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Labor spirit hard to shake

Wednesday, 4th February, 2015

Rowan Holzberger ran as the ALP candidate for Southport in the Queensland election last weekend. PICTURE: Supplied Rowan Holzberger ran as the ALP candidate for Southport in the Queensland election last weekend. PICTURE: Supplied

By Emily Roberts

A former local has taken his love of the Labor Party engendered in his home town and put it towards running for parliament in the Queensland election.

Rowan Holz-berger was an ALP candidate for Southport in the recent Queensland election.

Mr Holzberger didn’t win the seat, but he said it wouldn’t stop him from having his say.

He grew up in Broken Hill and spent his early life working on the land. He moved to the Gold Coast with his young family 10 years ago and runs a small business and a civil construction company.

“I didn’t win the seat but Labor came close to winning,” he said.

“I joined the Labor Party at 14 in Broken Hill.

“I helped set up the Young Labour Association in 1988, which was made up of Broken Hill High School and Willyama High School students.”

Mr Holzberger had  left the city to start working for a Federal MP in the Keating Government.

“I became disillusioned by it and decided to go and work for Pro Craft Engineering,” he said.

“I spent some time on sheep and cattle stations between Wanaaring and Broken Hill.

“Then my family and I moved to the Gold Coast.”

This was the first time Mr Holzberger had run for parliament.

“It was hard to tell the results in the past week or so - we were definitely positive.

“It is hard to tell with these things. We were in with a reasonable chance.”

Mr Holzberger plans to stay involved in politics.

“The Labor Party is an institution in itself; you can join the party and have your say.

“It’s a democratic institute where you can have a say on policies.”

Though busy campaigning, Mr Holzberger has kept an eye on the local scene.

“I am astounded, as a former local, with the water issues,” he said.

“I’m not sure if the message is getting beyond Broken Hill.

“I think people would be horrified if they knew.”

He said he misses his old home.

“When you tell people you are from Broken Hill, they associate it with a special place in Australia,” he said.

“They know the residents are decent, honest people.”

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