tip off

Seat of the week: Bendigo

The federal electorate of Bendigo has been trending to Labor since Steve Gibbons gained it for them in 1998, but it is reportedly back on the Liberals’ radar with his impending retirement.

Created at federation, the electorate of Bendigo currently extends from the city itself south to Castlemaine and the Macedon Ranges around Woodend, also taking in smaller rural centres to the west and north. The redistribution to take effect at the next election has added the Macedon Ranges area from McEwen in the electorate’s south-east, and transferred Maryborough and its surrounds to Wannon in the west. The changes respectively affect about 7000 and 10,000 voters but have only a negligible impact on the Labor margin, which goes from 9.5% to 9.4%.

Bendigo was first won by Labor in 1913, having earlier been in Protectionist and Liberal hands. Billy Hughes contested the seat as the Nationalist Prime Minister in the wake of the Labor split of 1917, having recognised he would be unable to retain his existing safe Labor seat of West Sydney, and succeeded in unseating Labor incumbent Alfred Hampson with a 12.5% swing. Hughes would remain member for five years before moving to North Sydney. Bendigo was in conservative hands thereafter until 1949, except when Richard Keane held it for a term after Labor came to office in 1929. George Rankin gained the seat for the Country Party when United Australia Party incumbent Eric Harrison retired in 1937.

Bendigo emerged with the curious of distinction of being gained by Labor when it lost office in 1949, and next lost by them when they finally returned to power in 1972. The win in 1949 resulted from the redistribution giving effect to the enlargement of parliament, which accommodated the state’s northern rural reaches in the new seat of Murray and transferred Castlemaine and Maryborough to Bendigo. John Bourchier won the seat for the Liberals against the trend of a substantial pro-Labor swing in Victoria in 1972, which was variously put down to the entry of a popular Country Party candidate and attacks on Labor member David Kennedy over state aid and his liberal position on abortion. Bourchier would in turn hold the seat until the Fraser government’s defeat in 1983.

Bendigo was then held for Labor by future Victorian Premier John Brumby, who served for three terms before joining Victorian Labor’s extensive casualty list at the 1990 election. Bruce Reid served for three terms as Liberal member until his retirement in 1998, when Labor’s Steve Gibbons, a former Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union official and electorate officer to Brumby, gained the seat with a swing of 4.4%. Gibbons came within 1.0% of defeat at the 2004 election before enjoying consecutive swings of 5.2% and 3.4% in 2007 and 2010. After announcing in September 2011 he would not seek another term, Gibbons became less disciplined in his public pronouncements, proclaiming on Twitter that Kevin Rudd was a “psychopath”, Tony Abbott a “douchebag”, Julie Bishop a “narcissistic bimbo”, and Australia Day an “Invasion Day” celebrated by “throwing bits of dead animals on a cooking fire just like the people we dispossessed”.

Labor’s new candidate is Lisa Chesters, a Kyneton-based official with the same Socialist Left union that once employed Gibbons, which has lately been rebadged as United Voice. Earlier speculation that the seat might be used to accommodate electorally endangered Senator David Feeney or even a return to federal politics for John Brumby was quickly scotched. Greg Westbrook, director of legal firm Petersen Westbrook Cameron, was an early nominee, but in the event Chesters was preselected without opposition. The Liberal candidate is Greg Bickley, owner of a local transport business. Other reported nominees for Liberal preselection were Jack Lyons, owner of construction business Lyons Constructions, and Peter Wiseman, a teacher and owner of a website design business.

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  • 101
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    gloryconsequence

    Yes, women should always stand aside and let the strong men take precedence. :/

  • 102
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Dio

    No comparison, I suggest.

    The Zimbabwean observors had multi-lateral backing from the Commonwealth, and, I seem to recall, at least the tacit support of both OAU and the UN.

    Our election observers in Zimbabwe had not previously been involved in public criticism of the Zimbabwean Government. Nor were they there to hold a series of meetings almost exclusively with Opposition groups.

    There is no comparison with what X&Co are doing in Malaysia.

