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Miller to quit? CFMEU ready to swoop with new candidate

Disgraced Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.
Disgraced Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller. Bev Lacey

SPECULATION is rife Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller is on the verge of quitting politics, with the CFMEU jockeying to parachute its preferred candidate into her seat.

Labor Party sources have told the Queensland Times former federal candidate Nick Thompson is the person waiting in the wings should the former disgraced police minister pull the pin as is expected.

Ms Miller was unceremoniously sacked as police minister on December 3, 2015 and resigned from Cabinet the following day after a parliamentary ethics committee ruled she had acted recklessly and her behaviour was not befitting of a minister.

The damning finding stemmed from being referred to the committee after she failed to correctly destroy or return confidential Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission documents as required.

Ms Miller's political future has been the subject of increased speculation after she did not attend any community events she would normally be invited to, or expected to attend, during the festive season following her public fall from grace.

The Queensland Times understands Ms Miller spent the festive season with family at her property near Stanthorpe, discussing her political future.

LOCAL HERO: Jo-Ann Miller with supporters at the Labor function at Richlands after winning the seat of Bundamba.
LOCAL HERO: Jo-Ann Miller with supporters at the Labor function at Richlands after winning the seat of Bundamba. SUPPLIED

Several Labor figures have told the QT it was now only a matter of time before she stepped down.

They said she had been offered a "sweetheart deal" to stand aside.

Ms Miller has also recently removed all political signage from her vehicles.

The Queensland Times further understands the powerful CFMEU has withdrawn its support of Ms Miller, with one insider saying she "is now dead in the water" and "cannot possibly survive."

The Queensland Times contacted CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar and Ms Miller on several occasions seeking comment on Wednesday but those calls were not returned.

WAITING IN THE WINGS: Nick Thompson
WAITING IN THE WINGS: Nick Thompson

The replacement in waiting, Mr Thompson, took up a position this week in Ipswich as a family support worker with Connected Families at Mercy Community Services.

Mr Thompson previously worked at the Aboriginal Family Legal Services in Roma between 2012 to 2015 and stood as a candidate in the seat of Maranoa at the last federal election.

The QT contacted Mr Thompson, who has been a long-standing member of the Labor Party, on Wednesday and asked him what his interest was in standing in Bundamba should it become vacant. He said he was not willing to comment "at this stage".

"Jo-Ann Miller is the local member and is doing a good job with the community, so as far as I am concerned that is where things are at," he said.

"I have been a member of the party for 15 years and I am very much interested in how we can assist the community."

Mr Thompson has been attempting to connect via social media with leading Ipswich political figures since moving to the region in recent weeks.

He has stated civil rights, social action, economic empowerment and poverty alleviation are among the causes he cares about.

He said on social media he had experience in child protection and family violence prevention through his work.

Topics:  candidate, cfmeu, ipswich, jo-ann miller




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