Maranoa councillor on rumours of switch to Federal politics
CAMERON O'Neil has denied rumours he will run for the seat of Groom following the shock announcement that MP John McVeigh is retiring.
The Maranoa Regional Councillor and LNP vice president told The Western Star he would not put his hand up for the by-election, after Dr McVeigh's announcement at the weekend.
The seat has been held by conservatives since it was first formed in 1984.
Cr O'Neil said he had family and friends in the Toowoomba region, however was committed to serving the Maranoa community.
"I've got a strong local connection to the Toowoomba region and I've been blown away by the messages of encouragement to consider putting my hand up for the seat of Groom," Cr O'Neil said.
"But most importantly with a young family, it's not the right time."
Since 2012, Cr O'Neil has served on MRC and was comfortably re-elected this year, joining six fresh faced councillors.
"And secondly, I've just returned to council in March," he said.
"And as I'm the longest serving councillor in the chamber, I'm firmly focused on the job ahead."
Dr McVeigh was praised as a "true gentleman" after resigning to spend more time with his sick wife.
No date has been set for the by-election at this stage.