by Sean Teuma
AFTER nine long days of anticipation, the Southern Downs finally has a new member of parliament.
James Lister of the Liberal National Party was declared the winner of the seat of the Southern Downs at 4pm yesterday.
The declaration ends a long wait since residents went to the polls on November 25, and confirms what the region has known since last Sunday.
Mr Lister said the declaration meant he can now begin to lead the region forward.
"It's a feeling of relief,” Mr Lister said.
"People have been coming to me with things they'd like me to do, and I've been telling them I can't sign that letter yet.
"I don't have to say that now.
"It is very important to knuckle down now.
Mr Lister said he has been travelling around the region while waiting for the decision.
"I've been working very hard to get around the Southern Downs, and there have been things that have cropped up that I'd like to do something about.
"People have brought up things they feel an MP can help them with.
"It will be nice to sit down with them and do my bit. Lawrence (Springborg) has had a lot of this covered very well, so my work-load will start to build up.”
"There is no more uncertainty. I can take my seat in parliament and use that position for the good of the Southern Downs,” he said.
"I have a parliamentary induction next week. That will be a couple of days in Brisbane, and will give me a basic rundown on how it operates.
"Those occasions when I'm in Brisbane will give me the opportunity to get things done, and to work with the departments and ministers to try and solve issues for constituents.”
Mr Lister said he would look to continue the hard work of outgoing MP Lawrence Springborg.
"Lawrence has been a colossus of politics in Queensland,” he said.
"He's worked very hard and helped many people. I'm looking forward to doing the best job I can in the tradition of Lawrence to represent the people.”