Government returned in ACT election as Chief Minister Andrew Barr keeps grip on power

Government returned in ACT election as Chief Minister Andrew Barr keeps grip on power

Liberal leader Alistair Coe had campaigned on better services and lower taxes while chief minister Andrew Barr touted the territory’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — it has gone 99 days without a COVID-19 case — and bushfires as part of his claim to another term.

“It is a humbling experience to lead a political party, and to lead a government. And particularly in a year like this one,” Mr Barr said.

“We’ve had an extraordinary series of challenges thrown at us, as a city and as a community, and we’ve got through it because we’ve worked together.

“We’ve got through it because we’ve applied progressive values to our government decisions and because we’ve applied compassion and we haven’t left people behind.”

Mr Rattenbury flagged that his party and Labor would not agree on everything while in government.

“We’ve had some really clear feedback during this election from members of the community who are not entirely happy with how things have been going,” he told Greens supporters.

“We have to take that on board as well. And there are things we need to reset on and we need to reflect on, and I really thank people who have come up to us in the election campaign and given us that feedback.”

In his concession speech, Mr Coe called on the returned government to do more about housing affordability in Canberra.

“When I was elected to the leadership of the Canberra Liberals four years
ago, I said that Canberra was at risk of becoming a two-paced society. One-pace where people can keep up with the cost of living and another that is increasingly falling behind,” he said.

“That threat remains very, very real. And it is incumbent upon the next government of the ACT to do much more to support those in this city who can’t afford rent, can’t afford to buy a home, are living in poverty or are doing it tough.”

The Liberal leader, whose future role in the party is not known yet, thank his supporters.

“I know to be a Liberal in Canberra is not easy. I thank you all for flying the flag. I thank you all for the confidence, optimism, and positivity that you’ve given this campaign.”

More than half of the votes in the election were cast before polling day, many digitally, contributing to a speedy result.

The ACT uses the proportional Hare-Clarke voting system through which voters determine their own preference flows, so final results will take some time to determine.

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