Pearce a ‘loud voice’ for region

TASMANIA has bucked the national voting trend at the recent Federal election with a swing towards the Liberal Party.

In the north incumbent Liberal members Gavin Pearce and Bridget Archer are both expected to be returned in Braddon and Bass, respectively. In Lyons the Liberal’s Susie Bower challenged incumbent Labor MP Brian Mitchell with the result to come down to preferences and postal votes.

In the south independent Andrew Wilkie was comfortably returned in Clark while Labor’s Julie Collins won her seat of Franklin. It’s possible Ms Collins will become a minister in the new Labor Federal Government, having served as shadow agriculture minister while in opposition.

Nationally there was swing away from both the major parties, in favour of independents and the Greens. However, it appears increasingly likely that the ALP will be able to form a majority government. Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has already been sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister allowing him to travel to Japan for the Quad leaders’ summit.

Mr Pearce, who visited King Island briefly towards the end of the election campaign, said he was humbled by the result. “I’m reassured as the electorate of Braddon held their faith in me and the job that I’m doing representing them,” Mr Pearce said.

“From day one my sole focus has been to ensure our region receives the investment needed to maximise our opportunities, to leverage off our competitive advantages and to give every single person the opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of where they live. “The work I’ve done in the past three years has us heading in the right direction. “My promise to the people in Braddon that I will not be taking a backward step and will continue to be Braddon’s loud voice in Canberra for the next three years.”

In the senate the Liberals appear unlikely to retain three spots in Tasmania with Jacquie Lambie Network’s Tammy Tyrell expected to oust sitting veteran Liberal Eric Abetz. The Liberal’s Jonno Duniam and Wendy Askew will both be returned along with Labor’s Anne Urquhart and the Green’s Peter Whish-Wilson. Labor Senator Helen Polley is also likely to be re-elected.

Senator Askew said she was excited to be given another term. “I value the opportunity to help constituents with their issues, both here in my home state and by representing Tasmanians in Canberra,” Sen. Askew said. “I’m committed to developing my relationship with the people of King Island further and working with your returned local member Gavin Pearce MP to support this vibrant community.”

The Greens and the Jacqui Lambie Network are expected to hold the balance of power in the Federal Upper House. While the final makeup of the Federal Parliament will take some time to finalise, Prime Minister Albanese is expected to announce his front bench line up within a week and work towards parliament resuming before the end of July this year.

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