Husar claims vic­tory as Labor makes huge ground in Western Syd­ney

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

LABOR cut a swath through Western Syd­ney elec­torates in the Fed­eral Elec­tion, which has con­trib­uted to­wards the pos­si­bil­ity of a hung par­lia­ment.

Chi­fley Labor MP Ed Hu­sic se­cured his seat with an even big­ger margin than he won in 2013.

McMa­hon Labor MP Chris Bowen also en­joyed a big swing in his safe Labor seat.

The real drama was in the seat of Lind­say, where Labor’s pre­sump­tive MP Emma Husar de­clared vic­tory on the week­end and has been de­clared the win­ner by the me­dia.

How­ever, in­cum­bent Lib­eral MP Fiona Scott has not yet con­ceded de­feat and has gone to ground.

Count­ing of postal votes con­tin­ued this week and Ms Husar leads with a 1.6 per cent margin and a com­mand­ing 4.6 per cent swing from the 2013 re­sult. Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten vis­ited Lind­say on Mon­day to claim vic­tory.

WHILE the fate of the na­tion’s gov­ern­ment lies in­side en­velopes con­tain­ing postal votes, Chi­fley Labor MP Ed Hu­sic is as­sured of be­ing re­turned by a large margin.

As of Tues­day Mr Hu­sic leads Lib­eral can­di­date Mo­hit Ku­mar with 69.96 per cent of the two-party pre­ferred vote, a huge swing of 8.99 per cent on top of his al­ready safe margin at the last fed­eral elec­tion.

Mr Hu­sic said he and his team made 5000 phone calls to vot­ers to talk about is­sues and teach how the new vot­ing sys­tem worked — a tac­tic that paid off with a lower in­for­mal vote than neigh­bour­ing ALP seats.

“We have just been work­ing re­ally hard in the elec­torate,” Mr Hu­sic said.

“You never know how things are go­ing to pan out in an elec­tion.”

He said the over­whelm­ing con­cern of Chi­fley vot­ers was changes to bulk billing and ac­cess to health care.

“Dur­ing win­ter it’s a worry be­cause lots of par­ents think, ‘this time next year when the kids get a cold we’ll have to pay to see a doc­tor and then more to buy medicines’,” Mr Hu­sic said.

“I think that played a strong part in the re­sult.”

Mr Hu­sic is now gear­ing up to be a strong voice for Western Syd­ney along with his Labor col­leagues who won seats stretch­ing along the west and over the Blue Moun­tains.

“Par­tic­u­larly in Western Syd­ney, we have to speak up more strongly for things that mat­ter to us,” Mr Hu­sic said.

“We have as many seats in Western Syd­ney as the en­tire state of South Aus­tralia.

“We have a lot of needs to be met and I think it’s good we have a lot of seats rep­re­sented by Labor MPs.”

The elec­tion was better for Labor than Mr Hu­sic ex­pected, and now he is en­ter­tain- ing the tan­ta­lis­ing prospect of his party snatch­ing a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment.

“If we were to se­cure a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment we have great peo­ple and poli­cies I think peo­ple have given a thumbs-up to,” he said.

“I’d be par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on the ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing com­ing through. The ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing we an­nounced with $37 mil­lion for Chi­fley was a big deal.”

Mr Hu­sic said the in­de­pen­dents and mi­nor par­ties on the cross bench un­der­stand that ed­u­ca­tion builds a “better na­tion”.

Emma Husar and Bill Shorten at Pen­rith on Mon­day.

Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Chi­fley MP elect Ed Hu­sic in his of­fice af­ter the elec­tion cel­e­brat­ing with his team Melisa Mah­mu­tovic, Brad Bunt­ing,, Ni­cole Se­niloli and KarKara Hi­nes­ley.

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