Margin: Liberal National 9.6%
Region: Regional City
Candidates in ballot paper order
2012 ELECTION RESULTS
Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.
Located on the crest of the Great Dividing Range 130 kilometres west of Brisbane, the city of Toowoomba is divided by the Warrego Highway into the electorates of Toowoomba North and Toowomba South, with the former encompassing most of the town centre. Toowoomba North was among the 44 seats gained by the Liberal National Party at the 2012 election, after Kerry Shine had done well to hold it for Labor since 2001. Shine will now seek to recover his old seat from LNP member Trevor Watts, formerly a local nightclub licensee and chair of the Toowoomba Liquor Industry Action Group.
The present division of Toowoomba into northern and southern electorates dates back to 1972, and replaced an arrangement of Toowoomba East and Toowoomba West that in turn went back to 1960, prior to which the city was encompassed by a single electorate. The city leaned somewhat to Labor in its voting habits until the 1974 landslide, since which time Toowoomba South has consistently been in conservative hands, while Toowoomba North remained with the Nationals at losing elections in 1992 and 1998. Toowoomba North was won by Labor on its debut in 1972 and then lost to the Liberals in 1974, who in turn lost the seat to the Nationals as part of the drubbing they copped in 1983. The seat was back in Labor hands for a term after Wayne Goss came to power in 1989, but Graham Healy recovered it for the Nationals in 1992 and consolidated his hold with a 9.1% swing in 1995.
The 2001 landslide saw Kerry Shine win the seat with a swing of 11.9%, prevailing at the final count by 1.9%. A member of the Labor Forum/AWU faction, Shine had previously been a partner with the law firm Shine Roche McGowan, which continues to prosper as Shine Lawyers. He performed outstandingly at the 2004 and 2006 elections to pick up swings against the statewide trend on both the primary (8.1% and 1.0%) and two-party vote (5.4% and 3.1%). Shine served as Attorney-General and Justice Minister for most of the term from 2006 to 2009, before opting to return to the back bench, the 2009 election having reduced his margin from 9.5% to 3.2%. The remainder was easily accounted for by a further swing of 12.8% in 2012. Now 67, Shine told a local newspaper he had spent the time since his defeat travelling and helping out on the family farm.
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