Wallace: No government means no control
NEWLY elected Fisher MP Andrew Wallace admits it will be an uphill task to deliver on promises if the Coalition Government is turfed out of power.
The LNP candidate successfully overcame Labor's Bill Gissane, who conceded defeat on Saturday night, paving the way for Mr Wallace to succeed outgoing MP Mal Brough.
In between packing up his campaign office, Mr Wallace spoke of the challenges that may lie ahead if the LNP ends up in Opposition.
"It's a hypothetical at the moment, the numbers are all over the place," Mr Wallace said.
"If we're not within government it's going to make it harder to deliver our promises obviously, that's the difficulty for us."
The former builder-turned-barrister said the overall result was out of his control, and all he was focused on now was preparing himself to be able to represent the region as best he could, regardless of who took charge.
"As far as our ability to deliver on our promises, if we're not in government well then everything goes out the window," he said.
"If we're not in government we have no control."
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said it was business as usual for the council until the result was known, but acknowledged it was an interesting scenario given the uncertainty at a federal level.
"Clearly we have some significant investment hanging in the balance," he said.
"Council's worked hard to build a relationship with the new State Government.
"We would be back to square one in some respects (if Labor claimed government)."
Cr Jamieson said he'd had a positive meeting with Labor leader Bill Shorten a fortnight ago and was hopeful whoever claimed power would invest in significant Coast infrastructure which he said should be above politics, as it would service the region and the nation without prejudice.
Mr Wallace said irrespective of who was in government he and his new LNP colleague in Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien would be pushing hard to have funding commitments met on the Coast.
He said the Bruce Hwy upgrades, rail duplication and the concessional loan for the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion were three things "vital" to the success of the Coast.
Mr Wallace admitted he'd been surprised by the results, which were pointing to a strong possibility of a hung parliament.
"At the end of the day it doesn't matter (what I think)," he said.
"We've just got to get on with the job now."
Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien, elected on Saturday night as replacement to the departing Clive Palmer, said it was a waiting game with a lot of votes still to be counted.
"Our overall approach doesn't change one iota. It's very much about putting the Sunshine Coast first," he said.
He said he wasn't entertaining any hypotheticals at this stage, preferring to "respect the process" and see "where things land" once the votes were counted.
"I feel relaxed," he said.
"This is politics, this is the democratic system."
Mr O'Brien said he'd been straight to work, speaking with Environment Minister Greg Hunt about the need to expedite the federal review of the State's EIS approval of the airport expansion.
Mr O'Brien's actions were criticised by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council last week, who argued the process should be allowed to run its course without pressure.
"I made it clear to Greg Hunt that we need this thing pushed through immediately," he said.
While the government is in caretaker mode, Mr O'Brien had given himself a three week deadline from election day to have the federal review finalised.
"We're going into bat from day one," Mr O'Brien said.