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Election finally underway: Queensland's Senate contest vital.

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Media Statement Sunday 14th October 2007


Election finally underway: Queensland’s Senate contest vital

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed the election announcement and says he will be fighting hard to retain his seat to make sure Queensland has an independent voice with a share in the balance of power.

“The Senate contest in Queensland will be hotly contested and most difficult to predict, and it could well determine the final balance of power in the Senate in 2004,” Senator Bartlett said.

“Labor and the Liberals will certainly win 4 of the 6 Senate seats on offer, but the final two seats, including my own, are too close to call.”

“My seat will come down to preferences and I have no doubt that it’s going to be a very tight race.

However, the Democrats in Queensland have been ready for this election since July, and we will be fighting as hard as possible to ensure Queensland retains a common sense, experienced, balanced voice in the Senate.

“There is a real chance that the major parties will once again get a clean sweep of all six Queensland Senate seats, just as they did in 2004. This would mean Queenslanders would have no voice independent of the major parties left representing them in the Senate.

“There is also a range of other smaller parties seeking to take my seat, from Pauline Hanson and Family First on one side, to the Greens on the other.

"As a centrist party, the Democrats are uniquely placed to help wrest control of the senate back from the major parties. The Greens support comes mainly from the left, taking votes away from Labor, whereas the Democrats draw support from both sides, reaping crucial support from Coalition supporters who have grown uneasy with the extremist and reckless agenda displayed since the Government gained control of both houses.

“With the total Senate numbers so finely balanced, Queenslanders may well end up deciding whether I hold the balance of power, or whether it goes to extremist, fundamentalist or untested candidates.

“With a change of government a real possibility, it is more important than ever that the Senate is in safe hands, with someone with a strong record of achievement in making the Senate function as a genuine house of review on the environment, social justice, human rights and common sense economic and workplace policies.

“Queenslanders need the crucial final Senate seat to be won by someone who listens rather than lectures and will act in the best interests of the community.

“I will do all I can to ensure that Queenslanders retain an independent voice stays in the Senate,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655 Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: web: