Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien, accompanied by family, casts his vote at Gympie South State School.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien, accompanied by family, casts his vote at Gympie South State School. Troy Jegers

WIDE BAY DECIDES: O'Brien 'quietly confident' of re-election

ROLLING COVERAGE: Wide Bay decides

LNP candidate and incumbent Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien says he's "quietly confident” of reclaiming the Wide Bay seat at the 2019 Federal Election.

Mr O'Brien cast his vote alongside wife Sharon and his family at Gympie South State School late this morning.

He said he was "quietly confident” of being re-elected and he was hoping for a positive result on a national level.

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

"It has been an incredible honour to serve the people of Wide Bay for the past three years. That absolutely is the most important thing to say today,” Mr O'Brien said.

"I feel quietly confident that I'm going to be re-elected but I take nothing for granted, I think the people have recognised that I've worked as hard as I possibly can. I have stood up for them above all else.

"That includes when I haven't towed the party line, it's been for the people of Wide Bay.

"The feeling here is positive, the feeling at all the booths is positive, so I'm hoping for a good result tonight both locally and at a national level.”

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

Mr O'Brien stressed the exhaustive election campaign had presented a vital opportunity for candidates and voters alike, but admitted he was glad to be approaching the finish line.

He said his confidence of a good result was mixed with a degree of nerves as he continued visiting polling booths around the electorate into the afternoon.

Gympie election -
Gympie election - Troy Jegers

"(Campaigning is) a very important part of not only my job but democracy. It's tiring work but it is enjoyable work.

"You get to see and talk to a lot of people, they get to test you out on the issues which is extremely important. It's a time when both the media and the constituency forensically analyse you as a candidate, and that's really important, we need to make sure the quality of candidates going to parliament is as high as it possibly can be.

"It's hard work and I'll have a good sleep after tonight, but it's an important part of what we do.

"There'd be something wrong with you if you didn't have a degree of nervousness in this job. In a very public way you put yourself forward to be judged by the community, especially as the incumbent, on the performance that you've put forward to them.

"It's good to be on your toes. If you're not nervous I think there's something wrong with you.”

Mr O'Brien will finish his day in Maryborough, where he'll be keeping a "very close eye” on the votes as they are counted.

Gympie Times


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