With newly-returned Ballarat MP Catherine King expected to serve in new prime minister Anthony Albanese's cabinet, time will tell whether more attention will be placed on much-needed projects in the city.
Ms King won the seat, her eighth win in a row, with an increased two-party preferred swing - she defeated first-time Liberal Party challenger Ben Green 60.23 per cent to 39.77 per cent, with a 2.71 per cent swing.
In terms of first preference votes, with some pre-poll and postal ballots still being counted as of Sunday afternoon, Ms King won 35,189, or 44.9 per cent, a slight swing against her of 1.9 per cent, while Mr Green won 21,350 votes, or 27.3 per cent.
The Greens' John Barnes strengthened his party's position, winning 14.34 per cent, while three "freedom"-focused parties all struggled to achieve more than 4 per cent of the vote.
Daylesford-based independent Alex Graham won 1.98 per cent, and first-time candidate Kerryn Sedgman, representing the Australian Federation Party, won 0.71 per cent.
Ballarat also recorded 4125 informal votes, a slight increase to 5.01 per cent of all votes.
On election day, the biggest booths were at Alfredton Primary School, which hosted 1907 voters; Buninyong, with 1788 voters; Sebastopol, with 1523; and Pleasant Street Primary School, with 1502.
Mr Green was able to win Cape Clear, Learmonth, Newlyn, and Rokewood on two-party preferred, with the rest going to the ALP.
The booth at Warrenheip saw the biggest swing toward Ms King, at 8.03 per cent, while the booths at Daylesford, Clunes, and Cardigan Village swung more than 3.5 per cent toward Mr Green.
With the dust beginning to settle on the federal results - as of Sunday afternoon, it's still not clear if Mr Albanese will be able to form a majority government - the question becomes what the result will mean for Ballarat.
While in opposition, Ms King held the shadow regional development, transport and infrastructure portfolio, and before that, the health portfolio.
She also served as Minister for Regional Services from 2013, and was appointed to cabinet as Minister for Regional Australia following when Kevin Rudd returned as prime minister.
Speaking on Sunday afternoon, Ms King said it was too early to tell if she would return to cabinet under Mr Albanese.
"There are still seats being counted, and I think in coming days it'll be a bit clearer in terms of where the cabinet and ministry will be," she said.
"Obviously I've been shadow cabinet minister for transport and infrastructure, I'd hope to keep that portfolio, but that's a matter for the prime minister."
During the campaign, there were several promises for Ballarat, including funding to rebuild the Sebastopol Senior Citizens Centre, money to clean up the Yarrowee Creek in Redan, and more than $900,000 for additional domestic violence crisis accommodation, plus money for smaller projects in Creswick, Glenlyon, and Daylesford.
There's also a promise to reform the investment investigation process for high-voltage transmission lines, following the disastrous Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.
Ms King said many of these promises should appear in the government's first budget, along with commitments to childcare and housing policies, and establishing a federal anti-corruption body, and the Indigenous Statement from the Heart.
"It's the day after the election, we'll need to get our feet under the table first before we start setting up contracts with councils," she said.
"The first things that are important, as Anthony (Albanese) has said clearly - he'll be sworn in Monday and will attend the Quad (an international meeting with Japan, India, and the US), that's an important signal that Australia wants to work with the Quad on climate change and global issues, from the supply chain to global security."
The new parliament will look very different, with high numbers of Greens and independents - teal and otherwise - expected to win seats.
While the campaign in Ballarat remained civil, it was furious elsewhere, as Liberal incumbents fought to hold onto their seats.
"What's really clear is that we're seeing an appetite for change, a real desire for strong representation from members who care about their seats, who do a good job in their seats, and issues around climate change, integrity, and doing business differently, people are demanding that and you can see it with the swings against the Liberals, it'll be a real wakeup call for the Liberal-Nationals," Ms King said.
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"I think that they have a choice here about how they go about conducting politics, I think they've been sent a very clear message from "teal" independents but also swings in safer regional seats where the Greens have picked up votes - there is a desire for change, and I think that'll be a matter for whoever the new leader of the Liberals is.
"If they want to continue in the vein of the Tony Abbott, 'let's tear the joint down', I think that's something people are looking to move away from."
Ms King also acknowledged her Ballarat opponents, and thanked her supporters and volunteers.
"A huge shoutout and thank you to the people of Ballarat, it's very humbling standing on pre-poll in freezing rain, and the sheer kindness people have shown to me and my team - I hope I do them proud," she said.
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