Labor celebrations to end with ‘bruised elbows‘
A SEAT that has remained in Labor hands for 105 years became an unlikely battleground seat after a concentrated LNP campaign to topple Mackay MP Julieanne.
But Mrs Gilbert is set to claim her third term, after securing 56.99 per cent of the two-party preferences.
Mrs Gilbert said the election was decided by the everyday issues facing her community - education, health and jobs.
"All those components make up a life that is suitable for everybody," she said.
But Mrs Gilbert said it was a hard fought and exciting campaign for the traditional Labor stronghold.
"It was a battleground," she said.
"When you're in a seat that has been Labor for a very long time it puts a big target on your back."
"I want to get straight into ensuring our engineering hubs are up and running and continue on building the industries of the future of Mackay.
"We are a very dynamic community and we have the resources and skills in our region to diversify our sugar industry into a cane industry where we build a lot of different products from our cane crops.
"We have a lot potential to value-add to all our agriculture crops.
Mrs Gilbert said the government response to the pandemic was key to their election victory.
"We're here having a beer to celebrate while in Victoria they've just been able to step out and have their first beer," she said.
At her victory celebration, Ms Gilbert said she wished she could celebrate properly.
Political celebrations are very different under COVID.— Zizi Averill (@ZiziAverill) October 31, 2020
Re-elected Mackay MP Gilbert said she was a natural hugger but because of social distancing she’ll probably walk away from tonight’s celebrations with “bruised elbows”. #Mackayvotes #QLDvotes pic.twitter.com/2WxRzsn1ek
"One thing I want to do is give everyone a big hug, but I can't," she said.
"And so tomorrow I'll have bruised elbows after giving everyone a special elbow hug."
Her polling has her well in front of LNP candidate Chris Bonanno, a well-known community advocate around town, was sitting at 43.01 per cent of the two-party vote.