Editorial: Time to sort state contenders from pretenders

THE battle for Queensland votes seems to have taken a back seat to the COVID-19 crisis.

'So it should', many might argue.

It might also be tempting to give indecisive potential state election candidates a bit of a break in these (cue the most overused word of 2020) 'unprecedented' times.

Sure, being dangled over the social media snake-pit while you make life and death decisions and navigate an economic crisis which rivals the Depression, won't be for everyone.

The thing is, the leaders we need will understand the above challenges, unappealing as they may sound, are exactly why it's never been so important we have the right people at the helm.

That's why it's so disappointing that two months out, we still don't have clear answers on the full field we'll have to choose from come October.

Where are the major parties in all this?

If the LNP isn't threatened by the current member for Maryborough or the risk of many conservative votes going to a grazier, they aren't doing a good job of showing it.

When contacted, one rumoured contender was upset reporters had the audacity to call at all and the party's Brisbane chiefs, after being given almost a week to respond, still couldn't say for certain either way.

If Labor has been holding out hope for an aspirational mayor in Hervey Bay, he's made it very clear he's not available and failure to endorse the other candidate who has already declared his intention to nominate and the donations he's received so far, is not a good look.

Nor is the LNP's failure to officially back someone to run in place of its retiring four-term member.

We are about to go in and fight for the future of the Fraser Coast.

The following scenarios could be behind the delays.

Keen nominees are being hindered by the membership base, local or state (or both) taking too long to get a vote together and agree on a path forward.

Others are unsure if they even want the job/don't want it but feel pressured by the party faithful to put their hand up (we can only imagine the kind of visionary policy planning going on while in either frame of mind).

If it's the former, time to stand up, demand decisions from the party, whether it's the local or state leadership, and show us how you mean to go forward, if and when you land in Queensland Parliament.

If it's the latter? That's strike one before the battle has even begun.