ELECTION: James Lister closing in on victory
AN OFFICIAL announcement is yet to be made, but as the days roll on, it is becoming clearer James Lister will become the new Southern Downs member of parliament.
While it hasn't been officially declared, after polling over 40 per cent of the vote, Mr Lister said the real work could start now.
"We want to be abundantly cautious about this and not stand on the Electoral Commission's toes,” Mr Lister said.
"They're the ones who make the call on who has won, but we think at this stage we're confident the LNP will hold the Southern Downs. I'd like to be accepted as someone who makes sure the interests of the people in Southern Downs - the primary producers, small businesses, towns people, families and pensioners - that I'm someone you can rely on.”
Mr Lister said he identified needs within the Southern Downs region.
"We really need to look after our business and primary producing economy, basis of economy along with tourism,” he said.
"I would like to see Southern Downs Regional Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council and Toowoomba Regional Council have a list of projects they would like to undertake for which they'd like funding.
"I'd like to talk to them to see if I can assist them and if they'd like me to help.
"We need to make sure we get our share of infrastructure including roads and irrigation.”
Mr Lister said he wanted the best for the people of the Southern Downs, even if Labor held majority of power. "Even if I'm an opposition backbencher, I will still try hard to make sure our interests are protected and we get our share,” Mr Lister said.
"It's about managing relationships. I'm happy to work with anybody to work with us to help the Southern Downs get what we need.
"I'd like to benchmark Lawrence Springborg, who was well respected in parliament, irrespective of the government in charge.
"He was getting things done for the Southern Downs, and I'll be working hard to follow in his footsteps.”
Mr Lister said he was keen to follow on from the work of the popular Member for Southern Downs.
"Work has been done on an overpass at the eight mile, as well as funding for a roundabout south of Stanthorpe on the New England bypass, which is a notorious danger spot.
"We want to continue for those to be included and funded in forward estimates.
"I know there are road safety groups in the Southern Downs with police and experts, who can advise on trouble spots,” he said.
"I'm keen to work with them - police, councils, state and federal governments - to identify and develop improvements in the Southern Downs.”