Ken O’Dowd re­tains Flynn

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

KEN O’Dowd has re­tained the seat of Flynn for the Lib­eral Na­tional Party af­ter a tight bat­tle with La­bor can­di­date Zac Beers, which re­sulted in a 5.7% swing to the ALP.

Mr Beers phoned Mr O’Dowd on Tues­day af­ter­noon, 10 days af­ter the elec­tion, to con­cede de­feat and con­grat­u­late Mr O’Dowd on his win.

“De­spite not be­ing the re­sult I’d ul­ti­mately hoped for, I hope this strong re­sult for La­bor will mean Cen­tral Queens­land’s voice is heard when it comes to en­sur­ing more fund­ing for re­gional com­mu­ni­ties,” Mr Beers said in a state­ment.

“At the heart of my cam­paign was giv­ing voice to the many is­sues con­fronting our re­gion.

“Af­ter years of con­tribut­ing so much to the na­tional econ­omy, La­bor’s cam­paign in Flynn was all about mak­ing sure we started to get a fair go from Can­berra.”

The ma­jor­ity of North Bur­nett residents voted for Mr O’Dowd, with 66% of the two party pre­ferred vote go­ing to Mr O’Dowd and 34% go­ing to Mr Beers.

Mr O’Dowd said he looked for­ward to im­ple­ment­ing pro­jects such as the Gayn­dah wa­ter project.

“Af­ter the long­est elec­tion cam­paign in Aus­tralia’s his­tory and a lengthy, knife-edge bal­lot count in Flynn, the wait is fi­nally over,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Mr Beers con­tacted me (on Tues­day) af­ter­noon to con­cede the seat and wished me luck for this term of of­fice.

“A third term in fed­eral par­lia­ment is no mean feat... I look for­ward to get­ting to work de­liv­er­ing for all the peo­ple of Flynn once again as part of a strong, sta­ble Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment.”

The largest swings to the La­bor party oc­curred in the Glad­stone part of the elec­torate.

With 6000 postal votes left to be counted, Mr Beers would need to win most of them to win the seat, though the trend has not been there in the postal votes.

Flynn residents could be in for a re­peat con­test in 2019, or when­ever the next Fed­eral Elec­tion is, as Mr Beers said he wanted to run again.

“This con­test has fired me up more than ever to con­trib­ute to the fu­ture of Cen­tral Queens­land which is why I will again seek to rep­re­sent La­bor at the next Fed­eral Elec­tion,” he said.

Mr O’Dowd’s win in Flynn helped push the Coali­tion from mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment ter­ri­tory to a slim ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment, re­turn­ing Mal­colm Turn­bull as Prime Min­is­ter.

As of count­ing on Tues­day, Mr O’Dowd was ahead by 1326 votes, with 41,859 votes to Zac Beers’ 40,533 votes.

While Mr O’Dowd is ahead, there has been a 5.73% swing to La­bor, though not the 6.5% needed to unseat Mr O’Dowd.

Mr O’Dowd is also ahead on first pref­er­ence votes, re­ceiv­ing 30,500 votes com­pared to 27,859 for Zac Beers.

One Na­tion Can­di­date Phil Baker is com­ing third in first pref­er­ence votes.

Ken O’Dowd: I look for­ward to get­ting to work de­liv­er­ing for all the peo­ple of Flynn once again as part of a strong, sta­ble Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment.

PHOTO: PAUL BRAVEN GLA120516KEN

ALL SMILES: Ken O’Dowd has been elected for a third term rep­re­sent­ing Flynn.

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