Decision saddens Neville, O'Dowd

MEMBER for Hinkler Paul Neville and LNP candidate for Flynn Ken O'Dowd have been left disappointed after two independents declared their support for Labor, allowing the party to form a minority government.

“It would be an understatement to say I'm disappointed, but I have to say I'm not all that surprised,” Mr Neville said.

Mr O'Dowd said he was curious to see how the agreement between the Labor Party, the Greens and three independents would work.

Despite their disappointment, the pair are determined to fight to ensure Hinkler and Flynn get the services they deserve.

“If the new government is as committed to its contract with the independents as we believe them to be, the gifts should not be only confined to just the independent electorates but to all regional electorates around the country,” Mr Neville said.

When announcing their decision to back Labor, independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott both spoke about a regional package they had been offered that helped sway them.

Mr Neville said with Labor holding the purse strings, it would be harder to get his election promises approved, despite saying at the News- Mail's recent election forum this was possible.

“These are modest requests but needed for the region, and if they meet resistance they certainly will be hearing from me,” he said.

Mr O'Dowd recognised a Labor Government would mean challenges for Flynn.

“It will certainly test my negotiating skills, but I will do the best I can to get what Flynn deserves,” he said.

During her victory speech, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised the next round of health and hospitals funding would go regional.

Education in regional Australia is also set to benefit after Mr Oakeshott said something needed to be done about the “crisis” in regional education.

CQUniversity vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said he hoped significant funding would now come through for the university's proposed amalgamation with CQ Institute of TAFE.

“Together we can deliver more and better educational opportunities,” he said.



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