Media release

League great Greg Dowling tackles Herbert, Palmer runs for Senate

The United Australia Party executive has endorsed Townsville businessman and former rugby league great Greg Dowling as its candidate for the federal division of Herbert while party leader Clive Palmer will lead the Senate team in Queensland.

Mr Palmer said he was honoured to be selected as the party’s lead Senate candidate in Queensland and would be doing his utmost to upset the two party duopoly which had hampered Australia’s progress for so long.

Mr Palmer said he had originally intended to contest the lower house seat of Herbert until the AEC intervened.

“I moved to Townsville which the AEC refused to acknowledge even though I lived there two weeks of every month.

“I am very happy to step aside for the great man Greg Dowling who is an excellent choice for Herbert due to his strong ties with the local area.”

Born in Cairns and raised in Ingham, Mr Dowling, 60, has been married to his wife Rhonda since 1982. The pair has two children aged 22 and 29.

One of Australia’s finest rugby league prop forwards, he played in Townsville in the 1970s and later for Wynnum-Manly from 1980 to 1985.

He also played a season for English club Wigan prior to becoming a foundation member of the Brisbane Broncos where he starred from 1988 to 1991, amassing 75 games.

His stellar representative career included 14 Tests for Australia, 11 State of Origin matches for Queensland and six appearances for the Maroons in the pre-Origin era.

Mr Dowling was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for contributions to rugby league.

A Townsville resident for the past 10 years, Mr Dowling owns an Oporto franchise in the Willows Shopping Centre.

He said only the United Australia Party could deliver real change for the people of Herbert.

“Townsville has been totally forgotten. The people of Brisbane and Canberra don’t care about us in North Queensland.

“The United Australia Party wants to change all of that, to give the people the voice and the representation they deserve,’’ he said.

“I have a strong resolve for the people of Townsville. Our people deserve better and should be rewarded with a better standard of life now and for their children and their grandchildren.”