Daniella White

‘We’ve got through it because we’ve worked together’: Barr says Labor voted for progressive reform | The Canberra Times

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr says Labor has stepped up to protect people when it matters most. He arrived in Belconnen Labor Club to claim victory about 9.45pm with his husband Anthony and his family. “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,” he said. “In this most challenging of years, Canberrans have turned to a strong and experienced government. In 2020, Canberrans have voted to return a Labor government.” At 10.30pm on Saturday, with 78 per cent of the vote counted, Labor had secured 11 seats and the Greens three. It means Labor will reach the crucial 13 seats needed to form government with the support of The Greens. It will be Labor’s sixth successive term in government. Mr Barr said Canberrans had voted for a strong, experienced and progressive government. “They voted for this city to continue to lead our nation in implementing good public policy that creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces cost of living,” he said. “They voted for us to lead on progressive reforms and to pull the rest of Australia with us. They voted for a government who will always stand up for Canberra and one that will listen to expert advice when it comes to handling this pandemic.” Mr Barr said his government had stepped up to protect Canberrans’ health, businesses and jobs through the coronavirus pandemic. “And we’re going to keep working with our community as we emerge from this global health and economic crisis stronger than ever before,” he said. “Now, despite all of the noise that’s been around this campaign, we’ve stuck to our positive message – a campaign focused on delivering more for Canberrans, not less. “A campaign based on our progressive and inclusive values.” READ MORE: Labor benefited from a strong swing in Canberra’s south – an area many believed to be a Liberal stronghold. Mr Barr put it down to Labor’s pledge to build light rail to Woden. “Now, four years ago, in this very spot, I stood here and said that Canberrans had voted for light rail,” he said. “Well, friends, they’ve done it again!” Mr Barr acknowledged the strong result for the ACT Greens led by Shane Rattenbury. He said they would sit down in the coming days and weeks to put together a new government. “But it will be a government that will be led by ACT Labor,” he said. “It will be a government that will deliver on the commitments that we took to the people of Canberra. “We said we would protect your health, and we will protect your jobs, and that’s exactly what we will do during this pandemic.” An emotional Mr Barr thanked his husband and family. “Finally to my husband Anthony, you are my rock, my life is so much better since we got married,” he said. “I think people think I am a calmer and nicer person. “We met in this city … we’ve been together more than 21 years – about to have our first wedding anniversary. “Anthony, I love you.” Mr Barr is the second-longest serving state or territory leader in Australia, and is on track to become the ACT’s longest serving chief minister. READ MORE:

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