Chester’s big win

Chester’s big win

Incumbent Darren Chester, of the Nationals, has been safely retained as the Member for Gippsland following a Federal Election win on Saturday, returning as the sitting member for the region for the fifth time with his party in power.

While the Coalition’s national win may have been a shock to many, Mr Chester’s victory in Gippsland was not unexpected, though his primary vote decreased for the first time since taking the seat in a 2008 by-election from Peter McGauran.

Mr Chester’s primary vote had slipped 0.93 per cent from the 2016 election as Gippslanders showed some love to Labor candidate, Dr Antionette Holm, with her party’s first preference increasing 2.91 per cent (at time of 73 of the 76 polling places returned).

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate, David Snelling, attracted the third highest vote count, followed by Greens candidate, Deb Foskey, Kerri Brewer (United Australia Party), Sonia Buckley (Independent) and Neville Tickner (Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party).

“To be elected to represent Gippsland in Federal Parliament for the fifth time is an enormous honour and privilege,” Mr Chester said on Sunday.

“I have never taken Gippslanders for granted and I am extremely grateful for the support of my family, friends, staff and community members who made this win possible.

“Work begins today to keep putting locals first and delivering everything we promised during the election campaign.”

Mr Chester says he remains focussed on supporting jobs in traditional industries and creating new opportunities, particularly for young people.

“We need to invest in the education and training opportunities for Gippslanders to allow our youth to achieve their full potential in our own communities, without always being forced to relocate to big cities,” he said.

“We also need to see more government investment in new and emerging industries, particularly tourism. I want state and local governments to put forward decent infrastructure investment plans that the Federal Government can support to boost the visitor economy across Gippsland.”

Mr Chester said he believes “the best days for Gippsland lie ahead of us”.

“There is a lot of work to be done and I am confident I have the experience, passion, enthusiasm and positive team behind me to keep building an even better Gippsland.”

PICTURED: John Flynn and Ruth Hanson (Greens), Laurie Donnellan (Nationals) and Mark Reeves (Labor) were seeking support for their chosen candidates at the Marlo Primary School polling venue.