James and Heather Kraak at the South Bundaberg State School polling booth.
James and Heather Kraak at the South Bundaberg State School polling booth. Mike Knott BUN251117ELECTION16

BUNDY VOTES: All the action from the polling booths

VOTING in the 2017 Queensland State Election is just about complete with counting to start at the close of polls at 6pm.

The marginal seat of Bundaberg could hold the key to who takes power in the state.

Labor's Leanne Donaldson holds the seat with a slim 0.5 per cent margin.

Polling booths around Bundaberg and the Burnett were slower than usual today because of a large number of pre-polls.

The Electoral Commission said more than one third of votes had been cast before today, one of the highest percentages in the state.

Bundaber's big three, Ms Donaldson, The LNP's David Batt and One Nation's Jane Truscott were all positive at the polling booths this morning.

 

 

Ms Donaldson voted at Bundaberg South State school.

She had been out early this morning visiting each booth and said she was a little nervous but happy with way the campaign played out.

"My plan is to get to each booth though out the day," Ms Donaldson said.

"I wanted to thank all my volunteers who have been working on the booths all day.

"And talk to people who have questions

"It's our last chance to sell the great Labor message."

 

Leanne Donaldson at the South Bundaberg State School polling booth.
Leanne Donaldson at the South Bundaberg State School polling booth. Mike Knott BUN251117ELECTION36

Ms Donaldson said she had delivered for Bundaberg over the last three years but now it was up to voters.

"There has been a lot of infrastructure delivered and we have restored front line services," Ms Donaldson said.

"We have reduced waiting lists in hospitals... but we still have a long way to go.

"I am looking forward to being able to get on with the job and continue delivering for Bundaberg.

"As is the norm I am nervous but also overall I feel positive," she said

 

 

The man trying to take the seat of Bundaberg from Ms Donaldson, the LNP's David Batt, spoke to the NewsMail at East State School.

He voted with LNP team member Stephen Bennett, the member for Burnett. 

 "We have run a good campaign, a strong campaign, a very positive campaign about local issues," Mr Batt said.

"Hopefully the people of Bundaberg have heard that message and I will be the new member for Bundaberg come tonight.

"I'm a local, I'm born and bred here, I know the issues, I have been a copper here for over twenty years and a councillor for nearly 10 years.

"I'm always listening to the people.

 

Mitchell Lennon and Rikeshia Fox arrive at the North Progress Hall in North Bundaberg.
Mitchell Lennon and Rikeshia Fox arrive at the North Progress Hall in North Bundaberg. Mike Knott BUN251117ELECTION31

" I'm on lots of boards and community organisations volunteering my time.

"I get to meet the people all the time, so I do know what the issues are in Bundy.

" And I love to hear what they are and trying to make Bundy a better place."

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett was looking comfortable needing at least a 6.6 per cent swing against him to lose the seat.

 

 

When he spoke to the NewsMail he used his time to talk up the positive work of LNP candidate for Bundaberg David Batt.

"It's great to be out early this morning decorating the booths and making sure the people of the region get the real message," Mr Bennett said.

"If they want change they need to vote 1, LNP.

"It is really important that we address the real issues of the cost of living and more importantly the opportunities an LNP government will bring for the region.

"For too long now we have seen a lot of negative campaigning, unfortunately a lot of that is on the booths again today.

"But as David has articulated he has great policies and I remind everyone that 100 policies have been announced in the four weeks of this campaign

"David has announced a policy for Bundaberg every day if not twice a day.

"It is in stark contrast to Labor who have only had three policies in the paper by the local candidate.

"While she is happy to cut ribbons in the Burnett electorate, and I am delighted about that, the choice for people today is that they need to vote for David and they need to vote for me because we need a majority government in Queensland."

 

Dr Jane Truscott, One Nation's candidate for Bundaberg had already pre-polled.

She spent most of the day moving around the booths talking to voters and volunteers.

When the NewsMail caught up with Dr Truscott she was at the Maryborough St polling booth.

She too was quietly confident and gaining a lot of positive feedback from voters.

 

 

She said she believed in the people of Bundaberg.

"Many people in Bundaberg tell me they are ready for change," Dr Truscott said.

"Change from the old parties.

"Change to a party that listens and that's one thing On Nation will do.

"We will listen to the people of Bundaberg and put people before politics."

 

Jane Truscott outside the Maryborough Street polling booth.
Jane Truscott outside the Maryborough Street polling booth. Mike Knott BUN251117ELECTION19

Independent candidate Alan Corbett was philosophical about his chances and just hoped for 6 per cent of the vote.

"This will mean I can cover my costs of just under $2000," Mr Corbet said.

"However, that is unlikely.

"The best thing to come out of this campaign was to meet the people who shared some, if not all of my vision for Bundaberg and who wanted a change in the way politics was run to emphasise the need for cooperation and not conflict.

"To those six people who helped me become a candidate and to all those good folk who voted for me, a special word of thanks from me to you.

"Overall, I am glad I had a go but I am also relieved that I can now return to wearing shorts, thongs and a t-shirt when I shop in Bundy.

"If I was to be elected I would have needed to buy a suit."



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