  • 103
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Something’s a bit screwy with the news reporting of the Russian meteor.

    Not saying suss, but more just wrong-sounding.

    Quoted at 33,000mph, which works out to 14.7 kilometres per second (kps). Slow for meteors, actually. They’re usually travelling around 25kps.

    If it weighed 10 tonnes, and is predominantly iron, this would work out to a sphere of 1.4 metres in diameter (pretty small, eh?).

    Such a sphere, travelling at 14.7 kps would yield 260 tonnes of TNT equivalent as it broke up. Not a lot for the damage it caused.

    I have an old spreadsheet, downloaded from NASA, from when one broke up in Australia about ten years ago, and it is pretty accurate. That’s how I worked it all out.

    Incidentally, if the meteor had been 10 metres in diameter, it would have weighed 470 tonnes and yielded 12 kilotons of TNT equivalent, about the same as Nagasaki.

    That would have been a bang and a half.

    The one this just missed us was about 30 metres in diameter (cigar shaped, of course, so I’ve reduced the “50 metre” length to “30 metres” diameter to be conservative).

    At the same speed as yesterday’s Russian rock, this would have yielded 2.6 megatons of TNT equivalent, which, if it went off over, say, New York, Western Europe, Moscow or any number of huge cities in China, would have been an economy extinction event.

    At the more usual speed of 25kps, we’d have been looking at 7.6 megatons, a truly catastrophic amount of energy given what a few computer keystrokes on a derivative broker’s keyboard by a trainee trader can do.

    Imagine 7.6 MEGAtons over New York or just about anywhere else, and worse if it fell into the ocean…

    To get back to the iffyness of the reports of the Russian meteor, I suspect it was a bit bigger than has been admitted.

    If windows could be broken from 35-50 kilometres away from ground zero, it was a pretty big brick.

  • 104
    Mr Squiggle
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Worse in a sense; Latham only advocated an informal vote. At least if a voter who is annoyed enough to vote informal does so then their vote is recorded as informal and can be analysed later

    Agree- Australia doesn’t have compulsory voting. What we have is compulsory attendance

  • 105
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Phil – yes I did thanks to those who did.

    Lizzie – that’s not my opinion. I am predicting this will be the outcome of the poll.

  • 106
    Diogenes
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    GG

    Turkson looks good for me.

    Oellet looks a bit boring. Arinze too old and conservative.

    Scola would be a very safe choice.

  • 107
    dave
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar

    The Malaysians were also canny enough to retain quite a bit of British Colonial era laws, eg the hatred and draconian Internal Security Act and saying to now liberal western democracies pointing fingers at them…..hey it was good enough for the Brits to bring in these laws…

    Just saying….

  • 108
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    BB

    Exactly my line of thinking all along. It has to be a conspiracy of some sort.

    My guess is a rogue North Korean nculear-tipped missile or one of the Russian sub commanders lost control of himself and decided to have a bit of nuclear fun.

  • 109
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    glory consequence

    I was being heavily sarcastic. Tried to show it with the sarcasm icon :/ but obviously doesn’t work. Won’t try it again.

  • 110
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Diogs,

    Thanks, I’ll wipe them from my tips.

  • 111
    ruawake
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Presumably we shouldn’t send observers to the Zimbabwean elections either. After all, it’s their problem.

    Comparing Malaysia to Zimbabwe is a bit of a stretch.

    They have similar problems to Fiji, with the ethnic malay being a minority, with chinese and indian majorities.

    Dumb clog heads like X have no place as unofficial election observers.

  • 112
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    @sundayteleed: Do women admire @JuliaGillard strength? Find out in Sunday Tele #auspol

    Apparently a character impressions poll, ideal for push polling. Sequencing of questions matter.
    ———————————————————-

    Will this going into the the opinion polling averages ?

  • 113
    Space Kidette
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    My email from Mr Abetz:

    Dear Spacey,

    Labor’s waste & mismanagement has already broken all Australian records, but check out some new examples of Labor incompetence and chaos uncovered by Coalition Senators this week:

    Giving up on rip-off merchants
    The Government has given up trying to recover more than $15 million fraudulently claimed by dodgy installers under Labor’s disastrous roof batts scheme.

