Does Clive have time for Capricornia?
POLITICAL aspirant Michelle Landry has questioned whether mining magnate Clive Palmer would have the time required to represent the people of Capricornia.
Ms Landry stood for the Liberal National Party in Capricornia at the 2010 election, reducing the once-safe Labor seat to marginal status with a swing of 8.4% against sitting MP Kirsten Livermore.
In 2010 Ms Landry was the sole pre-selection candidate in Capricornia, with conservatives in the region considering the almost 13% swing required to unseat Ms Livermore impossible.
But unlike two years ago, Ms Landry could now face up to 10 pre-selection candidates this time around, prompting her to ask "where were all these people in 2010?".
It is a sign of just how damaged Labor's brand has become in Queensland.
"Now that it's a marginal seat it's of great interest to people. It's more winnable than it was in the past, but that last 3.5% is going to be the hardest to swing," Ms Landry said.
Mr Palmer announced yesterday he would not run for Treasurer Wayne Swan's Brisbane seat of Lilley and would, instead, look for a Labor-held seat close to his home or business interests.
While the billionaire did not mention Capricornia specifically, the seat, in the heart of mining country, would fit the bill.
"It's a democratic process so he would have to go through the same process as everybody else," Ms Landry said.
"It's a huge electorate so with his business interests I don't know if he'd have time to do it all. I suppose it comes down to the members."
Ms Landry said she would "love another chance" to contest the seat and admitted she would be disappointed if LNP members opted for another candidate.
The bookkeeper said she had worked hard since the 2010 election to build her profile and had gained valuable experience working in the office of Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd.
She said she was confident she had the support of local LNP members, who would not be swayed by Mr Palmer's high profile.
"People around this area like the locals. They like down-to-earth people they know are going to work hard for them," she said.
"That's something that I'm prepared to do.
"It's a lifestyle change. You have to devote your whole life to it. It's not just a hobby."
But even if she fails in her pre-selection bid Ms Landry said she would support the successful candidate because she wants to "see the Liberal-National Party in government".