Butcher declares third straight victory in Gladstone
LABOR incumbent Glenn Butcher has declared victory in his third consecutive tilt for the seat of Gladstone.
The Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister was joined by family, friends and his 'red army' of volunteers to celebrate at the Gladstone Yacht Club.
During his speech, Mr Butcher was joined by volunteer Shelly Holzeimer who did a celebratory 'shoey', receiving raucous cheers from up to 100 supporters.
Immediately after his victory speech Mr Butcher spoke to The Observer about his victory.
"The people of Gladstone have spoken loud and clear, they wanted a Labor government here in Gladstone," he said.
"It looks like hopefully we will retain government in Queensland, whether it be by majority, hopefully, or a minority government, we'll have to work that out.
"I am proud of being part of a government that has kept Queensland safe and the people of Gladstone here have basically gone about their normal business without having to worry to much about COVID."
After two weeks of early voting plus polling day, Mr Butcher said it was his most gruelling campaign yet.
"It was probably the worst campaign I have been through with social media," he said.
"It was very demanding on my whole family and our friends, but we got through that."
Just minutes after his declaration, Mr Butcher said he was looking forward to the next four years, with jobs and health services being major priorities for the electorate.
"Now we need to recover, we need to get jobs for the people here in Gladstone and we know that that's a big thing," he said.
"We know that health is important to us and now we've got the Mater we need to keep rolling that through.
"As I said during our debate, I want to make sure that the Mater Hospital is part of us getting to a stage four hospital with an ICU, so that's critical for us here."
Building a bigger, better Gladstone is also on Mr Butcher's agenda.
"Our commitment to $34 million for new school buildings and infrastructure upgrades to our schools is important as well.
"Also our State Development Area as I've always said with hydrogen coming forward.
"Our announcement during the election campaign of $10 million to support those businesses that want to kick off when people can start to travel around and get into Gladstone for those projects is important."
Mr Butcher thanked his army of supporters and every person in Gladstone who voted for him.
"With 73 per-cent, I think it's nearly one of the safest seats, if not the safest seat at the moment tonight," he said.
"That speaks volumes for the people of Gladstone and the support they have for me.
"I am really appreciative of it."