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  • Healy set to secure Labor preselection in seat of Cairns


    Tourism sales guru Michael Healy is expected to secure overwhelming support from both Labor's left and right factions to win preselection in the seat of Cairns ahead of the next state election.

    Labor has announced it nominations are now open in six non-Labor seats including Cairns, Cook, Mt Ommaney and Mansfield, plus the new seats of Jordon and Macalister following the recent electorate boundary changes.

    Mr Healy, who is understood to be overseas and could not be contacted by TropicNow, has coveted the role for a number of years but lost out in a preselection battle against Rob Pyne in 2014. 

    His expected victory this time around - no other party members are likely to put their hand up for preselection in the seat - sets up a fiercely contested battle against the LNP's Sam Marino, One Nation's Ian Hodge and sitting Independent MP Rob Pyne.

    The Palaszczuk Government's introduction of compulsory preferential voting could backfire on the party in a regional seat like Cairns.

    With a surging One Nation likely to see preferences flow towards popular local business identity Mr Marino, the seat is no guarantee to fall back into Labor's hands.

    Mr Healy's likely preselection also means Labor will face pressure to preselect a female candidate in Cook given the party's gender quota system, aimed at getting more women into parliament.

    If Mr Healy is selected in Cairns, along with sitting MPs Craig Crawford and Curtis Pitt, the party could be without a female candidate in TNQ.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would not be drawn on speculation about an early election at a media conference earlier today.

    "The next election is due early next year and my Government has started preparations for the June 13 state budget," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane today.