Sunshine Coast shuns Labor

Fiona Simpson Celebrates retaining the seat of Maroochydore.
Photo: Barry Leddicoat
Fiona Simpson Celebrates retaining the seat of Maroochydore. Photo: Barry Leddicoat

Anna Bligh has enjoyed a convincing victory in her first election as premier but her government has failed to win a seat from Caboolture to Rockhampton.

Across the Coast it was a sea of LNP, with the exception of Nicklin, which was won by independent Peter Wellington with 66% of the vote after preferences.

Fiona Simpson continued her 17-year reign in the seat of Maroochydore, winning with 61% of the vote after preferences.

In Noosa, Glen Elmes was comfortably returned with 56% of the primary vote and almost 70% of the vote after preferences.

Former ALP member for Noosa, Cate Molloy, who ran as an independent, could muster only 8% of the vote.

Though Ms Simpson was delighted with her win she said local residents should be angry about premier Anna Bligh’s failure to visit the Sunshine Coast during the campaign.

“I think it’s amazing that the premier never came here. She had a duty in this campaign to visit all electorates, not just the ones where she felt comfortable in,” Ms Simpson said.

She said she was very proud of the increased level of support she had received this election.

Mr Elmes said he would be appealling to the new Bligh government to take a fresh approach and listen to the demands of local people delivered so emphatically through the ballot box.

“If Labor ever wants to have a representative elected here on the Coast again, then they have to start listening to the will of the local people,” Mr Elmes said.

“Otherwise the Coast will remain a LNP stronghold forever and a day.”

Mr Elmes wants increased funding to allow for Noosa Hospital to do an extra 700 surgical procedures.

He said it made no sense for the local health system to have empty public beds at an under-utilised Noosa Hospital while there were ambulances queuing up at Nambour hospital.

Mr Elmes said the decision by Labor to put the Traveston Crossing Dam on hold for at least two years was a lack of money more than anything, as well as trying to take some political heat off its local candidates.

Labor is expected to have 49 seats to the LNP’s 30 in the new parliament, with four independents.

LNP members will meet to elect a new leader after Laurence Springborg indicated he would stand down.

Ms Simpson, a senior shadow minister in the last parliament, and deputy leader Mark McArdle are likely contenders.

Mr Elmes said he would like to be considered for a position in the shadow ministry.

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