Labor has promised not to ignore the Gold Coast in government despite failing to pick up any seats here in Saturday’s federal election.
The LNP retain all five electorates that cover the Gold Coast – McPherson, Moncrieff, Fadden, Forde and Wright – but all sitting MPs suffered swings against them.
However, it was the minor parties, not Labor that benefited the most.
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Labor’s primary vote was down in McPherson and Forde and steady in Moncrieff.
Fadden and Wright were the only seats where Labor saw a very small rise in primary votes.
Labor Senator Murray Watt concedes there’s more work to do going forward.
“I think the results last night are a real wake up call for both major parties, and it shows that we’ve got to do more to reach out to the whole community who have felt really alienated from politics,” Senator Watt told myGC.
“I think that one of the big problems we’ve had is that the lack of an integrity Commission and the lack of trust in federal politics under this government has really meant that people have given up on the major parties, and Labor will have to work hard to demonstrate that we can earn that trust by putting in place an anti-corruption Commission and really raising the standard of federal politics as well.”
But Senator Watt believes the party is in a better position with the two-party vote showing swings to Labor of between 2 and 6 per cent.
“I think people send a real message to the LNP that they were sick of being taken for granted by some pretty lazy and ineffective federal members and they want to see someone who’s going to get in there and fight for the Gold Coast. And that’s what we now have the opportunity to do.”
Despite the lack of representation in government, Senator Watt is confident Labor will still deliver for the Gold Coast.
“Albo has always made clear that his government will always allocate funding on the basis of need rather than what colour a political seat is. When Labor was last in federal government, we delivered funding to the Gold Coast for Metricon Stadium, light rail, for heavy rail, for the M1 upgrades, even though we didn’t hold any seats on the Gold Coast.
“I think that people on the Gold Coast can be confident that a Labor government will be behind them and will help to take the city forward.”
Mayor Tom Tate says Saturday’s result, and the drop in support for both major parties show that local issues matter.
He is hopeful the new Albanese government will support three key projects for the city.
“Our council must remain focused on what matters to coast residents – cost of living, protecting our lifestyle, enhancing our green space and lobbying for city-changing projects including the final stage of HOTA, light rail and GreenHeart,” Mayor Tate said.
“I have every confidence the new Labor Federal Government will back stage 4 of light rail. I hope council on Tuesday votes to support funding for a detailed stage 4 business case so we can partner with the State to re-examine the section through Palm Beach.”