LISTENING: Lawrence Springborg speaks to residents of Sandy Creek Rd about their notorious turn-off onto the Cunningham Highway.
LISTENING: Lawrence Springborg speaks to residents of Sandy Creek Rd about their notorious turn-off onto the Cunningham Highway. Molly Glassey

Ending of an era for Lawrence Springborg

"THANK you for giving me a chance and believing in me. It's been an extraordinary privilege."

With just 16 words, Lawrence Springborg took the chance to pay homage to the residents of the Southern Downs who voted him in as their member of parliament for 28years.

For the first time in the history of the Southern Downs electorate, the name 'L Springborg' will not emblazon ballot papers this Saturday.

The end of an era will become official on Saturday evening, when voters across the region head to the polls.

To say Mr Springborg has made the seat of the Southern Downs his own in the past 16 years is an understatement.

Since the electorate came to formation in 2001, the lowest number of individual votes received for MrSpringborg was 62.79% in 2015.

Now, the man who came into his first address to parliament without a prepared speech is hanging up the suit.

Mr Springborg said he never pictured he would have a parliamentary career spanning 28 years.

"I remember making the point that maybe 15 years would be long enough, and I've almost doubled that," Mr Springborg said.

"I could've sought to go on, but I wanted to leave while I still had the sense of service and connectivity with the electorate.

"To me it's the perfect time to decide to leave.

"I'm going out at a time of my own choosing, reasonably well satisfied that I've done what I can do.

"I never in my wildest dreams thought I would almost double that, and it's been a great privilege.

"How good is it to represent the place where your family, including your children, has lived for five generations?"

An interest in politics started during his school days and Mr Springborg said that turned into a desire for a career in parliament.

"From around the age I was 10 I was really interested, and then when I got into my teenage years I was really interested in getting into parliament," he said.

"My late best friend and I always used to talk about it during school and joined the Young Nationals.

"That was in 1984 when I was 16, and I had never went to a meeting. I received a call in 1986 from the president of the Inglewood branch who said I should come along to a meeting.

"I told him I didn't want to, but he eventually conned me into it and I came back as the secretary.

"Within three years of that I was in parliament.

"For me it was a case of 'I'm going to accept it as I find it'.

"The most interesting observation was that most things in life are about timing and opportunity.

"You can work hard and be dedicated, but you need a few things to go your way, and take the chance."