Kim Richards manages historic win for Redlands

FRESH BEGINNINGS: Labor's Kim Richards is set to represent the Redlands electorate.

FRESH BEGINNINGS: Labor's Kim Richards is set to represent the Redlands electorate.

AN unassuming working mum is set to make history as the first woman to be elected to represent the Redlands in state parliament.

Barring any unusual change in preference flows, Victoria Point’s Kim Richards will win the seat of Redlands from sitting LNP MP Matt McEachan.

Coochiemudlo Island blogger and academic Peter Wear said the Redlands area had never sent a female representative to state Parliament since Queensland's first parliament in 1860.

Mr Wear said all other state candidates across the Redlands – Greens, LNP, One Nation and two independents – were men.

"The Queensland ALP is a bright spot of gender equity on an otherwise miserable political landscape," he said.

Ms Richards, a 25-year Thornlands resident, said the win was still sinking in and was a great honour.

She congratulated other candidates. “I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent Redlands,” she said.

Ms Richards toughed it out with Mr McEachan who ran a strong grass roots battle. He was helped by federal MP Andrew Laming who waged a confrontational campaign, mounting sustained attacks on social media in Redlands and Capalaba.

Ms Richards had previously stood unsuccessfully against Mr Laming for the federal seat of Bowman.

Former Redlands MP Matt McEachan with his daughter India, 13, and mother Carolyn Cook at his election night party at Redlands Rugby League Club. Photo: Hannah Baker

Former Redlands MP Matt McEachan with his daughter India, 13, and mother Carolyn Cook at his election night party at Redlands Rugby League Club. Photo: Hannah Baker

Mr McEachan lost good conservative areas at Mount Cotton and Sheldon to the neighbouring seat of Springwood in an electoral redistribution earlier this year.

He also was hurt by Labor introducing compulsory preferential voting which ensured a stronger preference flow its way.

While Mr McEachan was saddened to concede defeat, he said he was privileged to have represented the Redlands electorate despite tough fights with the Palaszczuk government. 

“It has been a tough three years...but we have done our absolute, very best,” he said.

Closure of the troubled Breaking Through drug rehab at Thornlands and forcing state government attention on the Giles and Cleveland-Redland Bay roads intersection were among his top achievements.

In other local seats, Labor came home strongly in Capalaba, with sitting MP Don Brown holding off a solid campaign from tyro LNP member Cameron Leafe.

Mr Brown said Redlands had truly “turned red”, with a portion of the LNP vote flowing to One Nation.

“What we saw was a complete cannibalisation of the LNP across Redlands,” he said.

“Mark Robinson (Oodgeeroo) was smart to a deal with them not to run a candidate.”

Mr Robinson held Oodgeroo, his old seat of Cleveland which was renamed earlier this year in a redistribution. It will be his fourth term.

Celebrations were held for Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson as he entered his fourth term. Photo: Hannah Baker

Celebrations were held for Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson as he entered his fourth term. Photo: Hannah Baker

With The Greens picking up 13 per cent of the vote, Mr Robinson said he heard “loud and clear” residents’ environmental concerns over the proposed revamp of Toondah Harbour. 

“There are certainly environmental concerns about the scale of it down there,” he said.

“I certainly want to see what comes back from the federal government before I give the final sign-off for my support.”

Labor’s Mick de Brenni in Springwood, on a similar tight margin to Mr McEachan, held off a strong challenge from a hard fighting Julie Talty for the LNP.

She is now expected to return to her post as a Redland City councillor.

One Nation and the Greens polled strongly but the former not nearly as well as it needed to win seats.

One Nation suffered substantial damage to its prospects during the campaign after leader Steve Dickson making lurid claims that school children were being taught to masturbate and wear dildos by teachers. He later apologised.

It gave substantial traction to Labor’s scare campaign that the LNP would have to form a coalition with One Nation to form government.