Qld MP urged to resign over federal tilt

Pressure is mounting on Queensland MP John McVeigh to resign from state parliament as he attempts to enter federal politics.

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The Toowoomba South MP on Saturday won Liberal National Party (LNP) preselection to contest the federal seat of Groom, which will be vacated by former minister Ian MacFarlane at the upcoming national election.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad on Monday urged Mr McVeigh to resign as soon as possible.

“I think it’s important that people understand he’s still attracting a wage for being a state member of parliament, while quite clearly he’s clocked out of that arena,” she said.

As the opposition’s science, information technology and innovation spokesman, Mr McVeigh’s salary is $209,999 a year.

Mr McVeigh said it was too soon to say when he would resign but confirmed he would not run again if he lost Groom.

“I was preselected two days ago and obviously I’ll have discussions with my parliamentary leader, Lawrence Springborg, who is on a plane at the moment coming home from overseas,” Mr McVeigh told AAP.

“I’ll be talking to him as soon as he lands.”

Mr Springborg, the state’s opposition leader, will return from a trade mission to Asia on Tuesday morning.

Mr McVeigh said Clerk of Parliament Neil Laurie had told him he’d need to stand down “by the time a federal election is called”.

“Should I be unsuccessful in securing the federal seat of Groom, I can confirm that I will not be seeking re-election to the state parliament,” he said.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Mr McVeigh’s switch to federal politics could leave tens of thousands of people in his electorate without state representation for “some weeks and potentially months”.

Ms D’Ath said Mr McVeigh would have to resign from state parliament before nominating as a federal candidate.

But a byelection in his southeast Queensland seat of more than 33,000 voters couldn’t take place until the federal poll had been decided, she said.

However, the section of the Parliament of Queensland Act that Ms D’Ath was referring to would only come into play if Mr McVeigh wrote in his resignation letter that he was contesting a federal seat and wanted to recontest his state seat if he was unsuccessful.

Mr McVeigh, who is widely expected to win the safe LNP seat of Groom, said it was up to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to set the byelection date at a time of her choosing after he resigned.

“In the meantime, all I can say is I’d certainly be taking the word of the clerk of the parliament over the attorney-general,” Mr McVeigh said.