LNP member for Gympie Tony Perrett.  Photo: Greg Miller / Gympie Times
LNP member for Gympie Tony Perrett. Photo: Greg Miller / Gympie Times Greg Miller

Perrett streets ahead but coy on win

THE new LNP Member for Gympie looked quite relaxed and even refreshed yesterday, as he reflected on three-and-a-half weeks of intense, almost 24-hour-a-day campaigning.

Tony Perrett has a cool-headed attitude to the challenging and sometimes bruising experience of political campaigning.

And that, he says, is what saw him through.

Despite some particular challenges, Mr Perrett won the seat with an anti-LNP swing of only 5.8%, smaller than almost anywhere else in Queensland.

Across the state, the swing was 8.4% against, as voters turned on the government they so enthusiastically elected not quite three years ago.

"It was 18% to 20% against some candidates," Mr Perrett said.

Mr Perrett overcame the challenge of being a new candidate, issues surrounding administration of the Gympie Regional Council under his watch as acting mayor and concerns about the manner of departure of his predecessor David Gibson.

It is all apparently a result of the fact that people like him and, because of his step-by-step campaigning style, a very large number of them got to meet him and form their own view.

It is probable that no other candidate in Queensland worked, walked and door knocked as extensively across any electorate as Mr Perrett did in Gympie.

And that is the secret of success, he says.

You do your absolute best, leave nothing to chance and then see what happens.

Seeing what happens was what he was still doing yesterday, when he declined to claim victory.

"Obviously there's a lot of speculation," he said, saying speculating was something he did not do.

"I took this seriously, like always.

"You work as hard as you can, night and day. When you get to election day, you need to know you've left no stone unturned.

"It's no good waking up the day after the election and saying, 'I wish I'd done such and such'."

But the end of LNP government does mean some problems for Mr Perrett's promises on land for the Kandanga community, the Tin Can Bay foreshore renovation, an ambulance station for Rainbow Beach and support for patient transport and palliative care.

No one expected the LNP to lose.

"You'll have to ask Annastacia Palaszczuk," he said on the fate of those promises.