McCurdy declared winner
Nationals retain Ovens Valley after third preference distribution
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.
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.