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Election victor rookie O'Rourke lays out his plans for Rocky

THE VICTOR: Labor's Barry O'Rourke has claimed a hard fought victory for the seat of Rockhampton.
THE VICTOR: Labor's Barry O'Rourke has claimed a hard fought victory for the seat of Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka ROK011217aorourke

UPDATE 3.20PM: LABOR'S Barry O'Rourke has held his first press conference since claiming victory for the hotly contested seat of Rockhampton.

There were some nerves on show to the gathered media throng for the man who started his journey as a politician only a month ago.

Mr O'Rourke made the call upon advice from his scrutineers who observed he was attracting the lion's share of preferences from eliminated Independent candidate Margaret Strelow.

"The electoral commission will provide an official report next week but my scrutineers have indicated there's been a really strong preference flow to me, it's enough to get me across the line,” Mr O'Rourke said.

"I've been humbled by the support that I've received from the people of Rockhampton and I thank you for that.”

He said he planned to continue his effort to go out and listen to people and work towards what was important for them.

"Down the track I promise to be the best member that you've ever come across,” Mr O'Rourke said.

The newly minted politician laid out his agenda which included a focus on working with the community and his fellow politicians to ensure the construction of the hospital car park and Rookwood Weir - if the business case stacks up financially.

He continued to toe the party line by supporting the Premier's stance on not granting the $1b NAIF loan.

"The Palaszczuk government has been extremely clear on that, we are a hundred per cent supportive of the Adani project,” he said.

"We are not supportive of giving tax payer's dollars to a multi-billionaire.

"We want to see the jobs coming into Rockhampton and that's where it stands and they need to just get on and do it.”

Mr O'Rourke rejected calls that Labor power-broker Robert Schwarten's should quit the ALP for his purported role in destabilising the ordinarily safe Labor seat.

"There's been many strong Labor people in Rockhampton and there's always going to be that element of conflict,” Mr O'Rourke said.

"I've listened to the likes of Robert and Bill Byrne, they are strong people with strong views, I support all of them, they've been very good to me over the year.”

Second place finishing One Nation candidate Wade Rothery was gallant in his statement of concession.

One Nation candidate Wade Rothery was pleased with his strong showing in the race for the seat of Rockhampton.
One Nation candidate Wade Rothery was pleased with his strong showing in the race for the seat of Rockhampton.

After what has felt like a long week, counting in the seat of Rockhampton has been adjourned until Monday.

Preferences from the Greens and LNP were distributed yesterday, leaving Independent Margaret Strelow third in the seat of Rockhampton.

As of approximately 12.30pm today, 9 booths of Ms Strelow's votes were distributed, leaving Barry O'Rourke with 7231 votes and myself with 5716.

With 10 voting booths left to distribute preferences from Ms Strelow, it is fair to say the preference flows have not gone in my favour this election and I'm left to break the news to each of you that Mr O'Rourke will be the victor in the seat of Rockhampton.

Rockhampton have put a significant amount of faith in me this election and I can only say thank you for that honour of receiving your number 1 vote and second preferences.

Voters across Rockhampton have shown they have a reduced level of respect for the major parties and made it clear in the way they voted.

Rockhampton is tired of being an afterthought, so for the sake of the region's water security, job opportunities, lower power prices, improved front line services, greater planning for Gracemere's educational needs and general representation, I trust Mr O'Rourke has heard the people of Rockhampton loud and clear and will take these urgent needs to Brisbane for crucial consideration.

Each of the candidates who put themselves forward this election showed a high level of sportsmanship and I thank each of them.

To Pauline Hanson, thank you! The spirit of regional Queensland recognises you as one of our final hopes of representation and the results we as a party have achieved are off the back of your solid and trustworthy reputation.

And finally to my wife Connie and all my volunteers your support has meant a great deal to me over the last 2 months as we helped offer Rockhampton an alternative this election.

My plans and future remain with Rocky and the encouragement I've received these last few months will certainly see me line up again at the next state election.

Independent candidate and destined to return to her former role as mayor, Margaret Strelow also offered her congratulations to Mr O'Rourke.

"I congratulate Barry and look forward to working with him to deliver great things for Rockhampton,” she said.

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow looks forward to working collaboratively with new Rockhampton MP Labor's Barry O'Rourke.
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow looks forward to working collaboratively with new Rockhampton MP Labor's Barry O'Rourke. Chris Ison ROK131117cstrelow4

UPDATE 12PM: Political newbie, LABOR'S Barry O'Rourke has claimed victory in the seat of Rockhampton bringing to a close a tumultuous election campaign.

He issued the following public statement:

I am humbled by the support shown to me by members of the community.

Thank you for your support.

To those of you who didn't vote for me, or any of the major parties, I hear your voice loud and clear.

I commit to doing better by you.

I'll work hard every single day for you, and am committed to getting out there, listening to & working on issues that are important to you.

Right now, my focus is on the bread and butter issues in Rockhampton.

My number 1 priority is completing the Rockhampton Hospital Carpark, which is so important to our community.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you. I won't let you down.

Mr O'Rourke will address the media at 2PM today, stay tuned for further updates.

EARLIER: ROCKHAMPTON is not far off an election result now.

As the preferences of Independent candidate Margaret Strelow are redistributed between Labor's Barry O'Rourke and One Nation's Wade Rothery, scrutineers are starting to notice a trend.

The Morning Bulletin understands Mr O'Rourke needs at least 43 per cent of the votes to flow his direction to assure victory.

Sources say the flow is currently above 50 per cent.

If this trend continues Mr O'Rourke will win the seat.

The Morning Bulletin understands some of the bigger booths for the region have now been counted.

We will keep rolling coverage today feeding in any updates as they come to hand.

READ: Rocky waits for election result to see if Barry cleans up

ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke is keeping busy around the house as he awaits the final election result for the seat of Rockhampton.
ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke is keeping busy around the house as he awaits the final election result for the seat of Rockhampton. Chris Ison ROK301117celection2

Topics:  barry o'rourke labor margaret strelow qldelection2017 tmbpolitics wade rothery



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