The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Longman set to lose
Maleny to Fisher

by Cameron Outridge

People have only until this Friday afternoon (September 19) to lodge objections to an Electoral Commission boundary redistribution proposal under which Longman would lose Maleny and Conondale to the Fisher electorate.    Fisher is currently held by Peter Slipper, while Longman’s MP is fellow Liberal Mal Brough.   The AEC advised TRN that objections can be faxed to 07 3831 9683 and marked “attention Redistribution Secretariat” – by 6pm Friday.   Alternatively they can be posted to the Redistribution Committee for Queensland, 7th Floor, Collection House, 488 Queen Street, Brisbane Queensland 4000 by 6pm on Friday September 19.   The electoral shakeup has stirred rumours, fanned by Mr Brough’s opponent in the 2001 election Stephen Beckett, that Mr Brough would leave his seat of Longman in favour of the safer Fisher seat.

A Courier-Mail report (Page 2, September 15) said that a senior liberal source had said Mr Brough spoke to Mr Howard at the beginning of last week and that the PM had not opposed Mr Brough standing for Fisher.

Mr Brough was in Parliament yesterday and said he did not want to comment. His spokesperson said: “All this has blown up out of one story in the Courier-Mail.   Mal doesn’t want to comment.”    Meanwhile, Peter Slipper was on ABC Radio yesterday hosing down speculation and saying he knew nothing about the rumour.   Mr Beckett said.  “When I raised the possibility of Mr Brough dumping Longman for the safe seat of Fisher, he said that I was talking ‘rubbish’ and that he had ‘no intentions of going anywhere’,” Mr Beckett said.   “However, days later, Senior Liberals are saying that Mr Brough has been to talk to the Prime Minister about it,” said Mr Beckett.

The redistribution was likely to make Longman an easier target for Labor.   In 2001 Maleny voters lodged 1494 primary votes for Mr Brough and 781 for Mr Beckett.   The proposed changes would see Longman lose Maleny and Conondale to Fisher.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.