    High cost of office
    The Department of Climate Change, which the Coalition has promised to abolish, has locked itself into a 15-year lease on new office accommodation at a cost of $158 million, plus another $21 million in fit-out costs.

    $440,000 per month to maintain decommissioned detention centre
    Last March, Labor decommissioned the Pontville Detention Centre, claiming it was no longer needed. Yet eight months later they announced it would be re-opened.

    The reason: during that time, 232 more illegal boats and 14,391 more people had arrived in Australia. Meanwhile, the cost of maintaining Pontville while it was “decommissioned” and empty was more than $4 million – or $440,000 per month.

    More on illegal boat arrivals
    Taxpayers are forking out $120,000 per week to have the Antarctic Division’s A419 aircraft on standby waiting to ferry asylum seekers around Australia. More than $50 million has been spent on charter flights for asylum seekers since 1 July 2012.

    Meanwhile, for the first time in a decade there have been no Customs vessels patrolling illegal fishing or whaling in the Southern Ocean during the last year.

    Computers in schools program facing axe
    Senate Estimates heard that the Government has refused to commit to continuing its computers in schools program, the centrepiece of its so-called Education Revolution, beyond 30 June this year. If funding is not renewed it will leave parents and schools to carry the can.

    Yet more Carbon Tax advertising
    $70 million has already been spent on advertising the Carbon Tax. Yet the Government directed the Department to undertake $1 million of research and creative work for phase 3 of the Carbon Tax compensation advertising campaign, even though there was no decision to proceed with the campaign.

    Click here for further details of Labor’s waste, mismanagement and budget incompetence.

    Senator Eric Abetz
    Coalition Leader in the Senate

  • 114
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    104

    No we do have compulsory voting. You can still be fined for not voting if you leave the polling place without putting ballot in box. Walking off with the ballot paper is a serious offence.

  • 115
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Turkson looks good for me.

    I want him because his name is Peter and it would send the “papal prophecy” theorists nuts because the next (and final) title on the list is Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman) :lol:

  • 116
    Jackol
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    OMG the Greens have Bob Brown back as leader! Oh wait.

  • 117
    ruawake
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    It is now confirmed. Galaxy polls for newspaper headlines.

  • 118
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    LOL space Space Kidette @ 113

  • 119
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    BW,

    Assuming the speed was about right (don’t know where they got the figure, but “33,000mph” sounds pretty definite) then I think it was a bit bigger than 10 tonnes.

    Iron composition is a worst case scenario. If it was an amalgam of iron and stone, then the yield would have been even smaller.

    Thing is: where did it come from?

    I expect there’ll be more info as time goes by. It’s inconceivable that some kind of military radar didn’t track it.

  • 120
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh, oh. Russian Incident Management Disinformation Section has failed. An eyewitness was being interviewed. He mentioned specifically seeing ‘a trace like that from a rocket’.

  • 121
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    rua
    Just what I was thinking. Why was Bob Brown rattling on about Malaysia while Hanson-Young was standing MUTE by his side.

    ‘Where is the fabled Greens’ committment to democracy?’, I asked myself rhetorically.

  • 122
    castle
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Niels Storaker
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Confidence has never been lower

    Factually incorrect. Confidence is picking up

    As you said Dave factually incorrect, but is the common lib line – make up stuff.

    The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 7.7% in February
    from 100.6 in January to 108.3 in February.
    Westpac’s Chief Economist, Bill Evans, commented, “This is the strongest sentiment
    reading since December 2010 and is the biggest monthly gain since September 2011.

    The Westpac Melbourne Institute also polls on sentiment by voting intention, monthly survey of about 1,100 to 1,200. Quite detailed by gender income mortgage etc. Unfortunately subscription of about $800 a year.

    One thing Bill Evans does mention is that labor voters more optimistic than liberals so be interesting to see if pick up in next polls given increase in sentiment.

