McCurdy de­clared win­ner

Na­tion­als re­tain Ovens Val­ley af­ter third pref­er­ence dis­tri­bu­tion

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­[email protected]­me­dia.com.au

RE­TURN­ING state MP Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley) re­mains hope­ful he can still achieve some of his elec­tion com­mit­ments de­spite the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity the ALP now holds in the Vic­to­rian par­lia­ment.

Mr McCurdy was de­clared the win­ner yes­ter­day of the Ovens Val­ley poll af­ter he passed the 50 per cent thresh­old fol­low­ing the third dis­tri­bu­tion of Dr Ju­lian Fidge’s (Aus­tralian Coun­try Party) pref­er­ences.

“I am hum­bled to have been re-elected in the Vic­to­rian state elec­tion as the Na­tion­als mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley,” he said.

“Thank you to the peo­ple of the elec­torate for put­ting your con­fi­dence in me to fight for a bet­ter deal for our re­gion.”

Pro­vi­sional re­sults showed Mr McCurdy with 19,435 votes, more than 10,000 votes ahead of the two re­main­ing can­di­dates Kate Doyle (ALP, 9013 votes) and Tammy Atkins (In­de­pen­dent, 8975) with in­suf­fi­cient pref­er­ence votes re­main­ing to al­ter the out­come

It was the third suc­ces­sive vic­tory for Mr McCurdy since he took over the Na­tion­als can­di­dacy from Ken Jasper in 2010.

But it was the first time he had faced a pref­er­ence bat­tle af­ter his pri­mary vote dropped by 10 per cent to 45 per cent as In­de­pen­dent Tammy Atkins and ALP can­di­date Kate Doyle at­tracted al­most 20 per cent of first votes each.

De­spite the for­merly safe seat now be­com­ing marginal, he be­lieves his job in Spring Street re­mains the same.

“They are cer­tainly not a given now that we are still in op­po­si­tion but I will be sit­ting down with the rel­e­vant min­is­ters as soon as I can to push our case,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The projects I sup­ported in my cam­paign were the pri­or­i­ties of the com­mu­nity and I will ad­vo­cate for them ac­cord­ingly.”

He said the like­li­hood of Wan­garatta Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil can­di­date Ta­nia Maxwell (Der­ryn Hinch Jus­tice Party) tak­ing her seat in the Up­per House would help the Ovens Val­ley cause.

“I would love to see Ta­nia get into the Up­per House,” Mr McCurdy said.

“She’d be a great ad­vo­cate for the elec­torate, not just for law and or­der.

“Mem­bers of par­lia­ment need each other all the time and af­ter work­ing with her over four years on law and or­der I think we’ll be in sync.”

He ac­knowl­edged that Labour Up­per House can­di­date Ja­clyn Symes has played a role in Wan­garatta and the North East re­ceiv­ing sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing in the pre­vi­ous La­bor gov­ern­ment and would likely con­tinue that if she can se­cure her seat.

“If Ja­clyn gets in it looks like she will be a min­is­ter and that could pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ovens Val­ley based on her record and de­pend­ing on the port­fo­lio.

“But if Luke O’Sul­li­van (Na­tion­als can­di­date for North­ern Vic­to­ria), gets in that would also be a great as­set for us.”

At the poll dec­la­ra­tion yes­ter­day Mr McCurdy ac­knowl­edged the other Ovens Val­ley can­di­dates who ran for elec­tion and thanked his fam­ily and friends, the Na­tional Party lead­er­ship, party mem­bers, vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers who had given so much time and en­ergy over the past four years and dur­ing this elec­tion cam­paign.

“Your con­tri­bu­tion was in­valu­able,” he said.

PHOTO: Shane Douthie

BACK IN THE SAD­DLE: Tim McCurdy was de­clared the mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley at the poll dec­la­ra­tion yes­ter­day.

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS: Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley) is con­grat­u­lated by Anne Wil­liams, Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion’s elec­tion man­ager for Ovens Val­ley Dis­trict at the dec­la­ra­tion of the poll.

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