Warren Entsch wins Leichhardt for LNP
WARREN Entsch has pledged to serve the people, rather than his party, following ALP member Jim Turnour's concession of defeat in the seat of Leichhardt.
Mr Entsch enjoyed a hero's welcome as he returned to the LNP's gathering at the Hotel Cairns, accompanied by drumming by supporters from Sikh community and chants of "Wazza! Wazza! Wazza!"
Addressing his supporters, he said he would take on "totally inappropriate" public housing in Palm Cove and Trinity Park, fight for compensation for John Saub - the father of Malu Sara victim Valerie, and push for stronger action on dugong protection.
He said many families had been destroyed by "bad legislation", and elected representatives had stopped paying enough attention to their constituents.
"If you have a look in the dictionary under politics, its about people," he said.
"For far too long, we've seen a trend towards what's good for the party rather than what's good for the people."
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Mr Entsch also criticised the Wilderness Society as a "Mickey Mouse organisation" and said he would fight to stop conservationists impeding indigenous rights on Cape York.
"Now they've been told they're not allowed to do a darned thing apart from stand their bare-bummed on a lily-pad with a spear on one leg and be photo fodder for tourists. They have greater aspirations," he said.
Asked if he preferred the prospect of a Gillard Government or a hung parliament with independents and a Green holding the balance of power, he nominated the latter.
"At the end of the day, I'd rather work with Katter and the Green, quite frankly," Mr Entsch said.
"I've got some things that I want to do for Cairns and I can do them if we've got government, if Tony Abbott is our Prime Minister."
"I'm talking about the $10 million for the (tourism) advertising campaign, I'm talking about the cultural precinct, performing arts, and I'm talking about the sporting precinct and a new industry here, I'm talking about the sea walls in the Torres Strait, I'm talking about COUCH, I'm talking about the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine - a whole range of things that we have absolutely committed to."
At Brothers Leagues Club, a modest crowd of about 100 ALP supporters gathered to commiserate Leichhardt MP Jim Turnour’s defeat.
Mr Turnour conceded defeat about 9.15pm.
Speaking frankly to reporters, Mr Turnour attributed part of his downfall to his own modesty.
“It’s often hard in politics to get recognition for the things you do and you do them in partnership with other people,’’ Mr Turnour said.
“I’m never one to blow my own trumpet - maybe that’s been a bit of a downfall of mine, but I’m very proud of the things I’ve built here over the last two and a half or three years.’’
He said was looking forward to finally taking a holiday with his wife Tiffany and daughter Zoe Joan, before he would consider his future.
Mr Turnour hinted he may not return to politics.
“Tonight’s over. I’m going to have a holiday, think about life,’’ Mr Turnour said.
“I got a lovely wife, a beautiful daughter and life goes on. Politics is a tough business and you win some, you lose some and in the end you get on with life.
“You can’t take it personally.”