‘They deserve better’: LNP candidate launches campaign

CONTROVERSIAL Currumbin LNP candidate Laura Gerber has officially launched her campaign in front of high profile party members and supporters today.

Queensland LNP Leader Deb Frecklington and Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates were among those in attendance at the Currumbin RSL launch.

Ms Gerber was announced as the party's candidate after incumbent MP Jann Stuckey's shock departure earlier this year.

She said she planned to be a "strong voice" for Currumbin residents who "deserve better".

"What I've heard while I'm out and about talking with locals and businesses is that getting the M1 moving again is critical," she said.

LNP Currumbin candidate Laura Gerber and LNP Queensland Leader Deb Frecklington met with supporters during the launch. Photo: Ashleigh Weidmann
LNP Currumbin candidate Laura Gerber and LNP Queensland Leader Deb Frecklington met with supporters during the launch. Photo: Ashleigh Weidmann

"It's not only affecting people trying to get to their jobs but it's cutting into people's work-life balance, the amount of time they get to spend with their kids.

"So busting that congestion and building a second M1 is definitely a priority for the southern Gold Coast."

She said the two other priorities for her electorate were education and health.

"(It's about) decluttering the education system so we can let our teachers get back to basics and raise the bar for our kids," she said.

"And hospital waiting lists, we need to get that under control. Our system is clogged and we need to fix that, and the LNP has a plan for that.

Jann Stuckey alleged bullying after her shock departure. (AAP image, John Gass)
Jann Stuckey alleged bullying after her shock departure. (AAP image, John Gass)

"We will partner with the private sector so we can bust that hospital waiting list."

Ms Gerber has been a source of contention within the party since Jann Stuckey sensationally announced her resignation due to alleged internal bullying and mental health concerns.

Leaked emails revealed a behind-the-scenes war between LNP state president David Hutchinson and Currumbin branch president Chris Crawford, who said members were furious.

Branch members have since said they were given an "impossible" three hours' notice that nominations for preselection were closing.

Ms Stuckey said in a Facebook post on Saturday she had been "shunned" by former LNP colleagues, writing Shadow Assistant Minister for Education Simone Wilson was the only one to reach out since her departure.

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates, LNP Currumbin candidate Laura Gerber and LNP Queensland Leader Deb Frecklington were all in attendance. Photo: Ashleigh Weidmann
Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates, LNP Currumbin candidate Laura Gerber and LNP Queensland Leader Deb Frecklington were all in attendance. Photo: Ashleigh Weidmann

However Ms Frecklington said that was not the case.

"That's simply not true," she said.

"Jann Stuckey was invited to (the launch) and many members including myself have reached out to her.

"But I will say that Jann is suffering from mental health issues that she has broadcasted, so that's all I'd like to say about it."

The Currumbin by-election will be held on March 28.