Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence is expected to resign today. Picture: Paul Beutel
Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence is expected to resign today. Picture: Paul Beutel

LNP president’s shock announcement

UPDATE: Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence has submitted his shock resignation during an emergency meeting sparked by updated legal advice.

In a move that will have lasting effects on the LNP's looming federal election campaign, Mr Spence is quitting because of the ban on developer donations introduced by the State Government, and how it intersects with electoral laws.

"I have been forced to take this action by Annastacia Palaszczuk's draconian and punitive legislation that prohibits the property development sector from actively participating in Queensland's political life," he said in his letter of resignation.

"Despite recent changes to Commonwealth legislation, which reaffirmed the Commonwealth's jurisdiction over the conduct of Federal elections, it remains the case that the LNP - as a political party registered in Queensland - is still affected by the Queensland legislation. As such, I am effectively prohibited by law from continuing as your president."

LNP city vice-president David Hutchinson was expected to be elected by the state executive to act in the role in the interim. However, it is understood there is a push for former Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg to take on the job. Mr Springborg has repeatedly told confidantes he does not want the job.

EARLIER: THE shock resignation of Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence is expected today during an emergency meeting sparked by updated legal advice.

In a move that will have lasting effects on the LNP's looming federal election campaign, Mr Spence is understood to be quitting because of the ban on developer donations introduced by the State Government, and how it intersects with electoral laws.

LNP city vice-president David Hutchinson was expected to be elected by the state executive to act in the role in the interim.

However, it is understood there is a push for former Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg to take on the job. Mr Springborg has repeatedly told confidantes he does not want the job.

Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence is expected to resign today. Picture: Paul Beutel
Liberal National Party national president Gary Spence is expected to resign today. Picture: Paul Beutel

However, there is a significant push for Mr Springborg to take on the role, with many demanding the next president be unifying and have stature in and outside the party.

Mr Hutchinson's backers hope he will nominate to take over the role permanently, arguing the party needs "generational change". That vote is expected to take place at the state convention next year, after the federal election.

State executive received little notice of the 30-minute meeting. Several members had to dial in from around the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be in Queensland today and will be briefed after the meeting.

Many state executive members spoken to last night were unaware of Mr Spence's intention to resign.

Mr Spence is the executive chairman of PeakUrban, a civil engineering and development consultant.

News Queensland understands the LNP's legal team will brief the state executive today with updated advice on federal and state laws, and the effects on the party and the federal election.

Donation caps apply to federal fundraising. However, the state developer bans will make it almost impossible for Mr Spence to stay in the LNP's unpaid role.



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