HAVING won the seat of Swansea at his second attempt, Liberal Garry Edwards promised yesterday to improve police services in his electorate.
Mr Edwards, a property conveyancer and Lake Macquarie’s deputy mayor, was able to formally claim the seat on Thursday night after his Labor predecessor, Robert Coombs, conceded defeat.
Mr Edwards acknowledged Mr Coombs for his ‘‘service and commitment to the people of Swansea’’ but said the community had demanded change.
‘‘And now I intend to ensure change comes to Swansea by delivering better services and resources,’’ Mr Edwards said. “I realise that many people across the community are voting Liberal for the very first time.
‘‘I will not take your support for granted and I will ensure that we deliver on our election promises.’’
In 2007, Mr Coombs won 60.76per cent of the two-candidate vote to the 39.24per cent won by Mr Edwards. On primary votes, Mr Coombs won 19,979 in 2007 compared with 10,345 for Mr Edwards.
This time around, Mr Edwards received 17,283 first-preference votes and Mr Coombs 16,133, with independent Gillian Sneddon receiving 7408 first-preference votes.
In two-candidate terms, Mr Edwards received 19,800 votes to the 18,929 polled by Mr Coombs.
Mr Coombs said he hoped people would recognise the work he had done in four years but accepted that Labor could have governed better, by increasing police numbers and reducing anti-social behaviour.