LNP gathers to debate everything from nuclear power to social media

Queensland’s Liberal National Party members are to set to vote on whether to support a net zero emission target, and to repeal laws preventing the construction of nuclear plants.

Jul 08, 2022, updated Jul 08, 2022
Leader of the opposition David Crisafulli. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Leader of the opposition David Crisafulli. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The party will use its annual convention in Brisbane this weekend to decide on motions that could come to define its climate change and energy policies at the next state and federal elections.

They include a call to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 ahead of the 2024 state election and to repeal any law preventing the construction of a nuclear power plant in Queensland.

“So that it authorises the construction or operation of the following nuclear installations: a nuclear fuel fabrication plant; a nuclear power plant; an enrichment plant; and a reprocessing facility,” the motion put forward by three LNP branches says.

Other motions call for an end of government subsidies for renewable energy and for domestic coal, oil, gas and uranium reserves.

The LNP motions could be decisive in determining the federal coalition’s energy policies as both the Liberal and National leaders – Peter Dutton and David Littleproud – are members. Overall, the convention and its outcomes are likely to garner more interest than usual because of the leadership team’s Queensland roots.

Littleproud last month wrote to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urging him to consider small-scale nuclear plants to reduce emissions and improve reliability.

Formed in a merger of the two parties 14 years ago, the LNP currently holds more seats in Queensland than the coalition does in any other state.

The Queensland party’s three-day annual convention starts in Brisbane on Friday will begin charting a course for its return to power.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli is hoping to lead the LNP to victory in two years’ time against what will then be a nine-year-old Labor government.

Dutton is on leave and will miss the convention, but his Littleproud will speak on Saturday.

There has been debate about what caused the coalition’s federal election loss in May, and how it will regroup in 2025.

Dutton has argued the Liberals don’t need to swing too far towards progressive politics to win back those inner-city seats.

However, the motions being voted on at the convention indicate some of the positions the coalition could take.

The Lytton branch in Brisbane wants a ban on discrimination against job applicants or school students on the basis of race, colour, sex or national origin.

But Toowoomba North LNP members want the federal anti-discrimination laws changed to apply a “biological definition of man and woman”.

There are also motions to water down land clearing laws and to oppose any increase of national park areas in Queensland.

The Young LNP have called for fellow party members to back the legalisation of vapes and e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, apparently frustrated by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s social media indulgences, one branch wants the specific social media accounts for the Office of Premier to be used only for “the purpose of governing”.

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