MARYBOROUGH Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone has rejected overtures from Bob Katter to run in the next state election as a candidate for the Australian Party.
The rejection leaves the fledgling party still beating the bushes in search of a candidate on the Fraser Coast to carry its standard into the next state election campaign.
Mr Stone said that he had been approached by Mr Katter but had refused the invitation as he wished to concentrate on his current roles and promoting the region in a non-partisan manner.
“At the moment I am very focused on the success of Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Service and the Maisie Kaufmann Learning Centre,” Mr Stone said.
“State government representation does not interest me at all.”
Mr Stone revealed that he and Mr Katter had attended the same school in Charters Towers but he had been firm in resisting old school ties.
He had also not been influenced by the merger of Mr Katter’s party with that of Queensland Party leader Aidan McLindon.
“I have nothing against Bob Katter or Aidan and I am sure their hearts are in the right spot,” Mr Stone said.
“I’m just not too sure what that might mean for our region.”
Mr Stone’s regional intentions are the subject of rumour centring on his possible run for local council.
Mr Stone acknowledged that he continued to consider this option.
“I have not put my hand up to run as yet as I want to hear the outcome of the divisions debate,” Mr Stone said.
“After going through the process of amalgamation only a few years ago, I think it would be a real step backwards to go to divisions.”
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