Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Dan Peled

Newman can weather storm: expert

PREMIER Campbell Newman's position atop the Queensland Government is unlikely to be challenged despite angry reaction to the controversial public service cuts this week, a Griffith University political expert said on Friday.

Professor John Kane, from the university's School of Government and International Relations, said Mr Newman would be able to weather the political storm surrounding the public service cuts and mining royalties.

But he said the Premier would be well-served by an "adjustment" to his leadership style in the future.

Speculation has been rife this week as to whether the mandate given to Premier Newman could see him toppled as LNP leader, but Prof Kane said he thought Mr Newman was "a long way from using up his political capital".

"His strategy is clearly to get the pain and gloom out of the way at an early stage," he said.

"I don't think he is in serious trouble yet. It would be very hard for anyone to topple him."

But Prof Kane does think the Premier will face a tougher long-term challenge in keeping the party's troops in line, and in securing the long term support of voters in the Sunshine State.

"His leadership style is an issue. He is an army major and his style is command," Prof Kane said.

"As Lord Mayor of Brisbane, he had no real opposition for the majority of his time in office and could be Can-Do-Campbell commanding the fort.

"But now he's in a Westminster-style political environment and he is going to have to be more politically adept at handling people."

Prof Kane said the Premier could face problems in the long run if he "continues in his usual vein", but that he would soften around the edges over time.


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