WHITSUNDAY MP Jason Costigan has the backing of the LNP to defend his seat at the next state election.
The incumbent MP missed the LNP deadline for nominations in April. At the time, this prompted the party to re-open nominations for pre-selection for the next Queensland election, which is expected some time before May next year.
Now, the party office has confirmed Mr Costigan's candidacy.
"Jason is a very strong advocate for regional Queensland, especially the north," LNP campaign director Lincoln Folo said. "As Tim Nicholls' shadow assistant Minister for North Queensland, he plays an important role in ensuring that north Queensland's needs are being addressed.
"Jason has a strong focus on the recovery from Cyclone Debbie and getting local tourism back on its feet.
"One of Jason's great strengths is his connection with Queenslanders throughout the region.
"Jason really understands what makes north Queensland tick and what the local needs really are - as opposed to what Brisbane thinks they are," Mr Folo said.
"He is a strong local campaigner and we expect it to be a very close election."
Mr Costigan said he hopes to play a senior role in a future LNP government, being that strong voice for Mackay and the Whitsundays and more broadly, north Queensland.
"However, for that to happen, I need the good people of Whitsunday to stick with the local they know and send Labor packing.
"Over these past 30 years, Labor has won every state election bar one and what have we got to show for it? Labor gets elected and our region gets neglected.
"Even Labor people have had a gutful, especially with Labor's very cosy relationship with The Greens. Only the LNP will deliver the roads, bridges and dams we need and here in our part of the world, those sorts of job-creating projects are absolutely vital."
Mr Costigan had been repeatedly linked to One Nation, and he denied that he was planning to switch parties.
One Nation has since named a candidate for Whitsunday, Noel Skippen.
The ALP has confirmed the endorsement of Bronwyn Taha as their candidate for the next election.
Ms Taha said it was up to the people of Whitsunday to "vote with their heads".
"I've talked to a lot of people and they've been telling me that this is enough, they've had enough of Jason Costigan being in this seat and doing nothing for the community.
"There's things like the cyclone, there's things about our roads, there's all this community attention they need right now and they're not getting it."
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