Labor's top man denies Antoniolli approaches
QUEENSLAND Labor president Dick Williams is at loggerheads with Cr Andrew Antoniolli over his possible candidacy for the state seat of Ipswich.
Mr Williams quashed suggestions that Cr Antoniolli had been approached to run in the election due in 2015. He was responding to an article in the QT in which Cr Antoniolli said he had been approached by longstanding, respected Labor figures to run in the seat.
"Andrew Antoniolli would be better off serving his constituents in Ipswich rather than flying a kite about his possible candidacy in an election not due for more than 18 months," Mr Williams said.
"We haven't started selecting candidates in any seat yet and there is a rigorous process to go through before candidates are fully endorsed by the party.
"No member of the ALP executive has asked Mr Antoniolli to be the candidate in the next election so there's no value in him undergoing this kind of self-promotion.
"We have gained hundreds of members since Campbell Newman and the LNP savagely axed 14,000 public servants. I expect there may well be strong candidates in the Ipswich community who won't be required to stand down as sitting councillors already serving the community."
The QT had heard from senior Labor figures that Cr Antoniolli had been approached to run. Cr Antoniolli was approached by the QT for comment on the issue on Monday and yesterday he was sticking to his guns.
"I am not flying a kite. There are obviously others who are flying a kite for me and I have no control over that," he said.
"You (the QT) approached me and I was honest in my response, that I am considering it. I am not going to be rushed, pushed or bullied one way or the other. The comments of the president are sadly not in line with how the (QT) article came about.
"I did not go seeking promotion whatsoever...and I don't believe in lying to the media when clearly I have been approached by longstanding, respected Labor members and asked to consider (running).
"Dick and I agreed the last thing we need in State Parliament is people who are just stooges. We need people who have some experience in their community and have worked hard in their community.
"I hope other interested and credible people come forward for pre-selection who are ready to work their backsides off for the city, because the city deserves it."