Norton Rose veteran Ian Walker has won Liberal / National Party (LNP) pre-selection for the next Queensland state election.
Walker, a Brisbane-based planning and environment partner who has been at Norton Rose since he completed his articles, is currently the leader of the firm's government practice and has previously held senior positions such as the managing partner of the firm's Brisbane office.
He has been pre-selected for the seat of Mansfield. He told Lawyers Weekly that it was while he was studying politics at the University of Queensland with the likes of current Labor party politicians Wayne Swan and Peter Beattie that his political beliefs started to be shaped.
"I have always been impressed by Liberal thought, private enterprise, freedom of the individual and as minimal a level of government involvement in people's lives as possible," he said.
Walker has been a member of the Liberal and then merged Liberal National Party for 35 years. He was president of the Young Liberals in Queensland in 1979, and is currently the honourary legal adviser to the LNP.
Despite not living in the seat of Mansfield, which is in the south-east of Brisbane, Walker, who lives in an adjoining suburb, said he would campaign on issues of health, education and transport infrastructure, which he believes have been neglected by the Bligh Labor government in many parts of Brisbane and the state.
Despite Queensland having had an election in March 2009, with the next one not due until March 2012, the state doesn't have fixed electoral terms and the LNP has decided to pre-select candidates in "important" seats in preparation for an early election.
Labor has held Mansfield since 1998, and currently holds the seat by just under 5 per cent.