Resources Minister Matt Canavan helped secure big win on coal coast
Resources Minister Matt Canavan helped secure big win on coal coast

Canavan helped secure big win on coal coast

A STRONG swing to the Coalition in North and Central Queensland has "earnt" Resources Minister Matt Canavan reappointment in the next cabinet, with a consistent pointed message on support for the coal industry considered a major part of the win within party circles.

The LNP gained major swings toward them at the election, surprising the candidates themselves.

The once ultra-marginal seat of Herbert is now notionally safe with a swing to Herbert MP elect Phillip Thompson of 7.6 per cent.

Dawson MP George Christensen, dogged throughout the campaign by revelations he had spent more time in the Philippines than in the electorate, managed to get the largest swing (11.3 per cent) toward him of any seat in Queensland.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan zigzagged across the seats of Capricornia, Dawson, Leichhardt and Herbert during the campaign, and has been a mentor to fledgling Herbert MP elect Phil Thompson.

Former Herbert MP Peter Lindsay said there was no question Minister Canavan was considered a rising star in the LNP and the Rockhampton-based senator had earnt reappointment to the cabinet.

"He would make a very good deputy Prime Minister in the future," he said.

"Unfortunately you can't be the deputy Prime Minister from the senate, but remember that Barnaby Joyce was once a senator then left that to run in the lower house.

"But there is no appetite at the moment for the Nationals to change their leader, the Prime Minister would be very alert to that."

Senator Canavan would not speculate on discussions about his role in the ministry.

He said it was the party's messaging around defending coal jobs throughout the campaign that likely resonated.

"You are often told by geniuses from Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne that people don't like coal and it's not popular but we don't care if it's popular in major cities, we care about the economic future of North Queensland," he said.

The Coal Council of Australia, in welcoming the re-election of a Coalition government, noted Minister Canavan's role as an "active" and "very effective" supporter of the sector.

"His advocacy has engendered trust throughout the coal regions," chief executive Greg Evans said.