‘Bulls***’ reason Springborg dropped from key LNP role
THE father of the LNP Lawrence Springborg has been "dumped" from the party's executive, blindsiding senior party figures and sparking fears of a membership "revolt" just months before the state election.
The shock move followed his speaking out at the last state executive meeting against the undermining of party leader Deb Frecklington, saying President Dave Hutchinson's position was untenable if issues couldn't be resolved.
Beloved by many of the rank and file, news of Mr Springborg's dropping from the key party position will inflame already simmering tensions over poll leaking and is already being met with anger and astonishment.
There is also growing talk of Mr Hutchinson's future, with sources saying he will need to go at some point.
Party members were yet to be told of the decision last night - two days after it was made.
Mr Springborg declined to comment.
Mr Hutchinson's would not comment on the details of the meeting but confirmed Mr Springborg was no longer on the executive.
"Lawrence Springborg's term as a trustee of the party has been completed," Mr Hutchinson said.
"We thank him for his many years of service to the party, which we're sure will continue."
Mr Springborg had been one of three trustees of the party, a position which has influence over finances and investments.
While it is understood no official reason was given for him not being reappointed to the role, Mr Hutchinson told the meeting there was a concern that strict local government laws could mean a conflict of interest for Mr Springborg, who is also the Goondiwindi mayor.
A source described the official reason as "bullshit", pointing out that several executive positions are held by sitting councillors, though those positions do not control finances.
The move was made in the conspicuous absence of senior federal parliamentary members Peter Dutton and David Littleproud.
Mr Dutton has previously described the president's position as untenable.
There was a hope among some members that the "calming" Mr Springborg could fill the president's role if Mr Hutchinson stepped aside voluntarily, but it is considered unlikely as he has previously declined to run for the position.
Bob Tucker and Bernard Ponting were reappointed as trustees and Brisbane lawyer Craig Ray was selected to replace Mr Springborg, meaning there is now no regional representative.
The reappointments would normally be made at the party's convention, which was cancelled this year due to COVID.
There had been moves to change the constitution at this year's convention to have the trustees elected by the membership.