CANBERRA -- After indicating he would defect to the Nationals or leave parliament, dumped Abbott Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is “considering his options” after being blocked in a bid to jump from the Liberal Party.
Late afternoon Monday, the executive of the Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) announced it would not be supporting Macfarlane’s intention to move to the Nationals party room.
LNP President Gary Spence has told reporters in Brisbane, the executive “anguished” over the decision and took into consideration Macfarlane’s career.
"We were concerned about the stability of the federal coalition or maintaining the stability that exists in the federal coalition, " he said.
Spence said the vote was "close, but decisive", without elaborating further.
The LNP Presidrent stated he hopes Macfarlane will be sitting in the Liberal ranks after the next election.
The surprise move by the former Minister to switch parties, announced in the last sitting day of parliament, had been overwhelmingly approved on the weekend by LNP members in Macfarlane’s seat of Groom.
Macfarlane is disappointed and not ready to retire.
"Obviously I felt I had more to offer regional Queensland and regional Australia, that has not been the view of the LNP and I accept that," he told reporters.
"I'll make an announcement in the New Year."
But he said he has no regrets.
“I felt this was the only way I could be an effective voice,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
Gary Spence has described Macfarlane, also known as "Macca," as a "tremendous servant" of the people of Queensland, Australia and the Liberal National Party.
It means the Nationals will not get an extra seat in Turnbull Cabinet.