Shing, Bath back

Going again: Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, has retained her seat in the Upper House. photograph zoe askew

Staff Writers

THE Victorian Electoral Commission has declared the results for the Legislative Council, with Eastern Victorian incumbents, Labor MP Harriet Shing and the Nationals’ Melina Bath, retaining their seats.

Other members for Eastern Victoria include Tom McIntosh for Labor; Shooters, Fishers & Farmers MP Jeff Bourman; and newly-elected Liberal, Renee Heath.

Ms Shing will now officially take on her ministerial portfolios in Water, Regional Development, Equality and Commonwealth Games Legacy.

Her return to the Upper House comes after concerns were raised within the Labor Party that she would lose her seat to a minor party.

She was eventually elected on the back of preferences from Fiona Patten’s Reason Party, the Animal Justice Party, Greens and Legalise Cannabis party – the latter of which had been predicted to usurp the seat.

Labor received 26.5 per cent of first-preference votes in the Upper House, giving it a quota of 1.59 – less than the number required to win two seats outright.

Ms Shing took to Twitter to thank her supporters and provide her thoughts to unsuccessful candidates.

“Putting your hand up is hard – it deserves respect and recognition,” Ms Shing said.

“There’s a lot of good work to do, and I’m delighted to be in a position to contribute to it.”

Ms Bath said she was looking forward to raising issues for regional Victoria and working collaboratively with all members of parliament and local agencies.

She also congratulated her fellow Nationals team including new Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron; Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien; and Gippsland East MP Tim Bull.

“Together we are committed to working hard for our respective communities and functioning as a united team to advocate for the lives and livelihoods of all Gippslanders,” Ms Bath said.

All elected MPs were being sworn-in at the official opening of parliament on Tuesday, which also included a smoking ceremony and Governor’s speech.

After the official opening, both Houses were holding question time and then MPs got down to the business of the new parliament.