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Labor crash may set Noosa free

The LNP’s newly-returned Noosa member Glen Elmes visits workers at Sunshine Beach State School on Saturday.
The LNP’s newly-returned Noosa member Glen Elmes visits workers at Sunshine Beach State School on Saturday. Geoff Potter

A FLOODGATE of anger and outrage at being betrayed by the Bligh government was unleashed in Queensland on Saturday, opening the way for Noosa to have a vote on de-amalgamation.

In more than 30 years of electioneering the newly-returned LNP member for Noosa, Glen Elmes, has never seen such a savage flow of protest votes against a government.

A 16-17% swing against Labor saw the polling bloodbath unprecedented for at least half a century and could leave a rag-tag of as few as seven ALP survivors clinging to a very unstable political life raft.

Anna Bligh has decided to jump, rather than go down with the ship and serve on the opposition benches, resigning and forcing a by-election in her South Brisbane seat.

Mr Elmes said people in Noosa could not wait to get into the booths and kick Labor where it really hurt, as postal and absentee votes were around double their usual levels.

"You could tell going around the polling booths it was an extraordinary feeling," Mr Elmes said.

"I've been around those booths 10 or 12 times helping in elections and I've never seen anything like it (the mood for a change of government)."

He said in some of the bigger booths, Labor volunteers had closed "shop" and gone home before the polls had closed.

Volunteers and supporters had packed the Tewantin-Noosa RSL Diggers Bar to witness the LNP state ascendency.

When Mr Elmes emerged from his election "bunker" room to declare the Noosa-de-amalgamation process would now be firmly in play, his words were greeted with loud, triumphant cheers.

"I said to everyone on Saturday night that this is what we are going to do," he said.

"In 2007 (former premier) Peter Beattie took Noosa's right to govern itself away and in 2012 we're going to get a say back."

Mr Elmes said the LNP had given a commitment to the de-amalgamation vote in its 100-day plan released last week and believed once a boundary commissioner was appointed it would take up to eight months to carry out a review.

Once the Queensland Treasury Corporation costings were done, it would be put to the vote at Noosa.

Mr Elmes was less certain about whether he would be asked to join the Newman ministry, saying the Premier should be tapping people on the shoulder yesterday and today. .

Mr Elmes has taken his seat into even safer realms.

"On first-preference voting, I'm just over 60%, but they haven't done the two-party-preferred count yet," he said.

Mr Elmes said Labor had now slipped from the second party of choice in Noosa to third on the voters' list behind the Greens.

In Nicklin, independent Peter Wellington withstood what he considered a nasty slur campaign to just hold off a determined John Connolly of the LNP.

Topics:  de-amalgamation, election, glen elmes, noosa, premier, voting


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