O’Rourke unable to claim Rocky election victory just yet

LABOR’S incumbent candidate for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke has confirmed he wouldn’t be claiming victory in the State Election this weekend, despite appearing destined for re-election.

According to the latest 2020 Queensland Election results, Mr O’Rourke has secured a commanding lead with a primary vote of 44.81 per cent after 73 per cent of the vote was counted.

He was trailed by the LNP’s Tony Hopkins with 23.27 per cent of the vote and One Nation’s Torin O’Brien with 12.35 per cent.

After a big night at the Red Lion Hotel “cautiously” celebrating with family, friends, supporters and volunteers, Mr O’Rourke told The Morning Bulletin this morning he was keeping himself busy, doing odd jobs around the house and contemplating having beer in the pool to cool off.

Despite feeling “fairly confident”, Mr O’Rourke said he was waiting until the Queensland Electoral Commission began distributing preferences tomorrow to officially push him over the 50 per cent mark.

He said preferences flows were seeing him pick up about 75 per cent of Greens preferences, 30 per cent of Independent Dominic Doblo’s, and 25 per cent each from One Nation and LNP.

This put him on track to secure an estimated 54 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

Mr O’Rourke said it was a privilege to represent the electorate of Rockhampton and he was grateful for the support that he’d received from residents.

“It’s really good seeing the results coming in and I’m quite hopeful that I’ll get over the line,” he said.

“There are so many people I need to thank for their support – from all the people that helped out on my booths, to my campaign team, to the people in the community who have come up and said thanks or that they appreciated what I’ve done over the last three years, which has been really nice,” he said.

SIGN CONTROVERSY: The One Nation Party has drawn condemnation from Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke for resorting to
SIGN CONTROVERSY: The One Nation Party has drawn condemnation from Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke for resorting to "gutter politics" in the lead up to the Queensland Election.

He expressed his disappointment with some of the “grubby politics” that he had encountered during the election campaign from other candidates and their supporters.

“It was pretty ordinary some of the behaviour,” he said.

“There was a few straight-out lies being told at the polling booths which was really disgusting. You can attack the ball but not the man.”

There was still a lot of work that Mr O’Rourke wanted to get done for the Rockhampton beyond delivering on his election commitments.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Retiring Natural Resources Minister and Labor's incumbent candidate Barry O'Rourke stand near where Rookwood Weir will be built in the Fitzroy River.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Retiring Natural Resources Minister and Labor's incumbent candidate Barry O'Rourke stand near where Rookwood Weir will be built in the Fitzroy River.

A key priority of his was getting on with the job with the Rookwood Weir project.

“I just want to see Rookwood Weir completed and full of water,” he said.

Legalise Cannabis Queensland candidate Laura Barnard

Legalise Cannabis Queensland candidate Laura Barnard with her son and campaign volunteer Matt on election day.
Legalise Cannabis Queensland candidate Laura Barnard with her son and campaign volunteer Matt on election day.

Capturing an impressive 3.9 per cent of the vote according to the latest count, Legalise Cannabis Queensland’s candidate for Rockhampton Laura Barnard performed beyond the expectations of many in the State Election.

“What an incredible experience this way; I’m so thankful to my incredible crew of volunteers both in line of sight and behind the scenes, Madonna at the Kern Arcade Markets, the businesses in town that have supported me, the people I’ve met along this journey, and of course my fellow candidates,” Ms Barnard said.

“I’m thrilled for the next chapter, and hopeful that my parliamentary petition calling for upgrades to our public transport sees benefit for the people of our community.”

Greens candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones

Greens candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones
Greens candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones

While the Greens party’s percentage of the vote (3.34 per cent at last count) was down on their 2017 result of 5.5 per cent, their Rockhampton candidate Mick Jones was happy with how they were able to get their message out there during the election campaign.

“When you stand with the Greens in Central Queensland, you know you’re not in for an easy fight. That goes for all of us – candidates, members, volunteers, voters. I’m incredibly grateful to all of them,” Mr Jones said.

“We did well by ourselves and one another, in a field packed with rivals for our vote. Now we take what was positive about this campaign and move forward.

“We’re still going though tough times in CQ, so the Greens will keep fighting.”

Informed Medical Options Party candidate for Rockhampton Yvette Saxon

IMOP candidate Yvette Saxon at North Rockhampton High School on election day.
IMOP candidate Yvette Saxon at North Rockhampton High School on election day.

At last count, IMOP’s candidate for Rockhampton Yvette Saxon had secured 1.11 per cent of the vote.

Talking to The Morning Bulletin at the North Rockhampton High School polling station on election day, she said it had been a hot, gruelling election campaign but she was delighted to have been involved in sharing her fledgling party’s message with voters in the electorate.

“It’s been pretty positive, we’ve had a lot of support out there,” Ms Saxon said.

“(There’s been) people wanting to come up and have conversations, which is why I stood up, to bring awareness to some of the issues a lot of the time are not given voice to and to help people make informed decisions.”

She was extremely grateful for the support she received.

“Thank you so much. People I’ve never met before have come out and showed support and become friends,” she said.

“It’s been a really positive campaign and I’m thrilled and amazed by the amount of support I’ve had.”

One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Torin O’Brien

One Nation's candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien shows off this trailer calling for Gracemere to get a high school.
One Nation's candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien shows off this trailer calling for Gracemere to get a high school.

One Nation’s candidate for Rockhampton Torin O’Brien appears to have been unable to emulate One Nation’s second placing in the 2017 election.

At last count he was in third place with 12.36 per cent of the vote.

Despite this, Mr O’Brien was ecstatic with result, saying he was “unbelievably happy”.

“Thank you everyone. What an unreal result so far,” he said.

“For a 100 year old safe Labor seat I couldn’t be happier with my first ever campaign, it looks like a close one after preferences from last night. What a great ride.

“I’m incredibly proud of the issues we’ve uncovered, the friends we’ve made and the work that we will still achieve regardless, like the enormous issue of violence in our schools. We will continue, no fake promises here.”

For now, he said he would return to his very fortunate and fun life as a husband, father, professional fighter and coach.

“What I’m particularly excited about is the next four years of staying politically active in the community, we’ve seen hundreds of millions of dollars promised to CQ in the last few weeks, let’s see what happens with all of that,” he said.

“Accountability campaign starts Monday, can’t wait.”



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