Revealed: LNP candidate’s reality television past
THE LNP's controversial new candidate for Currumbin once appeared on a reality TV show called Australia's Worst Driver after she was involved in string of crashes, was nabbed for speeding and placed on a restricted licence.
Lawyer Laura Gerber - who party powerbrokers parachuted into the key southern Gold Coast seat this week against the wishes of outgoing MP Jann Stuckey and local branch members - went on the Channel 7 show in 2003 while she was studying law.
While on the show, Ms Gerber also smashed into her mother's car, reversed into a retaining wall at the family home, ran down roadside markers and a stop sign and caused a three-car pileup at a set of traffic lights in a spate of accidents.
Ms Gerber said yesterday she had been placed on a restricted licence after "a few minor prangs and a minor accident involving other vehicles".
In a 2003 publicity interview for the show, which featured motor racing legend Dick Johnson, she said she had trashed her car.
"My car's a Ford Meteor but I call it a bitza," she said at the time.
"There are bits of Meteor and bits of Mazda.
"I've had to replace all the side panels and the front of the car.
"My whole savings have gone on that stupid car, but no one was hurt - thankfully - and I have never been injured."
She said her mother had dobber her in to the show's producers in a bid to embarrass her into learning the road rules.
"I was like, 'Thanks a lot mum," she said.
"But now I tell her, 'Thank you mum'.
"I really think the whole thing was for the best."
Yesterday, Ms Gerber told The Courier-Mail the show involved her "driving around a track under controlled conditions and of course it was dramatised for effect".
"As a P-plater my mother nominated me for a reality TV show after I had a few minor prangs and a minor accident involving other vehicles," she said.
"I fully disclosed my traffic history (to the LNP).
"This was nearly 20 years ago and doesn't change the fact of why I am standing for election - to fight for M1 upgrades and better schools."
LNP leader Deb Frecklington yesterday defended Ms Gerber's contentious preselection.
She said the 35-year-old mother-of-two was an outstanding candidate and the best person for the job in Currumbin.
Ms Frecklington has been outspoken on road safety.
Last year, after a spate of fatal crashes in her Nanango electorate, she pleaded with drivers to "slow down, drive to the conditions, stay off our phones and focus'.
Ms Gerber completed her law degree at Townsville's James Cook University before landing a job with Coolangatta litigation firm Attwood Marshall.
She worked as a federal prosecutor for five years, handling cases including that of a psychologist who masturbated on a Tiger Airways flight from Adelaide to Brisbane.
Ms Gerber has been principal legal officer at the Office of Health Ombudsman since 2016.