Stephen Bennett and David Batt bump elbows as they await results.
Stephen Bennett and David Batt bump elbows as they await results.

How incumbents are feeling as waiting game continues

GOING from the "outsider" trying to win the seat of Bundaberg, to trying to keep it, a lot has changed in the last three years for David Batt.

The incumbent Member for Bundaberg gathered with fellow incumbent LNP representative for Burnett Stephen Bennett, friends and family at the Burnett Bowls Club last night to watch as votes were tallied.

Mr Batt said the night felt a "lot different" from the previous state election and they knew it wasn't going to be an easy race.

"I'm only second conservative member for Bundaberg, Jack Dempsey was the first, I'm the second," he said.

"This has been a Labor seat for over 100 years, ever since it was formed.

"So we knew we were in for a fight, 4 per cent isn't a lot of a margin, we got it from -1 to 4 and I've tried to work every day to keep those people happy with my performance."

Mr Batt said it had been a long past two weeks and a "really good campaign".

"We always talk about building a better Bundy and I've been doing that in this role, as a councillor, deputy mayor and even as a copper for Bundy for the last 25-30 years," he said.

"I'm passionate about Bundy and trying to do our best for here.

"We've done our best over the last three years and we'll let the people decide."

Mr Batt praised the volunteers who've helped throughout his campaign and dedicated last night to thanking them.

With a lot of pre-polling and postal voting, he said it was going to be a long, drawn out process.

"We didn't expect to get a result tonight, maybe tomorrow, but it could be quite a few days from then," he said.

Mr Batt said last time around the primary votes were very tight.

"We had 35 per cent of the primary, 34 per cent for Labor, just got over that line," he said.

"One Nation [had] 22 per cent, so One Nation hasn't been out this time, we don't know where that vote will go and again it then goes on the preferences and postals and that's where we got over the line last time.

"So it was a long journey, even though it was a concede within two days, but I think by tomorrow night we'll know more."

If he successfully retains the seat of Bundaberg, Mr Batt said he would continue to fight for Bundaberg's fair share.

He recounted some of the 'wins' he's had while representing Bundaberg, including disability parking and airconditioning in schools.

He said employment was a big issue in Bundaberg and all levels of government had to support business in order to make a difference.

"We don't find jobs for people, businesses do that, but we need to make businesses be able to do that," he said.

"Reducing the red tape, helping them do better so they can employ more local people is what the LNP's all about."

He said it would come out in the next 10 days who has won the Bundaberg seat.

Mr Bennett said the night felt surreal.

"Clearly we've been blessed with some support from the people of Burnett, which we're very privileged about; but the final count I guess will be what it will be," he said.

"Early booth results are pretty good.

"I've been watching David Batt's results and I'm not sure where those figures are coming from because I see quite a different story on the piles of votes in front of the scrutineers down there; but I wish David and his team all the best.

"I think it's a courageous fight and Bundaberg is a tremendously hard seat when Labor certainly put in the effort that they have done this campaign."

Labor was not available for comment last night.




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