Lance McCallum has been endorsed by the Labor Party to run in the Bundamba by-election
Lance McCallum has been endorsed by the Labor Party to run in the Bundamba by-election

Labor endorses former ETU official in Bundamba by-election

LABOR has officially endorsed Lance McCallum to contest the seat of Bundamba at the upcoming by-election on Saturday, March 28.

It comes after Queensland Labor’s longest-serving MP Jo-Ann Miller quit politics last week.

The QT understands the endorsement of Mr McCallum, who is a former ETU official, has sparked anger from the CFMEU over the party’s decision to back a candidate not from the area over its preferred candidate Nick Thompson.

There were reports Mr McCallum moved to the electorate only last week, but Mr McCallum told the QT he moved to the region a few months ago.

“I came into the community quite recently, a couple of months ago.”

“I’ve had a fantastic reception in terms of people have been amazingly open and welcoming.

“I’m from Redlands and I know what it’s like to grow up in a community just like Bundamba. I understand what the community needs and this is because I’m talking to them.”

It’s understood Mr McCallum moved from Melbourne to Brisbane last year to take up a $200,000 role as the Palaszczuk Government’s inaugural director of its Just Transition group.

There were also claims of veteran Labor branch members being excluded from the vote for the preselection of a candidate.

Mr McCallum wouldn’t comment on the internal ballot and said he was only focused on “fighting for a fair go on behalf of the Bundamba community.”

“Sorting out the dump, in terms of Cleanaway would be a key priority,” he said.

“A key priority for me is Swanbank Power Station which was recommissioned not so long ago.

“I was proud to be part of the anti-privatisation campaign that saved Swanbank, along with the rest of Queensland’s energy assets and kept them in public hands.

“Obviously local infrastructure in terms of roads would be a priority and I note the upgrade to the Ipswich Motorway that’s currently under way, I think more can be done in that regard.”

Mr McCallum thanked outgoing member Jo-Ann Miller for her longstanding contribution and commitment to the Bundamba community.

Meanwhile, Steve Axe who worked alongside Mrs Miller for 20 years and put his hand up for preselection last week, thanked the community for its best wishes.

The LNP is yet to confirm who they will put up for the by-election next month, while One Nation has backed local resident Sharon Bell, who also ran in the 2019 federal election in the seat of Blair.