LNP shoo-in loses: fear of LGBT+ impact on Qld election

garth hamilton david van gend Groom shoo-in
Garth Hamilton. Image: David Janetzki MP Facebook

Before yesterday’s meeting to select an LNP candidate for the federal seat of Groom, David van Gend seemed a shoo-in. However, fellow rightwinger Garth Hamilton emerged the winner following the meeting in Toowoomba yesterday. The Toowoomba Chronicle reports the party chose a lesser-known nominee over fears that van Gend’s controversial views on LGBT+ issues would impact the Queensland state election.

One LNP member said van Gend’s ‘automatic 100 votes from the Christian lobby’ concerned many opposed to his candidacy.


“We were shitting ourselves.”

Van Gend’s status as a supposed shoo-in worried party moderates not wanting attention to the party’s stance on LGBTIQ+ issues. He previously campaigned against same-sex marriage, transgender rights and legal abortion. Van Gend also disputes the science surrounding climate change.

The Groom by-election takes place on 28 November.

Both Labor and the LNP have so far mainly avoided matters of conscience and social issues during the Queensland election campaign. However, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk recently announced that Labor would introduce voluntary assisted dying legislation. That prompted a confused response from LNP leader Deb Frecklington. The campaigns then quickly returned to a focus on COVID, crime and construction.

Garth Hamilton

Garth Hamilton’s election as the federal member for Groom is now virtually guaranteed. The seat is one of the LNP’s safest.

One commenter said on Facebook, “Short of committing a criminal offence before the election, you cannot lose.”

That sounds inspired by a Donald Trump quote, but we doubt the candidate will say, “I could stand in the middle of Ruthven Street and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

Hamilton is a mining engineer and writes for the conservative Spectator magazine (as does van Gend).

By electing Hamilton, the LNP probably avoids being distracted by issues they and Labor would rather avoid this late in the campaign. However, a perusal of his Spectator articles leads us to confidently predict his name will feature in future headlines.


Hamilton seems irritated by globalisation but mightily impressed with ‘western civilisation’. However, one need not read much history to understand that many significant advances of ‘western civilisation’ resulted from exposure to global ideas. The cradle of ‘western civilisation in the Mediterannean just happened to be at the crossroads of three continents.

“Mixing Western ideals with others does not result in raising the standards of those who trail us, neither does it even us all out. We become pray for any nation that dares ignore the rules.”

It is, of course, important, as Donald Trump discovered, for rightwing warriors to get their religion correct. Don’t hold your Bible upside down and know your Corinthians. I might add, after re-reading that previous quote — learn the proper use of pray/prey.


Pray is a verb. From memory, on an episode of Family Feud, it was the second most popular answer for ‘Something people kneel to do’.

Mr Hamilton was looking for the noun ‘prey’. My dictionary defines that as ‘endangered species favoured as targets by Eric and Don Jr’.

Hamilton’s disregard for globalisation, gender fluidity and carbon emissions is all stock standard for conservative standard-bearers.

But it’s been many a year since Aussie pollies referred to Britain as the ‘the mother country’. Just what we need. Another eccentric political character harking back to days gone by.

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