STAR ROLE: Tiaro's Linda and Mel Harris did everything they could to get the LNP over the line..
STAR ROLE: Tiaro's Linda and Mel Harris did everything they could to get the LNP over the line.. Alistair Brightman

RETIREE REVOLT: Region's role in returning Coalition

WHILE many sat back after polling booths closed on Saturday with the expectation of a Labor victory, Linda and Mel Harris were quietly confident the Coalition would be returned to government.

On Saturday night, when what was once thought impossible happened and the count swung in favour of the Liberals and Nationals, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had always believed in miracles.

It was people like the Harrises who helped make it happen.

Like many self-funded retirees, the couple, both aged in their 70s, feared what a Labor government might mean for the economy and their lives.

While they had long sided with the LNP, the former Tiaro mayor and her shareholder husband were particularly concerned about Labor leader Bill Shorten's new franking credits policy.

The two campaigned relentlessly on behalf of incumbent Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien, who was returned to power on Saturday, a man they say is hardworking, knowledgeable and proud to stand up for what he believes in.

The lack of costings when it came to Labor's policies was of most concern, especially when it came to measures aimed at reducing emissions and addressing climate change.

Mrs Harris said while politics had clearly long been an interest of hers, she hoped more members of the community would engage.

"My husband and I handed out how to vote cards at pre-poll and scrutineered at nursing homes," she said.

"We put signs up all around the area. Labor's policies just enforced our beliefs."

After many hours supporting the party, both returned to celebrate the efforts of Mr O'Brien and fellow volunteers at the after-party on Saturday night where they watched the results roll in that stunned many corners of the nation.

But they knew many were in the same boat as them.

"We were quietly confident the government would be re-elected," Mrs Harris said.

"That was part of what we were working towards."



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