Mike Kelly confident on re-election as Eden-Monaro MP

Labor's candidate for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly. Photo: Jay Cronan
Labor's candidate for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly. Photo: Jay Cronan

Labor's candidate in Eden-Monaro, the seat's previous MP Mike Kelly, is quietly confident of his chances of re-election - although he is still waiting for the final numbers to be released.

Speaking on Sunday afternoon, Dr Kelly said he was "pretty exhausted" after a long campaign.

"With the different terrain and the diversity of issues, I think it's the most challenging seat in Australia," he said.

By 4.30pm on Monday, according to the Australian Electoral Commission, he held 50.96 per cent of the two-candidate preferred votes, with over 80 per cent counted.

Earlier the Liberals' candidate for Eden-Monaro Fiona Kotvojs had said she was feeling positive about the possibility of still winning the seat, but Dr Kelly thought that was "unlikely" to occur.

"Given the state of the situation at the moment with the numbers and the balance of votes, I think it will be difficult for her to come up with the 2000-odd gap," he said.

He said he would be fortunate to return to the role of MP as he had a long-standing connection to the Eden-Monaro community, both in and out of government, which he believed had helped him win the high number of votes.

It is looking likely Mike Kelly will return as Member for Eden-Monaro.

It is looking likely Mike Kelly will return as Member for Eden-Monaro.

"I'm always very grateful for the support of this community, it means so much to me," he said.

"In rural and regional seats in general there is more of a focus on who the individuals are.

"I'm so deeply involved in the running of this community. I know the issues and I know the potential with this community."

If re-elected, first up his plans are to focus on promoting the Port of Eden in terms of extra infrastructure needed and highlighting its potential to companies, working on Snowy 2.0, pursuing the idea with organisations like the Australian National University to turn the region into a centre for excellence and research into renewable energy, and encouraging the government to take broader action on climate change.

If he does return to the role, he will be in opposition with the Liberal National Coalition likely to form government - although the final make-up of this government is still unknown.

While Dr Kelly noted the "strong performance by Scott Morrison", he said it was a close election regardless.

Some have termed the 2019 federal election an election on climate change due to the difference between the major parties' policies on the issue.

While Labor lost the election overall, Dr Kelly still believed the issue was of serious concern the public who would still expect the Coalition government to take action.

"They can't afford to ignore that it's for the benefit of our economy to tackle it seriously," he said.

"We're not going to despair, but I do feel disturbed by the time that's been lost in tackling this problem.

"If Scott Morrison can't produce positive policy in renewable energy areas he will feel the backlash in three years' time."

In opposition, Dr Kelly will continue to work in bipartisanship in the security and intelligence committee if he is reappointed to it, and plans on supporting individuals that contact his office seeking help and working with businesses and community groups who want to "work together for a brighter future" in the Eden-Monaro.

"I intend to be a member for everybody, I always have," he said.

Once the election is finally over, Dr Kelly plans to take 10 minutes to "have an ale together" with his crew.

This story Mike Kelly confident on re-election as Eden-Monaro MP first appeared on Bega District News.

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