Labor unveils candidates for 2020 election
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk has unveiled four new candidates in some of the southeast's most marginal seats, putting the LNP and the Greens on notice, as the Labor Party ramps up its re-election campaign less than a year out from polling day.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the party has set its sights wresting the LNP-held seats of Pumicestone, Clayfield and Chatsworth and the seat of Maiwar, currently represented by the first Greens MP elected to parliament, Michael Berkman with Ms Palaszczuk vowing to campaign alongside her candidates in the lead up to Election Day on October 31.
All four seats are held with margins of less than three per cent with the LNP holding Pumicestone by just 0.8 per cent or 495 votes.
Opposition MP Simone Wilson announced in September that she was retiring after just one term, bolstering Labor's hopes of regaining the seat with its new candidate Ali King.
"This is a diverse team of community champions with real-life experience helping
Queenslanders on the frontline," Ms Palaszczuk said of her new candidates.
"There is no doubt that a lot has been achieved but I know there is always more work
to be done. That's why I'll be out there alongside our new candidates to again earn the support of Queenslanders."
Labor needs to hold 47 of its 48 seats in the chamber if it wants to continue governing in its own right. The LNP needs to pick up nine more to win power.
Ms King, a former small business owner turned public servant, said she would give the Pumicestone electorate a "new and energetic voice" should voters choose her on polling day on October 31 next year.
She previously contested the seat of Maiwar for the party in 2017.
This time Palani Thevar - a social worker who is the current secretary to the United Nations Association of Australian QLD and the former president of the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland and Queensland Tamil Association - will contest Maiwar for Labor.
He said job as a social worker under the former Newman government motivated him to run.
Mr Berkman holds the seat by a margin of 1.7 per cent after beating former Newman government minister Scott Emerson in 2017.
The LNP is yet to set a date to preselect its new Maiwar candidate with two women vying for the spot.
Solicitor Phillip Anthony, who secured a 4 per cent swing against former Opposition Leader and Newman government Treasurer Tim Nicholls in 2017, reducing his margin to just 2.4 per cent, will line up to challenge him again in 2020.
High school maths teacher Lisa O'Donnell will contest the next most marginal seat of Chatsworth, currently held by LNP frontbencher Steve Minnikin.
Both Mr Minnikin and Mr Nicholls will be among a swag of LNP MPs to be re-endorsed at this weekend's LNP state council on the Gold Coast.
That comes 12 months after their political futures were threatened following their decision to use a conscience vote to support Labor's abortion decriminalisation bill.