  • 123
    Matty D
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    If Morgan is polling 56-44, then I am not confident in Labor’s chances. Something is telling me that Nielsen will show 57-43, and Newspoll the same. PV will be 31% or below in both, and the Coalition on about 49%. Abbott and Gillard with roughly the same sat/dissat rating, and statistically insignificant PPM, whoever leads.

  • 124
    This little black duck
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    This on the ABC website:

    Earlier today Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said the Government needed to send a Customs vessel to the area before the situation escalates.

    "We see now that the risk of collision is at extreme levels," he said.

    "In freezing waters the risk to life and limb is extraordinary because there are two hostile parties.

    "And all the while whales are being slaughtered, this time in Australian waters."

    But Environment Minister Tony Burke has rejected the call, saying there is little more the Government can do.

    Compare this to SBS which makes Hunt look like the git he is:

    Environment Minister Tony Burke said the focus should not be on which part of the ocean this happened.

    "It doesn't matter what part of the ocean it is in, Australia's view is that it is just as illegal," Mr Burke told reporters.

    "That's why we have taken Japan to the International Court of Justice.

    "I think it would be a terrible situation if we started to go down the path of arguing that in one part of the ocean we thought whaling was okay and in others it wasn't."

    Coalition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said the best way to deter whalers and minimise the risk of dangerous confrontations would be to have a customs vessel patrolling known or likely trouble spots.

    "The sensible action here is to have a cop on the beat," he said.

    "The mere fact of an Australian-flagged vessel says to the whalers that we are watching, and says to the protesters: you've got to abide by international maritime law.

    "Anything less is just negligent."

    But Mr Burke said the opposition's proposal would make the situation even worse.

    "Could you imagine what a boost to Japanese whaling it would be if there was an Australian vessel just watching on and nodding," Mr Burke said.

    "It's much better that we have taken the legal action that we have taken, that we are in the International Court of Justice, that we are getting closer and closer to decision day there."

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1737690/Japan-kills-whale-in-Australian-waters

  • 125
    mari
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick thank you before the usuals clock in for evening shift, as I don’t feel like putting up with them tonight. I appreciated your best wishes, those who know me personally or through email contact would know why the big “C” is a very raw subject for me, especially at this time.
    On a lighter not hear the “nurse” is trying to fit into his uniform, for duties this week all the best to your OH.

  • 126
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget the Wanguri by-election, everybody (I nearly did):

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2013/02/16/wanguri-by-election-live/

  • 127
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    16 scroll bys so far.

    Well done PBers.

  • 128
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    mari:

    What has happened? I’m sorry I must’ve missed your news.

  • 129
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. I was wrong.

    41 scroll bys.

    Very good work indeed PBers.

  • 130
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    NBN foreshadowed…

    Although I don’t have the NBN yet (and our area is not slotted for it in the three year forward planning), I have 100mbit cable internet via the much maligned Telstra/Foxtel FTTN cable.

    Anyway… Her Indoors is watching The Tudors in high definition. I am downloading a movie (again in high definition) at 7 megabytes per second (about 70 megabits), I am also on this blog, writing, and there is a grandson upstairs watching YouTube “Best Soccer Goals”.

    No wonder Rupert wants the NBN stopped. It’ll ruin him.

  • 131
    mari
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm | PERMALINK
    mari:

    What has happened? I’m sorry I must’ve missed your news.

    One of my best friends died yesterday from cancer this on top of one of my oldest friends from school dying about 6 months ago, plus another poignant anniversary this week. Thanks for asking not looking forward to the funeral

  • 132
    fiona
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Briefly (from the other thread),

    I want peace and solace and have been driven into the concert halls and music studios – into orchestral protection – back to the eighteenth century and the transcendent

    Me too. From the usual place, plus my own resources.

  • 133
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    mari

    Hang in there fellow bumboater.

  • 134
    ruawake
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    This little black duck

    Which customs vessel is Mr Hunt planning to deploy on a photo shoot and how much will it cost?

  • 135
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    fiona
    Hi. How’s the healing going?

