Hobbs defends 'Hopper the Swapper'

Condamine MP Ray Hopper in parliament.
 Photo: Greg Miller / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Condamine MP Ray Hopper in parliament. Photo: Greg Miller / Sunshine Coast Daily.

LNP members have labelled the Member for Condamine "Hopper the swapper" after he defected from the LNP at the weekend - his second major party change.

Member for Warrego Howard Hobbs defended Ray Hopper from the LNP attacks.

Mr Hobbs, whose electorate includes Jandowae, said Mr Hopper "still is" a good friend after joining Katter's Australian Party.

Mr Hopper's move means the people of Condamine have had a voice in government for just eight months of his 11 years in the seat.

In resigning, he said the government was at war with itself and not representing regional Queensland.

On Sunday, Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said Mr Hopper was damaging his own reputation and labelled him "bitter and twisted".

Mr Hobbs said the minister's assessment was not fair.

"(Mr Hopper) is a very committed person and ... he wants to get a result and that's how he thought he would do that," he said.

"It has been a very tough battle for quite a few of us in the past in relation to CSG ... and we have fought the good fight to ensure that future CSG development is done sustainably."

Mr Hobbs said he had no prior knowledge of the defection and would not follow his lead.

Ray Hopper's defection to Katter's Australian Party brings the number of KAP members in Queensland parliament to three.

Among the KAP's policies are plans to end the "nanny state", a 12 month moratorium on proposed and new coal seam gas projects, and disallowing any mining activity on a property without the landholder's consent.

The party said it would block any carbon tax or emissions trading schemes and promoting farmer's rights, including breaking the dominance of the two major supermarkets.

It is the second major party jump for Mr Hopper, who joined the National Party in 2001, 10 months after being elected as an Independent member for what was then the seat of Darling Downs.

Topics:  kap, katter's australian party, lnp, ray hopper



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