Gibson blasts ‘toxic politics', says ‘no’ to mayoral race
GYMPIE MP David Gibson yesterday blasted "toxic" politics within his own party and called for a better deal for Gympie region ratepayers.
He told The Gympie Times he will not be running for mayor but will be vocal and energetic in the by-election to replace Ron Dyne, who resigned from the position last month, due to illness.
He called for lower rates and improved operational efficiency within the council.
In an exclusive interview with The Gympie Times yesterday, Mr Gibson gave an emphatic "No" to the question on whether he will run for mayor.
And in an "Open letter to the people of Gympie" on his Facebook site this morning, he said he had left politics "because I experienced local politics degenerate into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks".
He said the forces which led to his demise were an affront to the ideals of the Liberal National Party by people who had misused the party.
"This is just one of the many reasons people have lost trust in the political process," he said.
Mr Gibson also ruled out running as an independent in the next state election, but did acknowledge that this had been suggested to him, as had the idea of running for mayor.
"At its core the LNP is a party of ideas; a grass roots party focused on limited government and less regulation, of lower taxes and balanced budgets," he said.
"But in the current toxic form of political discourse a pathetic few viewed the party locally as a vehicle for power and influence."
Mr Gibson said he retained faith in the Gympie region, particularly in "the spirit of our entrepreneurs, the courage of people who start up new businesses and the unyielding optimism of our young people as they embrace the future".
But he said the region needed "the right leadership at both a council and state level".
"I will give support to the mayoral candidate who is best-equipped to lead our region into the future; who has a plan for lowering rates and improving the efficiency of council operations and who has a vision of the opportunities that our region can benefit from."
The mayoral election campaign will get underway formally this Saturday.
Electoral Commission Queensland said details, including the election date will be published on the ECQ website and by an advertisement in The Gympie Times.
Mr Gibson's departure from the field of election "possibles" leaves four people who have expressed interest, only three of them "definites".
They are police officer and sitting Gympie region councillor Mick Curran, real estate agent and former Gympie region councillor Graham Engeman and Gympie regional councillor Ian Petersen.
Gympie property valuer, ex-fire fighter and former Gympie City Council alderman Lindsay Horswood has said he is considering his position, but could not be contacted yesterday.
The election will be the first in the region's history to be conducted by postal ballot.
Voting will be optional preferential and any Gympie enrolled Australian citizen can run.