Captain Cook

Monday 26 March 2012

Captain Cook

Liberal National Party Candidate, David Kempton, produced a tight victory to win the seat of Cook at Saturday’s state government elections.

Mr Kempton won the electorate 7920 votes to Labor’s 7014 votes, ousting Jason O’Brien from the seat he held for eight years and Labor held since 1977, and giving the LNP three seats within the Far North, with Gavin King securing the seat of Cairns and Michael Trout winning Barron River.

“I never expected a landslide victory,” Mr Kempton told The Newsport.

“I was hoping obviously to win and we have, so now we will really have put in a lot of hard work on getting into building relationships and building trust with me and the LNP.”

Mr Kempton said he was pleased to have secured votes in traditional Labor communities, where he undoubtedly clinched the electorate win.

“Now it’s matter of communication, being on the ground and building relationships - I did well in traditional Labor areas and I need to build on that,” he said.

“It was always going to be a big transition, because Labor held the seat for so long and the numbers can only be improved on next time.

“It shows how disconnected Labor was, also how the decision making was handed over to the public service instead of ministers, and how no-one go the sack for some of the debacles spoke for itself.”

Mr Kempton said one the LNP’s major policies of “cutting the waste” and reducing state debt, while still improving infrastructure, was high on the agenda statewide.

“The growth in the public sector during the Bligh government was huge and went up by an enormous percentage over the past five or six years and the continued growth has to be curbed,” he said.

“I’m not saying people are going to be sacked, we’ve got to make sure the provision of services are related to the cost of offering them, and the more we have the ability to cut back on waste, the greater the opportunity to offer funds to provide new infrastructure.

“If we can prioritise the avenues we can direct that money into, we can make sure we get value for money and we’re in a good position to do that now as we hold three seats up here.

“You can be assured that Michael, Gavin and I will be making a lot of noise about getting the money into the north, where it’s been neglected for a long time.

“There’s been no major infrastructure spending into Port Douglas for a long time, the only thing the previous member could come up with is a police station donga that is unmanned.”

Mr Kempton said he was looking at a return to the electorate next week after getting settled in parliament this week, but confirmed he doubted he would be take a seat in cabinet.

“My first intention is to get back to the electorate as soon as possible and start working on the issues at hand,” he said.

Mr Kempton plans to set up a main office at Mareeba, with smaller offices in the Torres Strait and other locations yet to be confirmed.

See The Newsport tomorrow for Mr Kempton’s first priorities for the Douglas region. 

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