O'Dowd returns as Flynn MP
LAST weekend's federal election saw a veteran member of parliament re-elected to a key Central Queensland seat for a fourth term.
Now entering his tenth year as the Member for Flynn, LNP's Ken O'Dowd said it was a great feeling to have secured another three years in office.
"I've got a lot of people to thank - I was pleased more for them who supported me all through the campaign and to my staff who worked hard,” Mr O'Dowd said.
Mr O'Dowd said it was Australia who was "the real winner” out of Saturday night's results.
"I know there's a lot of relieved people out there, whether they be retirees or coal miners from the
Bowen Basin, or people
in general who just didn't like Bill Shorten's idea of taking money from the rich and giving to the poor,” he said.
"When you hit people in the pocket, you'll surely get a reaction.
"Chris Bowen, one of his senior ministers, said if you don't like our policies, don't vote for us and that's exactly what people did.”
It's now back to business as usual for the Member for Flynn, who said he wanted to get started on the projects LNP had promised the Central Highlands during their election campaign.
"I'd like them to be shortcut and started on as soon as possible - jobs like the Springsure to Tambo road, also the Emerald hospital... the $1 million for the saleyards ...” Mr O'Dowd said.
"I think providing good infrastructure to the Central Highlands is the most important and I would like to see that started ASAP.”
Long term, Mr O'Dowd said water infrastructure, aged care and roads were key focuses.
"(Our) aged care facilities must be adequate to handle our aging population,” he said.
"I'd like to see backup supplies for the Fairbairn Dam.
"I know it's got a little bit more water now than what it did before but it got down to 11%.
"I'd like to increase that - whether we put gates on the Bedford Weir, but ... lining the channels to reduce the wastage and the soakage.”
While Mr O'Dowd is keen to start work on his election commitments, he did acknowledge that this will most likely be his last term as the Member for Flynn.
"I think it's getting close to the time that I hand over to a younger person,” he said.
"I'm getting towards that age, after the next three years I'll be in my early 70s and I think it's nearly time to consider,” he said.
"I'll talk to the party about it - but it's time to consider handing it over to a younger person.
"Back 10 years ago, I never actually intended to stand for politics but the way the situation was back then, I was the last man standing so I put my name in the ring,” he said.
"I think I should have a lot of good new candidates to take over and do a very good job in the future.”