Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 25.5%
Region: Southern Outback
Federal: Capricornia/Flynn/Maranoa
Outgoing member: Vaughan Johnson (Liberal National)

Candidates in ballot paper order




Katter’s Australian Party

Liberal National (top)


Palmer United Party

Labor (bottom)




Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

One of the state’s most reliably conservative seats, the vast central Queensland electorate of Gregory is to be vacated at the election by the retirement of Vaughan Johnson, the member since 1989. Its main population centres are on the Capricorn/Landsborough Highway, from the town of Blackwater 160 kilometres to the west of Rockhampton through Emerald and Barcaldine to Longreach. The eastern part of the electorate encompasses a large part of the Bowen Basin coal-producing region, giving it the largest mining workforce of any electorate in the state. Thanks to the resources boom, it had the second highest median income of any electorate outside of Brisbane at the time of the 2012 census, after Gladstone. The electorate is one of five which have lower than average enrolment due to the “notional electors” allowance for districts of more than 100,000 square kilometres, which gave it a bonus of 6544 notional voters when its boundaries were determined.

Gregory has existed as an electorate in one form or another since 1878, and was among Labor’s country strongholds from 1899 until the decisive break of the 1957 split. It has since been held without interruption by the National/Country Party and, since the 2009 merger, the Liberal National Party. Vaughan Johnson came to the seat in 1989 as a National, and was little disturbed over the years by the state’s great electoral convulsions, having secured near to a primary vote majority in the face of the One Nation challenge in 1998, and a 9.4% margin against the unprecedented Labor landslide of 2001. Johnson served as Transport and Main Roads Minister in the Borbidge government followed by an endlessly shifting array of shadow portfolios, but his star had been in the descendant in the later years of opposition and he was relegated to the back bench after the March 2012 election victory.

The LNP’s new candidate for the seat is Lachlan Millar, an adviser to Agriculture Minister John McVeigh and former ABC rural reporter. Millar was preselected ahead of Barcaldine Regional councillor Gary Peoples, mining industry risk and compliance adviser Darren Sargood, 24-year-old electorate officer Jack Piggott and local graziers Sean Dillon and Andrew Martin. Other candidates for the seat include Barcaldine indigenous leader Cheryl Thompson for Labor, Jericho grazier Bruce Currie as an independent, and Ross Stockham for Katter’s Australian Party.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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