Ballarat’s re-elected King holds power

May 26, 2022 BY

Long-term: Catherine King addressed the Trades Hall crowd on election night, entering her twenty-first year as Member for Ballarat. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

THE Australian Labor Party’s Catherine King has been re-elected Member for Ballarat for an eighth term following last Saturday’s Federal election.

On the night her party formed government, Ms King retained the seat with just under three per cent swing, while the respective Liberal and Greens candidates, Ben Green and John Barnes, received 27.3 per cent, and 14.4 per cent of the electorate’s votes.

Ms King, her campaign team, party members and volunteers celebrated the local and national win at Ballarat Trades Hall.

“What is abundantly clear from the results tonight is there is a huge appetite for change in this country. It is evident everywhere,” she said.

“People are wanting, and have heard, our positive message to finally do something about climate change… They also care deeply about their jobs, their families, and actually want a better life for every single person in this country.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you to the people of the electorate of Ballarat for putting your faith in me once more.”

Ms King paid tribute to her staff, family, and volunteers, who she said had worked unbelievably hard to achieve a “magnificent result” for the electorate.

“We’ve had more volunteers than ever before; people who are wanting a strong progressive Labor agenda and are determined that we actually do that, holding me and my team to account, but actually wanting to step up,” she said.

Alongside Green and Barnes, the seat’s other candidates included the United Australia Party’s Terri Pryse-Smith, the Liberal Democrats’ Julia McGrath, One Nation’s Rosalie Taxis, independent Alex Graham, and the Australian Federation Party’s Kerryn Sedgman.

“To Ben Green the Liberal candidate, who I got to know throughout the course of the election campaign, I certainly wish you well on a hard-fought campaign,” Ms King said.

“John Barnes has done really well in this election campaign, and in terms of the Greens vote, that’s increased right the way around the country, which I think is very much reflecting that there is a very strong move to do so much better than we have been doing.

“To the other candidates in the field, many who’ve never stood for politics before, this is a great, diverse democracy that we live in, and I hope very much that you’ve enjoyed and learnt from that experience, and continue to have your voice and your say through your local member.”

Spending election night with his Liberal campaign team, party members and volunteers at the Canberra Hotel, Mr Green reflected on the outcome.

“On a preliminary basis, the [swing] is more than I thought. I totally understand that Catherine King has had a very strong hold on the Federal seat of Ballarat,” he said

“I wasn’t expecting a huge result for myself, I always knew that this was going to be a very tough challenge.

“Part of that is that I came in late into the campaign in the sense that the endorsement was reasonably late in the piece.

“I’m really heartened by the efforts timewise, emotionally, and intellectually by the volunteers. It’s all about the team.

“It’s been humbling, exciting, and enjoyable, and I’d like to thank Catherine King and all the other parties and independents for running a fair campaign.”

Mr Green said he is concerned for the people of the electorate, and has some “apprehensions” for the near future, regarding the impacts of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and its impact on energy prices and the cost of living.

“I sincerely hope that the road is not a really rocky one, though I think it’ll be a tough situation for some time to come. These influences are big, international, and we’re caught up in it,” he said.

“Should the party accept me, I’m intending to run again. Given the percentage, I know this is a long campaign.”