CONDAMINE MP Ray Hopper is jumping the electoral fence to Nanango and will challenge LNP MP Deb Frecklington at the next election.
The move is a strategic one for the Katter’s Australia Party state leader.
“This is about putting butts in seats in parliament. It is the best opportunity to gain another seat for the KAP,” he said.
“We want to hold the balance of power so we have to win as many seats as we can.
“We will probably only stand in 10 seats across Queensland - seats we feel where we have a chance - and put all our resources into those seats.”
At the 2012 election, Mr Hopper stood and won as an LNP member, however he later defected to Katter’s Australia Party.
Mr Hopper said the move will allow his son, Ben, to stand in Condamine.
Ben Hopper lives in Toowoomba and works for construction company FK Gardner and Sons.
He was school captain at Christian Outreach College and spent a year as a ringer in the Northern Territory.
“I’ve bought a cattle property in the electorate of Nanango and plan to live there,” Mr Hopper senior said.
"I don’t think the people of Condamine will mind," he said, "they have my son to vote for who has a lifetime."
Mr Hopper currently has a horse complex at Southbrook and said they are travelling between the two properties all the time.
Sitting Nanango MP Deb Frecklington was promoted today from assistant finance minister to assistant minister to the premier.
Mrs Frecklington said the people of her electorate were looking for a loyal representative who understands their needs and will be there for the long term.
“My aim is to always be a strong local voice for the whole electorate, from the South Burnett to the Somerset and the northern regional areas of Toowoomba,” she said.
“Since being elected as the Member for Nanango in 2012, I’m proud of the many great achievements for our region, such as a brand new ambulance station for Kingaroy, $10 million in overtaking lanes for the Brisbane Valley and D’Aguilar Highways and nearly $7 million in grants for our community organisations.
”Our government has a strong plan for a brighter future for Queensland and I’m proud to say that I’m part of that team.”
LNP candidate for Condamine Pat Weir said the Condamine electorate was also in need of a strong local voice.
If elected, Mr Weir pledged to be that voice and ensure important local issues are heard.
“I am a fourth generation local. This is my home. I’m in this for the long haul and I’m ready to provide the people of Condamine with faithful representation and a strong, local voice in parliament,” he said.
“Ray Hopper’s move flies in the face of his claims to put the people of Condamine first.”