Former Rockhampton Grammar School student Tara Cheyne is the ACT State MP for Ginninderra.
Former Rockhampton Grammar School student Tara Cheyne is the ACT State MP for Ginninderra. contributed

Former Rocky Grammar dux elected Member of Parliament

ROCKHAMPTON continues to churn out politicians 123 years after the first person from the region was elected to a Legislative Assembly.

Former Rockhampton Grammar School dux Tara Cheyne has followed in the footsteps of some notable local politicians, including one man who lobbied for Central Queensland to become a separate colony to others in Australia.

Ms Cheyne was elected to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Council for the seat of Ginninderra last month.

And while she is 1500km away from her home town, she had local support in the form of her mother Deb from Yeppoon, who battled the cold climate in the capital city to help the campaign.

"I was really lucky to have my mum join me for a lot of the campaign. I get a lot of my work ethic from her,” Ms Cheyne said.

"When I spoke to the Bully 10 months ago I only had an inkling about what I was in for. All up I visited around 10,000 homes and held hundreds of shopping centre stalls and this was throughout the Canberra winter where the temperature was regularly below 5 degrees. On one day it snowed.

"It's a real honour and privilege to be elected as a member for Ginninderra.”

The new ACT Legislative Council was officially declared elected on October 26 and the first sitting and swearing in ceremony was on October 28.

Ms Cheyne said the next sitting day isn't until December but the weeks will go by quickly as there is a lot to do in terms of setting up the office and hiring some staff.

"I have also been elected the Government Whip so I have a few extra responsibilities behind the scenes,” she said.

She said has a real passion for how the territory manages its waste.

Ms Cheyne admitted waste was not a terribly sexy topic, but she felt it was a very important one.

"In particular I campaigned for the roll out of more self-compacting, solar-powered public bins, a green waste bin for each residence and a kerbside bulky waste pick-up service,” she said.

"Ultimately I think the key to being elected came down to that plain hard work and real determination.”



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