The decision on whether or not to take the result in Herbert to the Court of Disputed Returns was always a matter for the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) and the candidate Mr Ewen Jones. The Party has decided, on the basis of legal advice, not to proceed to the Court to challenge the result.
I am disappointed that the Party has not taken court action, although I accept the decision made on the basis of legal advice after a full consideration of the available facts.
I had hoped that the matter would proceed to court as there were so many irregularities in the election in Herbert, and in the subsequent count of votes, and I thought the court should adjudicate these issues.
I particularly mention the large number of hospital patients who were promised by the AEC that someone would be around to take their votes on polling day, but who waited in vain all day and were denied their vote.
There was another case of university students travelling out of the electorate who were unable to vote because the AEC did not have absentee vote envelopes available.
There are many anecdotal stories of various members of the Defence Forces being denied a vote.
And in addition to that, my office received many complaints from voters and would be voters about the inability to vote or other irregularities in relation to the vote.
The count was, in my view, fraught with inconsistencies many of which I thought should be challenged in court.
Nevertheless the decision has been made.
I want to congratulate Ewen Jones for the wonderful service he has performed to the people of Townsville during his 6 years as the member. There are many monuments to his hard work including the Eastern Rail Network, new roads in and around Townsville, City Deals and the Stadium initiative to name just a few.
I certainly hope Ewen Jones will continue his involvement in public life in the future.