Australian politics has taken a step back in time with the return of former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today announced that Mr Beattie would run for the seat of Forde, replacing pre-selected Labor candidate Des Hardman.
Mr Rudd was positive about the announcement saying Mr Beattie is an influential personality in State politics.
“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to bring to you all our new candidate for the seat of Forde,” Mr Rudd said.
“Peter Beattie is, of course, one of the great sons of Queensland – whatever your politics, people know who Peter is [and] they know what he stands for.”
The PM said Mr Beattie’s knowledge of the State is unmatched and he will fight for Queenslanders facing crucial issues.
“He has been Premier of this State for more than nine years [and so] he has a knowledge of the State second to none,” Mr Rudd said.
“When it comes to big things like jobs and employment, so central to this national election campaign, Peter’s record is strong.
“Peter Beattie stands in star contrast to the bloke who’s currently running Queensland who has one core agenda simply to slash and burn basic services in health and education with a big impact on jobs as well.”
Mr Beattie said he will attempt to find balance in the election and fight for his electorate should he be chosen as Member.
“I believe in being part of the electorate and I have demonstrated that earlier today and I will demonstrated that if I am fortunate enough to be elected as the Member for Forde,” he said.
“This is all about balance.
“One of the real concerns I have and one of the reasons I’m running is I want to see Queensland get a fair go.”
Mr Beattie also said if the LNP win the Federal election it will have a detrimental effect for Queenslanders.
“If Tony Abbott wins this Federal election we will have wall-to-wall LNP from one end of Queensland to the other – that’s just not fair and it’s just not good for Queensland,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to being an energetic voice in Canberra for Forde and being a pain in the neck when it comes to standing up for Queensland.
“I have always stood up for Queensland, I always will and that’s the reason why I accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation.”
The seat of Forde is currently held by the LNPs Bert van Manen by a margin of 1.6 per cent.
You can watch the press conference courtesy of ABC Online here.