Like father like son for LNP's Buderim candidate
THE LNP's candidate charged with wresting Buderim back from One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson at the next state election is a former career soldier whose father is the regional chair of the party.
Brent Mickelberg, 35, has lived on Buderim for the past two and a half years with his wife Anneliese and their two children aged two and a half and six months.
He served in Afghanistan and East Timor and became an infantry officer during a seven-year military career after first joining the Army Reserve. When he left full-time service in 2013 to pursue a career in banking he also returned to the Reserves.
In January 2011 Mr Mickelberg, then a Lieutenant in the regular army, was a member of the detachment engaged in searching for bodies and human remains after the horrific Lockyer Valley floods ripped through Grantham and Helidon.
He now works in Maroochydore for the ANZ's Queensland commercial financial planning business.
Anneliese is a former policewoman who now works in family law.
Mr Mickelberg said his first thoughts of entering politics had been triggered by what he described as his mother's experience as a terminally ill cancer patient in Nambour Hospital's emergency department.
He said he was disgusted at public health in Queensland.
But it was only in January when Mr Dickson's defection was announced that he first gave serious thought to representing the community the family intended to raise their children in.
Mr Mickelberg said congestion on roads locally and on the Bruce Hwy, rail duplication and the need to reduce red tape were all issues that impacted locally.
"I was disappointed in Steve Dickson's actions," he said.
"A lot of members felt betrayed. They have given 30 to 40 years of hard work and sweat (for the party) which was not repaid."
Mr Mickelberg's father Graeme, who replaced Greg Newton as the LNP's Sunshine Coast regional chair, was also a career soldier reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before leaving service to establish Hydra Enterprises Pty Ltd, a consultancy business which advises on planning and risk management.
In 2000-2001 he was also in East Timor representing the Queensland Government in identifying potential reconstruction business for the state.
Mr Mickelberg senior also ran as a pre-selection candidate in the seat of Fisher in 2012 to replace Peter Slipper who also deserted the party to accept Labor's offer of the Speaker's job in the Federal Parliament.
The party's nomination, from a large field, ultimately went to Malcolm Brough who served one term in the seat before deciding not to re-stand.