The election of controversial billionaire Donald Trump as United States president has sparked a strong reaction from Ballarat politicians.
Ballarat federal MP Catherine King said: “I'm not going to lie - this is devastating.”
“I hope that Donald Trump is a better president than he was candidate,” Ms King said.
“He has expressed some truly appalling, divisive and insulting views and I hope these don't characterise his term.
She also said, however, that she believed Mr Trump’s election wouldn’t damage Australia’s long-standing relationship with the United States.
“For more than 60 years, the US-Australia relationship has been above any one person or party.
“Today will do nothing to change that.”
Ms King expressed disappointment that Democrat candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected.
“Ms Clinton was an extremely qualified candidate and she would have been an amazing president.”
Wendouree MP Sharon Knight described Trump’s campaign – with his comments described at times as racist, sexist and lewd – as “ugly and grotesque”.
“His comments and his attitude towards women leaves me fearful that hard won rights will be dismantled,” Ms Knight said.
“To me, it is the difference between stability with (rival) Hillary (Clinton), and complete instability with Trump.
“This is being played out immediately in the stock market.
“I can’t even imagine how it will play out on the floor of the congress.”
Ms Knight said she would have loved to have seen Ms Clinton become president instead.
“To have a woman in one of the most powerful positions in the world would show girls everywhere what is possible.
“I think that Hillary has shown great courage, strength and intelligence in the face of a Trump campaign filled with hatred.”
Mr Trump became the 45th president-elect of the United States about 7pm after Ms Clinton conceded defeat.
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said “middle America is sick of being taken for granted” while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would work as closely with the Trump administration as he had with Barack Obama’s.
Full report Page 10-11