The LNP has dumped Jason Costigan – the LNP Member for Whitsunday.
The LNP has dumped Jason Costigan – the LNP Member for Whitsunday.

Jason Costigan’s political fight just begun

IT took the Liberal-National Party's powerful State Executive just 90 minutes to formally vote to dump MP Jason Costigan this week.

The executive members filed into the LNP's Spring Hill headquarters at 9am on Friday morning.

By about 10.30am the Whitsunday MP's fate was sealed.

The outcome of the meeting was not a surprise.

Exactly a week earlier the LNP's State Director Michael O'Dwyer had received a harassment complaint against the maverick North Queenslander made by a mother incensed over his alleged behaviour towards her 18-year-old daughter during a chance encounter at a remote Victorian property.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan faced media in Mackay on Thursday to deny harassment allegations made against him.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan faced media in Mackay on Thursday to deny harassment allegations made against him.

In her email the mother alleged Mr Costigan had behaved in a "predatory, sexual, unhinged and intimidating" way towards her daughter when she arrived to find him initially shirtless in her grandparents' home.

A similar complaint from the woman had been received by Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington's office.

By Sunday the party had hauled Mr Costigan to a disciplinary hearing in Brisbane to explain himself.

By Wednesday afternoon they were flying a party official to Mackay to deliver his suspension notice.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan was called a sleazebag by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad after making a video celebrating World Bikini Day last July with backpackers on Airlie Beach.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan was called a sleazebag by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad after making a video celebrating World Bikini Day last July with backpackers on Airlie Beach.

And on Friday his association with the LNP had come to an end following speeches from Ms Frecklington and the party's acting president at the meeting on why he needed to go.

The LNP argue it was a complaint they could not ignore.

The party confirmed they received a second complaint on the eve of the meeting to dump him, this time alleging he sent inappropriate messages to a woman who was 19 at the time.

Ms Frecklington has encouraged more potential complainants to come forward.

Mr Costigan has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

He says he is the victim of a politically motivated stitch up.

Jason Costigan posing with a bikini model on the Gold Coast.
Jason Costigan posing with a bikini model on the Gold Coast.

So while the process to decide Mr Costigan's fate might have been orderly inside the State Executive meeting on Friday morning, the fallout is promising to be anything but.

Mr Costigan is not going to go quietly into the night.

He has engaged lawyers and says he is going to take action.

He took to Twitter on Friday to rejected LNP Leader Deb Frecklington's call for him to quit Parliament altogether.

"I will NOT be resigning," he wrote followed by the hashtag Costo2020, signalling that he would also be running again in the ultra marginal state seat.

He also took to Instagram to take aim at the "faceless" men in his now former party.

"Plenty of rain across of the North and Far North this week and more to come they say," he wrote.

"Perhaps the big wet could go south to wash away the faceless men of the LNP after what has happened."

He again added that he was "not going anywhere" and that the support he had received had been, like the rain, "incredible". Similar sentiments were also expressed on his Facebook page.

The party acknowledges his seat will be tough to win back following its decision.

The LNP may have won the initial war but the battle over the Whitsunday electorate and Mr Costigan's long term-political future has just begun.

Email: sarah.vogler@news.com.au



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