by Alan Lander
AND so 11 years comes to an end.
Outgoing Noosa MP, the LNP's Glen Elmes, this week conceded defeat to independent Sandy Bolton, as postal votes narrowed her lead, but in the knowledge preferences would re-extend it again.
"I congratulate Sandy on her win. She ran a good grassroots campaign. I've probably never seen a better grassroots campaign - and I've seen a few," Mr Elmes said.
He put his loss down to a number of factors, including a sense of 'it's time', but the choice of pre-polling station made a big difference, saying while the former Newman state government had closed the Tafe system down, Labor had kept it so.
"One of the more damaging things for me was Tafe and ECQ putting the pre-poll there," Mr Elmes said.
"Every day [there] I was explaining 'yes, we closed it as no one came', but Labor kept it closed. Thousands of people were saying 'I didn't know that was there' and blaming us."
As for it being time, he said while he held the seat for 11 years, his party was only in government for a little more than two of them, "and that [Newman] government was about cost-cutting", making issues like Noosa River protection impossible to fund.
Mr Elmes, claims his Noosa Council de-amalgamation win as his top achievement, along with future-proofing Noosa Hospital.
"I went [into Parliament] September 2006, [former premier Peter] Beattie made changes to legislation on council amalgamation the following year, and that just consumed my first two terms," he said.
"I burnt a lot of political capital on my own side with that."
So where now? Mr Elmes said he and wife Lesleigh would take a long holiday, and didn't know what the next career step was, "but I'm not saying goodbye".
Any advice to the new Member-elect?
"Take it easy. You're going to spend the first term finding way from the car park to your bedroom. It's a process takes a long time to get to know. Parliament is your workplace for 14 weeks out of 52."