Labor MP Susan Templeman has retained the seat of Macquarie, delivering a victory speech to supporters in Springwood after 9pm on election night [May 21].
"We live in a special place and we've just shown tonight how special the people of Macquarie are. They have delivered magnificently and I want to thank everybody who supported me so that we have taken Macquarie for Labor," she said at The Royal Hotel.
"I feel really humbled to have been elected for a third time. I think this is the first time in history that any Labor person has held this seat, with these boundaries, for three terms."
Liberal candidate, Hawkesbury City Councillor Sarah Richards, said in a statement to the Gazette on election night: "Obviously after working so very hard for a number of years, tonight's loss is incredibly disappointing.
"I congratulate my opponent on her win.
"I'd like to thank the wonderful people who have supported me on this journey, especially my partner Matt, who has been my rock, my beautiful three children, and my friends and family who have stood by me.
"I would also like to thank the loyal Liberal volunteers who have supported our positive campaign."
At 10pm on election night, the Australian Electoral Commission was projecting Labor to win 56.11 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in Macquarie, with the Liberal Party on 43.89 per cent. This would represent a two-party swing to Labor of almost six per cent.
It was a far cry from the 2019 federal election when the result took 16 days to decide and finished with Susan Templeman winning by 0.2 per cent - making Macquarie the most marginal seat in the country.
Ms Templeman issued a statement to the media on Sunday. It stated: "Thank you to all those people who have trusted me to represent this community in Canberra as part of an Albanese Labor Government.
"This result reflects years of consistent work of the team who support me to serve the community. It also reflects real failures by the Morrison Government, including to look after people on the NDIS and in aged care, to protect Medicare, and to take real action on climate change.
"I have no doubt that bringing about the many changes the Macquarie community expects and deserves is going to take time and hard work, and I am keen to get started so we can see change for the better in the next three years.
"As people know, whether you voted for me or not, I take very seriously my responsibility to represent the interests of our community and advocating for people. I have done it from opposition for years, and will continue to do it in government.
"To all those who helped me achieve this historic win, the first time Labor has held Macquarie for three terms, I want to say thank you. Whether you spoke to people about your experience with me, had my face on your fence, or handed out at the polls, every contribution and commitment was appreciated and valuable.
"And to those who listened: thank you."
Sarah Richards posted a statement on her Facebook page on Sunday. It stated: "Over the last 3 years, it has been my pleasure to help our community through difficult times. There are many moments of strength, resilience and courage through adversity, that I have witnessed and will never forget.
"If we have crossed paths, I hope that the assistance I provided, aided you in some small way.
"As this election is now over, I truly am proud of the legacy my candidacy will leave. A headspace in Katoomba and soon one for the Hawkesbury, funding for the Hawkesbury River Third Crossing, a Veterans Wellbeing Centre at Scheyville and a multi-million dollar upgrade to Glenbrook Oval (amongst many more). I also note my pledges to fix Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains roads have been matched, so I look forward to seeing that delivered also.
"None of the above would have been possible without the full support of the previous Coalition Government. To Marise, Alex, Scott and every Minister and MP who came to help in Macquarie, my endless thanks for your guidance and mostly, for your friendship. The opportunity to be part of your team is one I will always remember.
"If anything can come from this experience, I hope that the local narrative of hate and aggression that consumes some people, finally ends. If there is one thing I would like to do moving forward, it is to make laws around social media abuse even stronger. Poor behaviour like that has no place in our society and people must be held accountable for malicious lies. It is time to lift the standards.
"To the Member for Macquarie, I wish you well through the challenges ahead.
"To everyone who supported this campaign - friends, family, colleagues and volunteers - your comitment has been second to none. I cannot name you all as the list here would be too long. You have all made sacrifices and played an essential role. My sincere thanks for your efforts. A special shout to to my dear Matthew - your dedication, passion and drive, despite also constantly coming under personal attack, has been a blessing. I am proud to have you by my side.
"For now, time to reflect, consider next steps, spend quality time with Matt and hug my babies a little tighter & a little longer. They are happy to have their mum back."
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