“You don’t have to be a politician to know that ratepayers are being ripped off.
“There is a vast amount of ratepayers’ money being wasted.
“The LNP spend ratepayers money on $300 cab rides to Cher concerts and about $4 million on shameless self-promotion by lord mayor Adrian Schrinner.”
Mr Condren said the council should have been focusing on the “2000 kilometres” of footpaths in desperate need of repairs.
“My first policy announcement is that if I’m fortunate enough to be elected I will freeze the lord mayoral salary and spend any increases on repairing some of those neglected footpaths,” he said.
Mr Condren said there had been a number of significant leaders in City Hall but Cr Schrinner was not one of them.
“Graham Quirk was a good lord mayor in his term, Clem Jones was fantastic … but they’ve reached the bottom of the barrel with this unelected mayor Schrinner,” he said.
“He’s out of his depth and has demonstrated he just can’t deliver for the people of Brisbane.
“Everything he touches, he stuffs up and we cop the bill.
“A $400 million blowout on Metro before anyone’s touched a shovel. $70 million blowout on Kingsford Smith Drive. $27 million up in smoke on an IT bungle. This list is endless but it must end now.”
Mr Condren said his journalistic background would benefit him in the role.
“Certainly being in the political arena for 17 years, I see the value to communicate a policy platform and I think that’s one of the strengths of being a broadcaster here in Australia and overseas.
“I know how to tell a story and it’s important to have people really understanding what your planning to do.”
Labor also confirmed the announcement on Facebook and Twitter and thanked Rod Harding for his hard work and service.
“Make no mistake, Labor is the underdog in this battle as we take on a ruthless LNP machine that will spend millions of dollars of ratepayers’ money on self-promotion in a bid to hold on to the ratepayer purse strings,” they wrote.
“It will be tough, but together we can win this.”
Rod Harding said it was an honour to have been Labor’s candidate for lord mayor to rival the LNP council that was “out of touch”.
“I am proud of the work we have done to hold this arrogant and out-of-touch LNP council accountable,” he said.
“I accept the party’s decision and I want Labor to have the best chance of defeating
this LNP administration.”
As part of pre-election changes, council opposition leader Peter Cumming will stand aside for Deagon Ward councillor Jared Cassidy and Morningside Ward councillor Kara Cook will become the new deputy leader.
Cr Cassidy praised his colleague Cr Cumming for his tireless work as Opposition Leader.
“Peter is Brisbane’s longest-serving councillor and the wealth of knowledge he has amassed will continue to be invaluable to the team,” he said.
“We face a huge task fighting an LNP administration that spends millions of ratepayers’ dollars promoting themselves but I sense a strong mood for change.
State opposition spokesman for communities, disability services and seniors Dr Christian Rowan was quick to respond to the announcement on Twitter.
“Fake news Labor journalist masquerading as ‘independent’ for years,” the Moggill LNP member wrote.
“Leftist journalists have been infiltrating press galleries across all Parliaments running their own biased agenda at the expense of a true, fair & unbiased free press.”
However, Mr Condren wrote that it was a generalisation backed up by “dodgy stats”.
“Plenty of reporters have embarked on political careers.. Abbott, Turnbull Emmerson (sic) all LNP to name just a few,” he wrote.
“Sticks and stones.”
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has been contacted for comment.
Jocelyn Garcia is a journalist at the Brisbane Times, covering breaking news.