Politics

LNP hot favourites for federal by-election

Liberal-National candidate Garth Hamilton is expected to comfortably win a federal by-election in the Queensland seat of Groom.

The Toowoomba-based mining engineer is the hot favourite for Saturday’s poll, which will also be contested by Labor, the Liberal Democrats and Sustainable Australia.

Mr Hamilton denied claims the southern Queensland electorate had missed out on funding because it’s a safe Liberal seat.

“That’s more a matter of what Labor has been saying. It’s certainly not what I’ve been hearing,” he said on Friday.

“Overwhelmingly people are talking about the recovery after 2020.”

The Groom by-election was triggered by the resignation of former minister John McVeigh, who was first elected in 2016.

At the federal election, Dr McVeigh increased the LNP margin to 20.5 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Mr Hamilton worked on water infrastructure projects in the Middle East and public transport in London before returning home to Queensland.

In his candidate booklet he outlined overhauling environmental laws to pave the way for major project approvals as a priority.

The father of three also wants to see industrial relations reform and tax changes to make it easier to employ young people and split income for couples raising families.

Despite the odds being stacked in his favour, Mr Hamilton stuck to the script for candidates on the cusp of victory.

“This is a by-election and every election is quite tough. I’m certainly not taking any vote for granted,” he said.

Labor’s candidate is lawyer Chris Meibusch.

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