  • 136
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    mari:

    That’s rough.

    Sympathies and thoughts your way.

  • 137
    dave
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Bushfire Bill@130


    NBN foreshadowed…

    Although I don’t have the NBN yet (and our area is not slotted for it in the three year forward planning), I have 100mbit cable internet via the much maligned Telstra/Foxtel FTTN cable.

    Anyway… Her Indoors is watching The Tudors in high definition. I am downloading a movie (again in high definition) at 7 megabytes per second (about 70 megabits), I am also on this blog, writing, and there is a grandson upstairs watching YouTube “Best Soccer Goals”.

    No wonder Rupert wants the NBN stopped. It’ll ruin him.

    BB where are you downloading from?

    Are you then using wireless on a network to get it into your TV or are you using a media player with Internet cable then HDMI to your TV?

    Or something else?

    We gave Foxtel the flick a couple of weeks ago too.

  • 138
    dave
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Condolences Mari

  • 139
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    rua

    Whaling is one area where a spot of bipartisanship would not go amiss.

    As parties revolve from opposition to government, they each adopt the roles of the previous incumbents.

    Basically, the Japanese can access the commons as much as they want, whenever they want. There is nowt that any Australian government can do about it except try for a bit of moral suasion be it by grandstand posturing or international courts.

  • 140
    dave
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    castle
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Niels Storaker
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Confidence has never been lower

    Factually incorrect. Confidence is picking up

    As you said Dave factually incorrect, but is the common lib line – make up stuff.

    Yep Castle.

    It beats me why people believe a word they say.

    But they keep falling for their lies.

  • 141
    mari
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks now off before IQMinus clocks in for “its” shift as don’t feel like putting up with comments about suicide and cancer Night

  • 142
    Diogenes
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Bw

    Is that whaling case of Australia vs Japan ever going to be heard?

  • 143
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    TtF&B

    Walking off with the ballot paper is a serious offence.

    I did exactly that one year in a state election and dared the official to try stopping me. He walked away. I still have the ballots.

  • 144
    briefly
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    132
    fiona

    Briefly (from the other thread),

    I want peace and solace and have been driven into the concert halls and music studios – into orchestral protection – back to the eighteenth century and the transcendent

    Me too. From the usual place, plus my own resources.

    Hi fiona…good to see you. I hope all is well :)

  • 145
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    BB:

    Insanely jealous of your internet capabilities.

  • 146
    briefly
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    mari….I hope you’re ok. We will banish the trolls in your absence…take good care :)

  • 147
    canasta76
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    WOW if that is true about Troy Busswell wanting more bums on seats I really hope he keeps his NOSE out of it.

  • 148
    Space Kidette
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    mari,

    Sad news. Sending love and hugs your way. xxxx

  • 149
    Jaeger
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    BB: Tunguska was estimated at 10-15 megatonnes. If it had arrived four hours later, goodbye Saint Petersburg.

    The initial (gu)estimates were all over the place, but once the numbers are crunched there should be a firm trajectory to extrapolate from. Meteorite samples would be a bonus.

  • 150
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    BB where are you downloading from?

    Telstra. The 100 mbit speed, 500 gigabyte download capacity comes from a package, which when bundled in with landline with free local, anycompany mobiles, international etc. etc., costs $150 a month. This includes a Telstra T-Hub phone and Android gizmo.

    Are you then using wireless on a network to get it into your TV or are you using a media player with Internet cable then HDMI to your TV?

    Using wireless to get it to my PC and HI’s (where she is watching The Tudors), and also to the T-Hub Android screen where the grandson is watching YouTube.

    I use my laptop, no Media Server. I tried one of those and it was hopeless.

    When I have finished downloading the movie, I plug it into my Home Cinema system which uses a Hi-Definiton JVC projector onto a 120″ screen and a sound system.Vision via HDMI, sound via USB digital 5.1 out of my laptop.

    Or something else?

    As you can from the above, something else.

    We gave Foxtel the flick a couple of weeks ago too.

    Seven months here, and NOT counting. Best thing we ever did.

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