Tears flow after defeat

Former member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan reminisces on his eight years as MP while packing up his office yesterday.
Former member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan reminisces on his eight years as MP while packing up his office yesterday. Nikita Watts

TEARS welled in Paul Hoolihan's eyes as he paused while reading his first speech in the 51st parliament in 2004.

It was clearly a proud moment in the life of the former Keppel MP, and reflecting on it as his office was dismantled around him yesterday was an emotional experience.

He had to refrain from reading out loud as he closed the cover of the 2004 Queensland Parliamentary Debates book.

He stared at it for a short time, as if he was struggling to comprehend his loss and an end to his political career.

At the weekend, Paul's eight-years representing the people of Keppel came to an end when he was beaten by the LNP's Bruce Young.

Paul said it had been a hectic five weeks for him and wife and campaign manager Elizabeth, and they would spend and extended Easter break in the outback in Longreach where he grew up.

They will use the time to assess the next chapter in their lives.

"I will be 65 in May and I would have retired around 65 anyway, but there are things I really wanted to finish. I think they are not going to get done now," he said.

"But I'm a Queenslander, I get knocked down and I get up again."

Paul took the seat from the LNP in 2004, and it was the only seat that changed parties.

"I was fairly well known, it wasn't a bad effort for a boy from the bush," he laughed.

"The whole electorate at Keppel has been better off with me having been here."

He said Keppel had good roads and new buildings and infrastructure with the tens of millions of dollars he secured in his eight years.

Topics:  australian labor party keppel labor paul hoolihan politics queensland election 2012

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