Tim Nicholls plans to appoint a new-look LNP shadow ministry by next week’s parliamentary sittings. He said on Saturday he and deputy Deb Frecklington would decide the make-up of the front bench in the next 48 hours. Speaking at just his second official press conference since winning a second-round party-room ballot on Friday, Mr Nicholls said he had not yet spoken to ousted leader Lawrence Springborg or fellow contender Tim Mander.
‘I’ve made it clear that I would be very happy to have Lawrence in the shadow cabinet and I’ll have those discussions with him over the next 48 hours,’ he said.
When asked if shadow cabinet roles were promised in exchange for votes, Mr Nicholls said, ‘There were a lot of things that were done (on Friday).’
But he denied promising Mr Mander the role of opposition treasury spokesman.
‘I haven’t made any commitments to anyone with respect to how the outcome of the discussions over the next 48 hours will go,’ he said.
Mr Nicholls spent Saturday morning in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, where he attended the pre-selection of the LNP candidate for the state seat of Toowoomba South.
The new opposition leader called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to set a date for the byelection, following John McVeigh’s decision to run as the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Groom.
Mr Nicholls said the vote should be held as soon as possible and not on the same day as the federal election.
‘I think it would be sneaky of the ALP to try to conflate or join those two issues,’ he said.