LNP Whitsunday officers resign over MP's expulsion
TWO local Liberal National Party senior members resigned from the party on Sunday in support of embattled Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan.
LNP Whitsunday State Electorate Council chairman Richard Filewood and secretary and treasurer Angela Nixon resigned at a party briefing at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Proserpine.
Their resignations come after the expulsion of Mr Costigan from the LNP on February 1 in the wake of harassment allegations.
Mr Filewood told the Whitsunday Times party members were "very angry" and want answers.
"I have left that meeting angry, no, not a strong enough word. I have left that meeting livid," he said.
"Obviously party members are very concerned. Mr Costigan has been a very active and outgoing member for the Whitsundays and to have a member of Parliament expelled from the party is a very serious situation.
"They (the LNP) have acted in a manner that I think is deplorable and I hold now, unfortunately, the LNP in contempt."
Several members gave personal statements in support of Mr Costigan during the meeting including Whitsunday Electorate Office employee Clare Nixon.
Two other party members resigned their memberships on the spot.
Mr Costigan, who has held the seat of Whitsunday since 2012, responded via Twitter.
"Catastrophic result for @LNPQLD today in Proserpine with the chairman, secretary & treasurer of the Whitsunday SEC quitting alongside other party members who've had a gutful." #costo2020 #qldpol #auspol.
Mrs Nixon said the general feeling was Mr Costigan had been "hung out to dry" by the LNP.
"I think that he (Mr Costigan) has been kicked to the curb without a trial. He's been hung, drawn and quartered by the LNP before he's even had a chance to give his story," she said.
"There's no police charges, there's nothing that's happened. I don't believe that what has been done to end this is correct."
Mr Filewood said a lot of support remained among party members for the embattled MP.
"Jason has a lot of support. All you have to do is have to look at his Facebook page where there are hundreds of wishes of good luck to him, surprise and regret that he has been expelled from the LNP," he said.
"Mr Costigan is no longer a member of the LNP. But he is and remains the Member for the Whitsundays, so Whitsunday is still represented by a very active person."
Mr Costigan was expelled by the LNP on February 1 in the wake of harassment allegations levelled against him last week.
The decision was made by the LNP disputes committee following a motion which was put forward to expel Mr Costigan from the party and passed unanimously by the LNP state executive.