Queensland election 2015


Margin: Labor 3.9%
Region: Regional City
Federal: Capricornia/Flynn

Candidates in ballot paper order




Labor (top)

Family First


Liberal National (bottom)




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

One of only seven seats retained by Labor in 2012, Rockhampton covers the city bearing its name 650 kilometres north of Brisbane, excepting its eastern suburbs of Norman Gardens and Koongal which are in Keppel, along with the town of Gracemere six kilometres to the south-west. It has existed as an electorate since 1865, except from 1960 to 1972 when it was split into Rockhampton South and Rockhampton North, the latter of which would form the basis of the new seat of Keppel in 1992. Rockhampton South had a Liberal member from 1960 to 1969, but the area has otherwise been represented exclusively by Labor-identifying members. The member for Rockhampton from 1972 to 1984 was Keith Wright, who served as Opposition Leader from 1982 to 1984 and was subsequently the federal member for Capricornia until 1993, when he was compelled to resign to fight child sex charges that ultimately led to his imprisonment.

Rockhampton was held from 1995 to 2012 by Rob Schwarten, who entered parliament as member for Rockhampton North in 1989, but was defeated in 1992 when the redistribution forced him to stand in Keppel against the Nationals member for the likewise abolished seat of Peak Downs. An opening was created for Schwarten in Rockhampton at the 1995 election when Paul Braddy, who had held the seat since 1985, moved to the Brisbane seat of Kedron. Schwarten served on the front bench following Labor’s loss of power in 1996 all the way through the Beattie-Bligh years until his retirement at the 2012 election.

Schwarten was then succeeded by Bill Byrne, a former Army officer who won preselection with backing from Schwarten and Anna Bligh. Martin Flanagan, a Q-Build worker and colleague of Byrne’s in the Labor Unity faction, reportedly had a big enough share of the half of the vote determined by the party’s head office that he would have won if he had pressed the issue, but he and Byrne had mutually agreed that the local branch vote should determine the result.

Following the 2012 election, Byrne was allocated the shadow portfolios of police, construction and national parks, further gaining sport and recreation in the reshuffle that followed Yvette D’Ath’s election to Redcliffe in February 2014.

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

Back to Crikey’s Queensland election guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *