Cleveland police drop investigation into election allegation

CLEVELAND police will take no further action over a complaint of common assault from a woman who alleged that she and Bowman MP Andrew Laming had a run-in outside a Bay View State School polling booth last week.

BUSY BOOTH: Voters make their way past candidate Peter Dowling and sister Sheena Hewlett on polling day at Victoria Point State School.

BUSY BOOTH: Voters make their way past candidate Peter Dowling and sister Sheena Hewlett on polling day at Victoria Point State School.

Labor Party booth worker Jane Cartwright said that Mr Laming caused her to fall to the ground.

Mr Laming said he was rolling heavy wrap along the ground in front of a fence when he was charged from behind.

“A woman dropped her knees into my head and shoulder,” he said.

Mr Laming said he had a witness and had asked that they corroborate his version of events.

Mr Laming said today the incident was a “union case” and had been chucked out by Cleveland police after a witness verified his version of events.

Police confirmed no action was being taken.

Ms Cartwright could not be contacted for comment.

Independent candidate Peter Dowling – a former LNP MP – said he too had a minor physical confrontation with Mr Laming as the pair jostled over where election material was hung outside the school during campaigning in the state seat of Redlands.

Counting continues in the fiercely fought seat, with postal votes favouring LNP candidate Matt McEachan over Labor candidate Kim Richards.

It has seen Mr McEachan close in on Ms Richards on the primary vote, 8823 to 8923.

With about 44 per cent of the vote shared by The Greens, One Nation and Mr Dowling and all three having distributed how-to-vote cards favouring Ms Richards, the latter is still favourite to win the seat.

Mr McEachan said it was a David and Goliath battle.

“If I can come back from Saturday, it’ll be bigger than the comeback king Johnny Farnham,” he said.

Mr McEachan has said that given he had such a strong primary vote, it was likely he could have held Redlands, had it not been for Mr Dowling running as a conservative independent but funneling preferences to Labor.

In 2014 Mr Dowling lost pre-selection for the seat after a sexting incident. Mr McEachan was pre-selected and held the seat for the past term. 

Mr Dowling said it was difficult to speculate where preferences would go.

“Having said that, if all preferences flow as per how-to-vote cards, the result will remain unchanged with Kim Richards and ALP picking up the seat the LNP threw away,” he said.

Mr Dowling said a substantial protest vote flowed towards the Greens and One Nation.

Mr McEachan said Mr Dowling was not an independent conservative as he had made out.

“He gave his preferences to Labor,” he said. “In doing so he did two things. He manipulated locals in to voting for something he wasn’t and took votes away from the only conservative standing for election.

“The result of this is a Labor member and a Labor government. Thank you Peter Dowling.”

Mr McEachan said Mr Dowling was motivated by a personal vendetta against him and the party.

He said the LNP was the only party to take the Redlands seriously, from proposing to put the city into the state budget for the first time, to fixing Cleveland Redland Bay Road and investing in community groups and schools.