LNP could win the next election and that I could play a leading role in making sure the North was no longer being neglected like it had been for a very long time," he said.

"If I had my time over again, I would have stuck my neck out or at the very least, abstained from voting.

"That's all history now and we can only go forward and hey, that is exactly what I'm doing, as Leader of NQ First and yes, Statehood for the North is the ultimate goal."

But Mr Katter said it was "highly insincere" and "ultimate hypocrisy" for Mr Costigan to attempt to lead the charge on secession now when he hadn't before.

"I think it speaks volumes of the conviction of a bloke that his first move for his (NQ) First party has been to bag the most influential and most motivated party to build an argument for secession," he said.

"We sat through his side jeering at us, where he gleefully supported his side voting us down the last time (this) came into parliament.

"It exemplifies why people get sick of politicians like him with speaking with a forked tongue."

Mr Katter said the "only logical conclusion" was that Mr Costigan's new push for secession was driven by self-interest. Mr Costigan has previously said the KAP had talked a "big game" but had been unable to "get people fired up elsewhere".