QUEENSLAND Senator and staunch farming advocate Barry O’Sullivan has been returned for another term following the completion of vote counting today, by the Australian Electoral Commission.
The colourful, outspoken Senator was one of 12 elected in Queensland with One Nation winning two positions including the federal political revival of party leader and founder Pauline Hanson.
Labor won four Queensland Senate positions and the LNP five - including Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan.
The Green’s Larissa Waters - a strong advocate of giving farmers and landholders powers of veto over mining projects - was also re-elected.
Senator O’Sullivan’s re-election ensures the Nationals increase their numbers in federal parliament from 21 to 22 following the double dissolution election, with Senator John “Wacka” Williams returned in NSW.
That gives the Nationals six Senators - the same as the previous parliament - and 16 MPs in the House of Representatives with Damian Drum winning the seat of Murray that was previously held by Liberal Sharman Stone.
Senator O’Sullivan - a cattle grazier and former police officer - was appointed to the Senate in early 2014 by the Queensland parliament to fill a vacancy created by Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce’s move to the NSW Lower House seat of New England, at the 2013 election.
He has been an outspoken character in advocating agricultural and rural issues during his time in federal parliament; especially in raising concerns about ongoing drought conditions in his home state and competition issues impacting producers in the red meat supply chain and marketing for sugar cane growers, dealing with Wilmar.
Senator O’Sullivan has shown a tendency to support cutting red tape and only looking at regulating industries where commercial operators have failed to show a responsible corporate attitude towards the diverse needs of farm businesses.
He’s also been strong in seeking to hold banks to account to improve management of debt-repayments by farmers facing unforeseeable or externally driven circumstances such as ongoing natural disasters like drought and the Indonesian live cattle ban.
Joe Ludwig - who was Agriculture Minister when the former Labor government controversially and abruptly suspended live cattle exports in mid-2011 due to animal welfare concerns - retired as a Queensland Senator ahead of this year’s election, having started in 1999.
One Nation will have four Senators in total with another confirmed for NSW to add to its WA elected Senator Rod Culleton, while NSW Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm – who has also been highly vocal on farming issues – was also returned.
A formal declaration of the poll for the 2016 election for Queensland Senators is due to take place this tomorrow in Brisbane.
Successful Queensland Senate candidates
- LNP - George Brandis, Matthew Canavan, James McGrath, Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan.
- Labor – Murray Watt, Anthony Chisholm, Claire Moore and Chris Ketter.
- The Greens – Larissa Waters.
- One Nation – Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts.