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UPDATE: Strelow confirms she'll run for Rocky ALP preselection

Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow greets Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP before taking her on a tour around the Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Rockhampton following Cyclone Marcia.
Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow greets Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP before taking her on a tour around the Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Rockhampton following Cyclone Marcia. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK210215smarcia1

2PM: ON THE back of a glowing endorsement from the Queensland premier, Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow has confirmed she will lodge documents for her Labor preselection nomination.

Cr Strelow said she was taking each step in the process as it came and would not speculate as to the outcome of either the preselection or eventual election.

"There is still a process," she said.

"Should I be successful it's on to the election.

"I do not take either the preselection or the election for granted.

"For now I am heartily and completely committed to my role as mayor."

The state election must be called before May 2018, but premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today said the date had still not be decided.

It's understood the Rockhampton preselection process could take some weeks to be completed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow and State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne at the Rockhampton Airport, where 20 SES volunteers built a barrier around the control tower in preparation for a major flood this week.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow and State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne at the Rockhampton Airport, where 20 SES volunteers built a barrier around the control tower in preparation for a major flood this week. Allan Reinikka

11AM: THE Queensland premier has given a glowing endorsement of Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow, saying she would be "an outstanding candidate" in the upcoming state election.

Speaking to media in Brisbane, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk indicated her support for the mayor, who has yet to formally nominate for Labor preselection.

"She has been a strong voice for Rockhampton," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"She has been an excellent mayor and if she chooses to step up and run for that seat, she would have my blessing."

Yesterday, former long-serving Rockhampton MP and state minister Robert Schwarten said he would nominate if his preferred candidate, Queensland Teachers' Union organiser Dan Coxen, was ruled ineligible.

Ms Palaszczuk said no one could dispute the "great contribution" Mr Schwarten had made to Rockhampton.

In response to a question about what this meant for the party, Ms Palaszczuk said she had not previously publicly backed any particular candidate.

"I have only come out today in relation to who I believe is the best person, if she chooses to put her hand up," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow greets Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP before taking her on a tour around the Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Rockhampton following Cyclone Marcia.
Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow greets Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP before taking her on a tour around the Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Rockhampton following Cyclone Marcia. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK210215smarcia1

"I have worked extensively with Margaret through both Tropical Cyclone Marcia and the floods that were the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

"She has been fighting for jobs in that region and she is a strong voice for Rockhampton."

Ms Palaszczuk refused to say she was publicly backing Cr Strelow, saying she would "have my blessing".

She said she was "not at all" concerned Rockhampton's preselection battle was an outbreak of factional discontent within the party.

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad joined member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne and Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow to officially launch the CBD Redevelopment Framework this morning.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad joined member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne and Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow to officially launch the CBD Redevelopment Framework this morning. Allan Reinikka ROK300117awilliam

One journalist posed the question "if you guys can't pull together a couple of months out from the election, what hope have you got?".

"This is just normal, it happens in all parties," she said in response.

"People indicate their preferences one way or another."

Ms Palaszczuk said it was "not really" unusual for a former minister to threaten to nominate if their preferred candidate was not endorsed.

Topics:  queensland politics rockhampton state politics tmbcouncil tmbpolitics



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