LIBERAL candidate for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy remained cautious about claiming victory despite Mike Kelly conceding the election earlier on Friday.
He released a media statement thanking Dr Kelly for his service during his time in office and outlining the key areas he hopes to focus on once the Australian Electoral Commission formally announces his win in the federal bellwether seat.
“Earlier today Dr Mike Kelly conceded that he will not retain the seat of Eden-Monaro and that I will become the new Member,” Mr Hendy said.
“I am sure that you will understand that while the votes are still being counted I am reluctant to make any definitive statement.
“We have heard nothing officially yet from the AEC.
“However, I note that this morning the postal votes that were counted showed an ongoing trend in my favour.
“I do want to thank Dr Kelly for his service on behalf of the electorate and I wish him well for the future.
“I also want to thank the other candidates who demonstrated that we live in a democracy in Australia where people are free to have a go and contest an election.
“I particularly also want to thank the people of Eden-Monaro whether they voted for me or not.
“If I am declared the winner it will be a huge honour to be their representative.
“This has been an amazing journey.
“I basically started officially campaigning back in May 2012 with my pre-selection.
“You can’t win a campaign without a strong team and in that regard I have been blessed.
“My FEC chair Andy Heath has done a sterling job, as did the many individuals and party office bearers who have contributed to this win over a long period of time.
“Thank you one and all. You have been fantastic.
“In terms of our campaign we concentrated on the key issues of easing the cost of living pressures of families and businesses, and the need to foster job growth.
“My campaign also focused on the need for building stronger small businesses as they will generate our future jobs in Eden-Monaro.
“Those will be the areas where I want to make a difference.
“We all acknowledge the impact political life has on families.
“In that regard my wife Bronwyn and our son Patrick and our daughter Caroline have put up with a lot and I couldn’t have done this without them.
“They have my love and my thanks for their support and for their many sacrifices during this campaign.
“I expect that AEC will make a formal announcement at some juncture in the near future when counting and processes are finalised.”