Queensland Liberal National Party Elects First Woman President

August 4, 2020 Updated: August 5, 2020

The Queensland Liberal National Party has elected a woman to the position of party president for the first time since its inception in 2008.

Cynthia Hardy was elected on August 3 after former president David Hutchinson resigned on July 31 following months of internal party tensions with the Queensland parliamentary leader, Deb Frecklington.

Hardy has been a member of the LNP since 2009 and until Hutchinson’s resignation was the vice president of the party in Queensland.

Hardy will now help Frecklington, also the first woman appointed to her role, to guide the LNP to the Queensland election in October.

Hutchinson’s resignation will put to rest months of internal LNP disagreements after Hutchinson was allegedly accused of leaking of damning LNP polling on Frecklington’s popularity, and for his consulting job with political rival Clive Palmer.

At the time of the scandal in June, federal Queensland LNP member of Parliament and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton publically called for Hutchinson’s resignation.

“This is a serious issue,” Dutton said. “It’s unacceptable to have a situation where polling is commissioned by the party and then for the purposes of releasing it against the state leader; to destabilise the state leader.”

“You can’t work in a direct employment relationship for the principal of another political party and then be the president of our party at the same time. I think he accepted that and he advised me last night that he was going to resign from that position of employment, but he needs to resign now from the position of party president,” Dutton said.

AAP reported that Hardy, in a statement on August 4, said: “As President, David presided over many successes, none-the-least of which were the remarkable result the LNP achieved at the 2019 Federal election.”

“While the presidency has changed, our goal has not. The LNP must win the next election,” she said.

Frecklington reportedly told Queensland paper The Courier-Mail on August 3 that she welcomed Hardy’s appointment.

“The LNP’s focus is squarely on the election which will be about which party has an economic plan to get Queensland out of recession,” she said.

“With more than 200,000 Queenslanders unemployed, it is time to get Queensland working again.

Queensland will head to the polls on Oct. 31.