ELAINE Carbines could move into federal politics after narrowly losing her battle for a seat in the Victorian Upper House on a recount yesterday.
The former teacher and Geelong MP gathered more individual votes than any other candidate but a limited overall vote for the Labor ticket cost her the final fifth seat in Western Victoria province.
Ms Carbines had admitted the seat would be hard to win after Labor put her third on its ticket behind two right-wing union leaders from Melbourne.
“To be so close, and the vote as I understand it was close, is actually testament to the fantastic support I have,” she said.
“To have received so many below-the-line votes was just great.
“I have loved the past seven years and have formed many solid relationships with local businesses and people.”
DLP member Peter Kavanagh, from Melbourne, won the final place.
Mrs Carbines said she “might consider” a move to federal politics.
“At the moment I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said.
“I’ll have a break and talk to my family but I might consider running for pre-selection down the track.
“I have a lot of support from both the party and my supporters but I’ll have to get a job.
“I don’t think I will go back to teaching, though.”
The loss cost the former Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment eligibility for a tax-free parliamentary pension of about $60,000 a year after the next term of State Government.
Members must win three times to be eligible, she said.
Ms Carbines, who has one week to clear out her three offices, listed creation of an Otway National Park, relocation of Queenscliff High School and funding for Barwon Heads Football and Netball Club as highlights of her time in office.
The mother of two has been a member of the ALP since 1975. She was the first Geelong woman in Parliament since Fanny Brownbill in 1948.
Ms Carbines was elected Member for Geelong Province in 1999.