Major parties lose out in Nundah

Issue 

Major parties lose out in Nundah

By Jim McIlroy

BRISBANE — Neither Labor nor the Liberals can take much encouragement from the May 18 by-election for the Queensland state seat of Nundah. Closing figures on the night indicate the seat will be decided on the preferences of five independents and minor parties.

The Nationals' discredited candidate, former cabinet minister Yvonne Chapman, polled 6%, showing that the Nationals are all but wiped out in metropolitan Brisbane.

A swing of 14% against the ALP is a blow to the government, but almost none of the vote went directly to the Liberals. Instead the independents, including a couple of extreme right-wingers, picked it up.

Australian Democrat Ian Rowland's vote of 2.5% was cut by green independent Robert Hugall, who got 3.5%. Hugall gave his preferences to the ALP's Terry Sullivan.

In the by-election the Goss government didn't want, the main issue turned out to be the resignation of previous Labor member Phil Heath.

Despite attempts by the ALP to say he resigned for personal reasons, Heath maintains that he resigned because of the slow, or non-existent, pace of reform by the Goss government in its first 18 months. n