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Foley holds on to Albert Park once more

14 Dec 2014

Foley holds on to Albert Park once more Image

Labor MP Martin Foley enters another term as member for Albert Park after retaining his seat at the November state election.

A final count saw Mr Foley win the seat with 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote over Liberal candidate Shannon Eeles, who increased her party’s percentage from 38 to 46 per cent from the 2010 election.

The first-time Liberal candidate also won 40 per cent of the primary vote, which was higher than Martin Foley’s 34 per cent.

Despite the encouraging result for Ms Eeles, Mr Foley said the result was a reflection of the key issues that community wanted dealt with.

“Well, you’re never confident but, given the amount of work that our team put in, and the issues that the community made clear that they wanted dealt with, the result was an endorsement of those issues,” he said.

“Particularly in Southbank they go to planning. They go to a greater role for the City of Melbourne and the community in having a say in that planning. And they go to issues of what is the appropriate outcome of that plan.”

Greens candidate David Collis won almost 17 per cent of the primary vote, while independent Tex Perkins who solely nominated to save the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, earned 4 per cent.

Mr Perkins decision to run for the seat was vindicated, with the Labor Government pledging $13 million to restore the dilapidated theatre, while it will also deliver $11.5 million to open South Melbourne Park Primary School before 2018.

“We’ll deliver on all of our commitments,” Mr Foley said.

“Besides education and planning, there are a number of health commitments. We’ll end the war on our paramedics and health professionals and we’ll deliver on the community sporting infrastructure.”

Not much separated the two major candidates at the Southbank polling centre with 1109 voting for Ms Eeles, which was only slightly higher than Mr Foley’s count of 1049.

“I think the Southbank community, a number of owners’ corporations and the Southbank Residents Group put better planning, better design and better consultation clearly on the political agenda and both parties I think heard that message,” said Mr Foley.

“It was reassuring to see that the Labor party picked up that message loud and clear in our policy contributions.”

The 52-year-old was also handed the portfolios of housing, disability and ageing, mental health, equality and creative industries, while Richmond MP Richard Wynne assumes the role of planning minister in the new government.

Mr Foley said the new Daniel Andrews-led government was determined to get cracking from day one.

“The day we get back to Parliament, we won’t waste a single day in delivering on our jobs outcome to make sure we tackle the looming jobs crisis that the Liberal government have left behind,” he said.

“We’ll also make sure that we stand up to Tony Abbott’s cuts in education, health and public transport.”

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