The retirement of long-serving Liberal National Party MP Ian Rickuss will not make Lockyer more open to attack from One Nation than any other seat, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls says.
Pauline Hanson’s party is expected to renew its focus on Lockyer following Mr Rickuss’ announcement that he will not recontest the seat he took from One Nation in 2004.
The next state election is due in early 2018.
Mr Nicholls said the LNP would be on guard against One Nation throughout regional Queensland, not just in Lockyer.
“We don’t take any seat for granted and we know that we have to go out hard with policies to represent Queenslanders no matter which seat they are (in),” he said.
“That applies equally in Lockyer as it as it does in central and northern Queensland, as it does on the Gold Coast.”
Mr Rickuss most recently saw off a challenge from Ms Hanson herself in last year’s state election.
“Ian has held that seat in five consecutive elections since 2004,” Mr Nicholls said.
“I think the people of Lockyer have concerns, like the people of Queensland have concerns about jobs, about the future, about investment in infrastructure.
“Ian has been able to represent those concerns and the LNP has been able to represent those concerns.
“We’ll continue to do so to make sure that we are listening and talking to the people of the Lockyer.”
Mr Nicholls said it was important for the LNP to get a good candidate on the ground in Lockyer “in a relatively short period of time”, but it had to be the right candidate.
“I know the local branch members up there will be doing their best to ensure that we do have the right candidate,” he said.