Benjamin and Charlotte Choat (second and third from left) with parents Nicola and Sean Choat and family friend Kate Spain-Mostina (left).
Benjamin and Charlotte Choat (second and third from left) with parents Nicola and Sean Choat and family friend Kate Spain-Mostina (left). Sarah Harvey

LNP takes seat after 35 years

SEAN Choat promised to listen while Wayne Wendt wouldn't hear of losing until Labor lost Ipswich West to the conservatives for the first time in 38 years.

Mr Wendt went into the election with a 9.5% margin in the seat that Labor lost to the National Party at a landslide election in 1974.

Labor recovered the seat in 1977 and David Underwood held it until 1989, when he was replaced by Don Livingstone.

Colourful One Nation member Jack Paff was elected in 1998 on National Party preferences before Mr Livingstone won the seat back in 2001.

Wayne Wendt was elected after Mr Livingstone retired in 2006 and he won a second term in 2009.

Yesterday, he was trying to come to terms with defeat and vowed to move on despite the loss.

"I hadn't entertained the thought of defeat. It came as a big shock," Mr Wendt said. "Everyone I spoke to seemed very happy.

"I'm not into analysis of what went wrong; I'm not into recriminations. That's the great thing about our democracy; we can have a defeat like that and just move on. I've been very fortunate to represent my people."

Mr Choat described the win as "a fantastic result for us" and prepared to work hard with and for the people in the electorate.

"The people have spoken quite loudly and I know I have to earn their trust," Mr Choat said.

"One thing I learned in the campaign is people are sick of being ignored and want to have a say."

He said one of the key factors that lead to his election was his stance on the sale of public assets.

"People would come up to me and say, 'Choaty, we know you from the railways; we know you're against asset sales'," he said.

"Having said all that, we've got a hell of a lot of work to do."

The main issues in Ipswich West, he said, included small business, roads, transport, law and order and health.

"We can't have a situation where someone gets put in an ambulance and is turned away from their nearest hospital because the emergency department is too busy," he said. "And people need to feel safe on the street," he said.

Mr Choat thanked his rivals for running positive campaigns and congratulated colleague Ian Berry.

"I have big shoes to fill with people like Don Livingstone, and the previous member Wayne," he said.

 



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