WRONG: Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said claims he backed Peter Dutton's bid for the Liberal party leadership were
WRONG: Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said claims he backed Peter Dutton's bid for the Liberal party leadership were "incorrect”. Kevin Farmer

'I supported the PM': Wright candidate backing Dutton bid

SCOTT Buchholz says the government's leadership chaos is history and declares he is the best candidate to continue delivering services for the rural seat of Wright.

Mr Buchholz has held the seat since it was created during redistributions in 2010, and this election heads to polls with a whopping margin of 9.6 per cent.

He was promoted to Assistant Minister for Transport by Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the second leadership spill in August last year.

Mr Buchholz said he supported Mr Morrison during this ballot.

"When Malcolm Turnbull withdrew, the advice I was given from members of the Lockyer Valley, was to support Morrison," he said.

"I support Scott Morrison - I support the skill set he brings to the parliament being an incredible immigration minister and stopping the boats, and I know that resonated in the Lockyer Valley.

"I support, as a former businessman myself, the strength that he shows as treasurer in returning our budget to surplus, and he's got a strong plan for the economy and a strong plan for the future."

Mr Buchholz said reports he was one of 35 Liberal MPs who voted for the Home Affairs minister were "incorrect" and he had in fact supported the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

"I am on the record on the day of the spill, (saying) I supported the incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull," he said.

"And when Tony Abbott was challenged, I supported Tony Abbott.

"Because I support stability and I support the concept the Australian public have lost their appetite for a revolving door of prime ministers."

He claimed "lazy" journalists were to blame for him being named as a Dutton supporter.

"I'm a great mate of Peter Dutton's, I'm a Queenslander, I'm a conservative - so it's completely reasonable that lazy journalists would have put me into a pile, or made an assumption, without ringing me and asking me," he said.

But the MP wouldn't be drawn on whether it had been a mistake for the Liberal Party to become mired in another leadership crisis so close to the election.

"Those issues are behind us - we can't change history," he said.

"What's happened has happened, we need to take those decisions that we made to a democratic election and let the punters have their choice."

The assistant minister for transport is preparing to defend his seat at the May 18 election.

Mr Buchholz pointed to securing $2.5 million in federal funds to assist Lockyer Valley growers to purchase new water meters as a key success of his term.

He also named his work harmonising regulations surrounding the movement of fodder at the height of the drought as another achievement.

"It was an issue that had dogged our nation for some 40 years," he said.

Mr Buchholz has served as assistant minister for transport since August and said rather than hindering his ability to serve his local constituents, the position had produced positives for the electorate.

"The results speak for themselves - the increase in Roads to Recovery funding in the Lockyer Valley, increase in federal assistance grants, ongoing partnerships with local government for our national bridge program," he said.

"I can honestly say I don't know if I would have been able to secure the $2.5 million dollars (for new water meters) if I wasn't sitting in cabinet."

Mr Buchholz will take on seven other candidates election and is expected to retain his seat.


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