Saturday 20 August 2011

Cairns - A fresh start for Campbell Newman

Paul Freebody dumped from LNP over email scandal

Gavin King
Saturday, August 20, 2011
© The Cairns Post

Cairns businessman Paul Freebodysays he is devastated but not surprised by the LNP's decision to dump him as a candidate for the next state  election.

The LNP yesterday issued a statement confirming Mr Freebody had been expelled from the party over an email that said he hoped Prime Minister Julia Gillard "follows the history" of assassinated US president John F. Kennedy.

Mr Freebody (pictured) has maintained his innocence throughout the scandal, saying the email was altered by a family member before being sent.

"The LNP expects all candidates and elected representatives to behave with the utmost propriety and to uphold at all times high standards of behaviour, loyalty and integrity," the LNP statement said.

"The LNP views any act of disloyalty and improper conduct by a candidate as a gross breach of the party’s standards."

The party opened nominations for the seat yesterday, and it was thought Bob Norman was favoured as the next candidate after ranking second behind Mr Freebody in the initial preselection process.

Internal party polling suggested the LNP could win the seat for the first time in more than a century.

Mr Freebody yesterday ruled out any legal challenge to the party’s decision, saying he only had a problem with a "few people" in the party.

"At the hearing I couldn’t discuss issues related to the email because they are private family matters and my legal adviser wasn’t present, so I understand why the party had to make the decision," he said.

"The email was a stuff-up, nothing more than that, and it has caused a lot of stress to my wife and kids and I’m now looking forward to getting back to my business interests and projects away from it all."

ALP candidate for Cairns Kirsten Lesina, also a Cairns councillor, said the debacle would not be a distraction to her campaign.



The LNP had no choice but to dump the accident prone Freebody. His continued arrogance and 'bully boy' tactics had to come to an end, not to mention a alleged fraud investigation that was yet to be aired.

Individuals of his ilk, that resort to such actions, need to be taught a lesson for their own good. He must be a shattered man but he needs to look to his fanatical behaviour for answers. After all we do live in a parliamentary democracy and as such we are all entitled to our own opinion. 

Its is a culmination of unsavoury events that lead to his dis endorsement which began in 2010 when he labeled the women Councillor on the Cairns Regional Council as "witches and bitches" for having the temerity to question their motives in asking perfectly in order questions about his 'Water Playground' tourist facility on the Barron River Delta, colloquially known as the 'Freebody Underwater Park' 

Readers will remember his promises before approval was finally given to build this facility within 6 months of approval. One must question the veracity of this commitment at the time given that the facility is yet to be built and is never likely to be built because of many fundamental issues not the least a flooding problem.

Cairns Regional Council should now consider, after given Freebody reasonable time to comply. If compliance to the original undertaking is not forthcoming, the Council should then revoke the approval. In the meantime Council should issue an Order to clean up the site of the derelict structure which is a cyclone hazard to the Smithfield residents.

'Can Do' Campbell and the LNP need to be applauded for revoking his endorsement.  It demonstrates that he is prepared to listen to grass root community angst and concern in the original decision and subsequent misdemeanours.

The opportunity now exists for the LNP to pick the right candidate for Cairns and look further a field than potential candidates already mentioned and go for a generational change. There are many 'new look' people that love Cairns that could fill the role with youth, integrity and commitment.

I believe Campbell should hand pick his candidate to mirror his 'can do' image and the values he represents. 

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