Pasin tops poll

Liberal Party insiders are hopeful their re-elected local member Tony Pasin will be elevated to the shadow ministry.

Mr Pasin has been a backbencher since succeeding fellow Liberal Patrick Secker in 2013.

Every member for Barker between 1934 and 1998 served as either a cabinet minister or on the Opposition frontbench.

Barker’s last ministerial representative was 24 years ago with Ian McLachlan who was Defence Minister from 1996-98.

Although the Coalition government of ex-Prime Minister Scott Morrison was resoundingly defeated on Saturday, Mr Pasin comfortably saw off eight challengers and captured around 65% of the two-party preferred vote at last count.

Mr Pasin’s first preference share dipped to 53% and the fall could be attributed to the presence of a One Nation candidate who did not contest the 2019 election.

Mr Pasin said he would be focusing on his role as the Barker representative and was not lobbying for any additional responsibilities.

However, Mr Pasin added that he would consider extra duties if approached by his colleagues.

“The past eight and a half years have seen our nation remain strong through some extraordinarily difficult times,” Mr Pasin said.

“When the Coalition came to Government in 2013, the Labor Government had left us with an unemployment rate of 5.7%.

“Under the Coalition, unemployment has fallen to below 4% and is now the lowest level in 48 years.

“The Coalition Government has ensured our nation has weathered the storm and our economic recovery is leading the world.

“The Coalition leaves our nation in a strong economic position and we enter opposition ready to keep Anthony Albanese and his government to account.

“Personally, I am greatly humbled to have been elected for a fourth term as the Member for Barker.

“I have always put the people of Barker first and have gone to Canberra with Barker’s best interests at the heart of my work.

“I believe that this was reflected in this weekend’s result in Barker.

“I thank all those who have put their faith in me at the ballot box and have given me the opportunity to continue to deliver for our community.

“Thank you to all those who have supported me in my role.”

Mr Pasin praised his staff, volunteers and family for their support.

“I could not be the member for Barker and achieve what I have for communities across the electorate without the support of my volunteers, family and staff,” he said.

“To the eight candidates who put up their hand to run in Barker this election, thank you for serving to provide electors with a choice.

“I look forward to continuing to my work with communities across Barker to make our region an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Reflecting on the result, Labor candidate Mark Braes said he would like to take the opportunity to thank his helpers and supporters for their commitment and assistance during the campaign.

“An Albanese Labor Government has an extensive array of social reforms to implement over the next three years in government,” he said.

“Formal announcements on the medical treatment hubs will be made in coming weeks following the handover of government and the appointment of the Albanese lead ministry.

“One thing our communities can be sure of is an Albanese Labor Government is committed to delivering on its promises and implementing its mandate.”

Nationals candidate Jonathan Pietzsch said the election of a Labor Government had the potential to be a nett negative for Barker.

“Of particular concern to me is the Labor agriculture policy or lack thereof as put forward during the campaign,” Mr Pietzsch said.

“The move to ban the live export of sheep is worrying.

“The last time Labor interfered with live exports the ramifications were felt both directly and indirectly for a long time across the agriculture sector. 

“The Nationals under Agriculture Ministers Littleproud and Mackenzie have done a power of work in ensuring the live export supply chain is compliant and that welfare standards are met both on shore and right through to the final destination.

“We are the only country that require specific animal welfare outcomes for livestock exports.

“I hold out hope the new PM appoints someone with an understanding of the agriculture industry to the role however the options do not look good, Julie Collins, the current Shadow Agriculture Minister has only visited regional Australia on two occasions since she took on the role.

“I wish the incoming government well and hope that my concerns are not justified.

“The Nationals enter the new parliament having held all seats, we will be fighting to hold the new government to account and to ensure that regional Australia still has a voice.”

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