State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen to retire from politics.Photo: Alistair Brightman
State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen to retire from politics.Photo: Alistair Brightman

ELECTION: Former councillor may run as independent

AS the LNP categorically dismissed the notion that Hervey Bay MP had been told to stand down ahead of the next state election, a former councillor revealed he was strongly considering standing for the seat.

Rolf Light, who decided not to contest Division 5 at the council election earlier this year, said he was considering running as an independent candidate Hervey Bay.

His shock decision to stand as an independent instead of standing for the LNP nomination leaves the field for Mr Sorensen's replacement wide open.

Last year, Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders claimed that Mr Sorensen had been "tapped" and would not contest the next election.

But an LNP spokesman yesterday said that Mr Sorensen had been preselected to stand for Hervey Bay and would have had the party's full support if he had not decided to retire.

"Jackie Trad's man in Maryborough Labor's Bruce Saunders is simply lying," the spokesman said.

"After almost 30 years in politics Ted decided it was time to retire and we won't let Labor's lies tarnish his record.

"Ted was a wonderful representative for the people of Hervey Bay and was already preselected by the LNP for the seat.

"The LNP will preselect an outstanding candidate to get Queensland working again."

Nominations for the new candidate will open this week.

There is no limit to the number of nominees.

"LNP members will be given their say on who will be their candidate," the spokesman said.

Mr Light said he had been contacted by members of the community, encouraging him to run in the wake of Mr Sorensen's retirement.

But he said if he did, it would be as an independent.

"I'm seriously considering it because of the tremendous amount of support I've received," Mr Light said.

He said running as an independent meant he wouldn't have to toe the line of party politics.

A narrow election win for either party at the state election could leave an independent in a powerful position, which would be terrific for Hervey Bay Mr Light said.

Speculation has already statrted surrounding who might stand for the LNP's preselection.

Yesterday Councillor Denis Chapman ruled out nominating, while former mayoral candidate Tony Pantlin declined to comment at this stage.