Thabeban State School P&C president James McManus and tuckshop coordinator Trudi Riseley. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Thabeban State School P&C president James McManus and tuckshop coordinator Trudi Riseley. Picture: Rhylea Millar

ROLLING COVERAGE: Bundy and Burnett go to the polls

SUNDAY 5AM

Incumbent State Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett (LNP) looks to have retained his seat for the Burnett electorate, with 9563 votes under his belt.

Labor candidate Kerri Morgan is next on 5843, followed by Geoffrey Mansell from Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party with a total of 1614 votes.

The Greens candidate Liam Johns sits at 873, followed by Paul Hudson from Katter's Australian Party on 761 votes.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Case from the Informed Medical Options Party has 442 votes and independent candidate Ric Glass trails behind with 139 votes.

Almost 56% of votes have now been counted, totalling 19,871.

Nothing has changed overnight on the tally for the Bundaberg electorate, with Labor candidate Tom Smith receiving 11,400 votes.

But not far behind is incumbent Bundaberg MP David Batt (LNP) with 10,783 votes, making it a tight race for the two candidates.

A wide gap has formed between the two contenders and the remaining candidates with Pauline Hanson's One Nation's Stewart Jones on 1471 votes and first time contender Ian Zunker representing the Legalise Cannabis Party, on 1424.

Claire Ogden from The Greens has secured 738 votes, followed by Shane Smeltz from the Clive Palmer United Party with 236.

A total of 26,961 votes (76.39%) have been counted for the Bundaberg electorate.


9PM

Incumbent LNP candidate Stephen Bennett is emerging as a clear leader in Burnett with 3643 votes (47.51%) ahead of ALP candidate Kerri Morgan with 2335 (30.45%). Behind them is Geoffrey Mansell (One Nation) with 9.30%, Liams Johns (The Greens) 4.81%, Paul Hudson (KAP) 4.24%, Elizabeth Case (IMOP) 2.78% and independent Ric Glass with 0.91%. 

Meanwhile in Bundaberg Labor candidate Tom Smith is pulling ahead with 3106 (41.52%) followed by incumbent LNP MP David Batt with 2858 (30.45%).

Each candidate has maintained their ranking order with Ian Zunker from the Legalise Cannabis Party on 666 votes, Stewart Jones from the One Nation Party on 487, Claire Ogden from the Greens on 272 and Shane Smeltz from the Palmer United Party on 91 votes.

A total of 7840 votes have now been counted in the Bundaberg electorate.

 

8.45PM

David Batt said the seat of Bundaberg has been a tight seat for some time and he didn't expect to be jumping for joy tonight with answers as counting continues.

He expects they'll know more by tomorrow night.

"Last time around the primary votes were very tight, we had 35 per cent of the primary, 34 per cent for Labor, just got over that line," he said.

"One Nation [had] 22 per cent, so One Nation hasn't been out this time, we don't know where that vote will go and again that goes on the preferences and postals and that's where we got over the line last time.

"So it was a long journey, even though it was a concede within two days, but I think by tomorrow night we'll know more."

Incumbent Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said he'd spent hours at the polling booths today.

"Clearly we've been blessed with some support from the people of Burnett, which we're very privileged about; but the final count I guess will be what it will be."

 

7.30PM

MAINTAINING a steady lead, the Labor candidate is in the prime position on 2787 votes, followed by David Batt on 2593.

Ian Zunker is on 584, Stewart Jones on 432, Claire Ogden on 233 and Shane Smeltz on 85.

 

6.50PM

RACING ahead is Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith who is now on 709 votes, followed by incumbent Member for Bundaberg David Batt on 609.

 

6.40PM

COUNTING has commenced with Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith in the lead with 515 votes and followed closely behind by incumbent MP David Batt, on 256 votes.

Ian Zunker from the Legalise Cannabis Party is on 103 votes, while Stewart Jones from Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party is on 72.

Claire Ogden from the Greens is on 40 votes and Shane Smeltz from the Palmer United Party is on 21 votes.

5PM

AFTER weeks of campaigning, it's all down to the people of Bundaberg with the 2020 Queensland State Election polls set to close in an hour's time.

Those in the race to win the seat of Bundaberg are David Batt, the incumbent member from the LNP, Labor's Tom Smith, Claire Ogden from the Greens, Palmer United Party candidate Shane Smeltz and Stewart Jones from Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Turning up bright and early to cast his vote this morning, Mr Batt had his say at Bundaberg East State School.

 

Incumbent Member for Bundaberg David Batt casts his vote.
Incumbent Member for Bundaberg David Batt casts his vote.

 

David Batt with one of his daughters on election day.
David Batt with one of his daughters on election day.

 

Sharing a post on his official Facebook page, the incumbent MP thanked the community for their support.

"I have loved every moment of serving Bundy and am proud of our achievements in my first term as your State MP," Mr Batt said.

"In my very first speech, I made this commitment - I will serve the people of Bundaberg with honesty, integrity, and compassion for as long as they will have me represent them."

 

Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith casts his vote on election day.
Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith casts his vote on election day.

 

Tom Smith with his brother Nick, dad Mike, mum Wendy and grandmother Carol.
Tom Smith with his brother Nick, dad Mike, mum Wendy and grandmother Carol.

 

Mr Smith also started the day early, voting at Kepnock State High School, where he works as a teacher.

The Labor candidate for Bundaberg said he was feeling excited, positive and was looking forward to the result.

"It's been a great couple of weeks, it's been a fantastic campaign and the volunteers have worked very hard," Mr Smith said.

"We're definitely the underdogs but we're excited to see what happens tonight."

 

Thabeban State School P&C president James McManus and tuckshop coordinator Trudi Riseley. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Thabeban State School P&C president James McManus and tuckshop coordinator Trudi Riseley. Picture: Rhylea Millar

 

Ms Ogden said she felt it was time for a positive change.

"Voters respond positively to the fact that we are the only party that does not take corporate donations, so if we get elected we will fight for them, not corporations," Ms Ogden said.

Mr Zunker said the atmosphere at the polling booths today had been positive.

"My campaign has showed that serious rural issues can be tackled with compassion and empathy, along with a good dose of country common sense," he said.

"Regardless of the outcome, unless there is a serious change, our resident's voices will remain unheard for another four years (and that) is far too long for people with life limiting illness and constant pain."

BURNETT ELECTORATE - 5PM

THOSE in the race to win the seat of Burnett is incumbent State Member Stephen Bennett from the LNP, Elizabeth Case from the Informed Medical Options Party, independent candidate Ric Glass, Paul Hudson from the Katter's Australian Party, Liam Johns from the Greens, Geoffrey Mansell from Pauline Hanson's One Nation and Kerri Morgan from the Labor Party.

Opting to vote early, Mr Bennett had his say at pre-poll, but he still made an appearance at the local polling booths, alongside family members and volunteers.

Posting to his Facebook page earlier today, the incumbent MP said he felt extremely lucky to live in a vibrant and beautiful part of the world.

"I am passionate about our region and will always work to secure a future for our children," Mr Bennett said.

"With your continued support, let's work together to make it even better here in the Burnett."

 

The NewsMail contacted the remaining candidates to see how they are feeling on election day and is awaiting a response.

More to come.



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