Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is calling for party unity.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is calling for party unity. Tegan Annett

O'Dowd's call for party unity to gain voter support

MEMBER for Flynn Ken O'Dowd believes a Queensland-based Prime Minister would boost votes for the Coalition in the sunshine state, but for now he said Malcolm Turnbull was the "best man for the job".

Mr Turnbull survived his first leadership challenge as Leader of the Liberal Party yesterday morning from former Home Affairs Minister, and southeast Queensland's member for Dickson Peter Dutton.

Mr O'Dowd said Mr Turnbull should be the Prime Minister, but that a Queensland politician leading the country would boost votes throughout the state.

It comes as he holds onto a one per cent margin against Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers ahead of the next election. "(But the Prime Ministership) is generally reserved for Victoria and New South Wales members where they have the numbers to support them," Mr O'Dowd said.

"I think (a Qld PM) would enhance the vote in Queensland, but I don't know about the rest of Australia."

Mr O'Dowd said disagreements about the proposed energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee, triggered yesterday's challenge.

He was supportive of Mr Turnbull's decision to scrap the emissions target from the policy to gain acceptance from the conservative members including Tony Abbott.

"If you don't reach targets you can be fined very heavily, about $100 million, that's putting Australians in a position they don't need to be in," he said.

Mr O'Dowd said the revised plan would help encourage companies to build a new-tech coal-fired power plant.



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