Milton Dick defies swing in Labor stronghold of Oxley
THERE was no close shave for Labor incumbent Milton Dick in the stronghold of Oxley, with a swing of about 1 per cent against the party not nearly enough to threaten.
Mr Dick said he was expecting a swing of less than 1 per cent against Labor after postal votes were counted, resulting in a significant victory over the nearest competitor, LNP candidate Russell Bauer.
At last count, Mr Dick had picked up more than 44 per cent of the primary vote in the seat taking in Ipswich's eastern suburbs of Goodna, Redbank, Bellbird Park, Springfield and Camira.
Mr Bauer collected about 34 per cent of the primary vote.
Steven Purcell from the Greens had the next highest primary vote at just over 11 per cennt.
The two-party preferred split was 57-43 per cent in favour of Labor, making Mr Dick a certainty to settle in for his second term as MP. While happy with the victory, there was no time to celebrate. He was up early for a job yesterday morning before opening the country carnival for a school in Darra.
"I'm obviously humbled to have been re-elected and I thank the people of Oxley for this great privilege,” he said yesterday.
"At this stage we are only forecasting about a 1 per cent swing against us once postal votes are counted.”
Mr Dick said he put Labor's loss at the federal level down to a number of factors, including "a bit of a scare campaign”, but said the party had "received the message from the people”.
"The Labor Party's message wasn't successful,” he said.
"The party needs to have a full and frank discussion over what went wrong, and especially about how to better connect particularly with middle Australia.”
At a local level, Mr Dick said his priorities were on ensuring the region had adequate infrastructure to deal with forecast population growth.
He said the completion of the Ipswich Motorway and the extension of the Springfield rail line were at the top of the list.
"I think we live in the best part of Australia, but with that there will be serious challenges to face,” he said.
"I'll hold my first mobile office next weekend to let the community know we have heard the message. It will be a big job to earn trust.
"I take nothing for granted. I have worked hard every day for the past three years and I'm going to redouble my efforts now.”
With Bill Shorten standing down as leader, Mr Dick said it was too early to speculate on his replacement, only that .
the party should carefully deliberate.