The southern Queensland seat of Groom will stay as Liberal National Party territory, after mining engineer Garth Hamilton won a by-election with a clear lead.
Mr Hamilton replaces John McVeigh, who resigned in September to spend more time caring for his ill wife.
He said he was committed to growing the local economy and building new infrastructure.
“I’ll be fighting hard to get inland rail delivered,” Mr Hamilton said.
“Water security’s a big issue for me and for the local council — we want to make sure we put a good plan together there.
“Then I’ll be fighting for local jobs, making sure we rebuild our economy.”
Mr Hamilton is a former campaign manager for the Member for Toowoomba North, Trevor Watts, and writes for right-wing publication Spectator.
His pre-selection was controversial, as the Prime Minister and mining lobby group had wanted one of two female candidates.
Growing up in south-east Queensland, Mr Hamilton now lives in Toowoomba with his wife Louise and three children.
“This is my home,” he said.
With all 56 polling booths counted on Saturday night, Mr Hamilton had 58.56 per cent of the first preference vote and 66.3 per cent of the two-candidate-preferred vote.
There was a swing of 6.33 per cent towards the LNP on the first preference vote, but 3.06 per cent against the party on the two candidate preferred.
Postal votes are yet to be counted.
LNP retains tight hold
The Toowoomba-based seat, gazetted in 1984, has only ever been held by the Liberals, Nationals or LNP.
Lawyer and environmental campaigner Chris Meibusch ran for Labor in the by-election, pushing aged care reform and infrastructure funding as key issues.
He held 27.87 of the first preference vote, achieving a swing of 8.43 per cent towards the ALP.
Veterinarian and farmer Sandra Jephcott, for Sustainable Australia Party, recorded about 8 per cent of the first preference vote, while Craig Farquharson, for the Liberal Democrats, had about 5 per cent.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said Groom’s large rural and conservative religious voter base made it one of the safest seats in the country.
“A seat like Groom is never going to be won by the Labor party.”