Geoff Egan

The unusual and casual side of Campbell Newman

FREE from the cameras, Premier Campbell Newman presents a far more casual front than the man most Queenslanders know.

On a flight to Cairns on Wednesday night a jacketless Mr Newman laughed with journalists and cracked jokes about getting more beer onboard being a "strong plan".

Sitting on a seat near the front Mr Newman flicked through newspapers before moving on to former Prime Minister John Howard's autobiography, Lazarus Rising.

There are no printed campaign notes or speeches near him, just two phones and an iPad filled with family photos. A portrait of his wife Lisa is on the home screen while pictures of his children are only a few taps away.

Far from the combative style defining much of the past term, Mr Newman was relaxed and casual. He spoke about television shows and showed off some of his favourite photos from the past three years.

But for most of the flight Mr Newman sat alone - the plane providing separation from the campaign - most notably the Channel 7 ReachTel poll that showed his chances fading of being an MP next week.

- GEOFF EGAN



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