Dawson MP outlines vision for his fourth term
A CAUTIOUS George Christensen was hesitant to declare victory over the seat of Dawson, despite election night polling showing him 20 percentage point ahead of his nearest rival Labor candidate Belinda Hassan.
Despite all his opponents within hours conceding defeat within hours of the polls closing, Mr Christensen refused to formally declare victory until postal and pre-poll votes were processed.
Today with just over 20 per cent of the votes still uncounted, Mr Christensen finally announced his fourth-term victory.
This month's federal election increased the incumbent LNP politician's margin by more then 10 per cent.
Mr Christensen said his first priority was to establish a timeline for the promises he made during his election campaign.
The promised projects include $6.5 million for a Northern Beaches Community Hub, $10 million for report into the Urannah Dam, and $10 million for a business case for a coal fired power station in Collinsville and Gladstone as well as other promised with similarly hefty price tags.
Mr Christensen said he would spend the week meeting with the region's mayors and industry groups to set a timeline for each of the projects to get them moving ahead "as soon as possible”.
The second thing on the re-elected member's agenda was to formulate a "regional deal” for Mackay.
Mr Christensen said he would form a working group combining local government and industry to for a plan for the city's future.
He said it was time the "powerhouse” city was recognised for "punching above our weight for the region, for the state and for the nation.”
The proposed working group would investigate how to strengthen local industries like sugar and mining by pursuing diversification.
As well as strengthening existing industries Mr Christensen promised to develop the region's tourism sector which he believed could become the next "linchpin” of the economy.
Mr Christensen said Mackay shouldn't just be the "gateway to the Whitsundays” but a tourism destination in its own right.
On Thursday the Nationals are expected to lock in their leadership team ahead of the new parliamentary term.
Despite being a well-known personality within The Nationals partyroom, Mr Christensen said he had no intention of putting his hand up for a position.
"I've played the role of a vocal local member and I'm happy to continue that role.”
Mr Christensen said he would back the current Nationals leadership arrangement, including Michael McCormack as the party's leader and Bridget McKenzie as his deputy.