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Seat of the week: McMillan

After a long career as a marginal seat, the West Gippsland electorate of McMillan has bucked the statewide trend of recent decades by moving decisively to the Liberals.

McMillan extends through West Gippsland from Pakenham in Melbourne’s eastern outskirts to the western reaches of the Latrobe Valley, and along the coast from Wonthaggi through Wilsons Promontory to Welshpool. It covered broadly similar territory on its creation in 1949, the area having previously been covered by Gippsland and to a smaller extent by Flinders. The redistribution following the expansion of parliament in 1984 caused it to lose its coastal territory while extending further eastwards along the Princes Highway to Traralgon, which was eventually reversed by the redistribution of 2004. The transfer of Traralgon and neighbouring Latrobe Valley towns to Gippsland on the latter occasion substantially weakened Labor, and the seat has been held by the Liberals ever since.

Conservative strength in the rural areas kept McMillan in Liberal hands from 1949 until 1980, barring a National/Country Party interruption from 1972 to 1975 when it was won and then lost by Arthur Hewson. However, post-war growth in the Latrobe Valley strengthened Labor over time, leading to a close result in 1974, a relatively mild anti-Labor swing in 1975, and finally a win for Labor candidate Barry Cunningham in 1980. Cunningham was swept out a decade later with the statewide backlash that cost Labor nine Victorian seats at the 1990 election, but he recovered the seat by a 0.4% margin in 1993. This was not enough to save him from even the relatively modest swing Labor suffered in Victoria at the 1996 election, when Russell Broadbent gained the seat for the Liberals with a swing of 2.5%.

Broadbent first came to parliament in 1990 as member for Corinella, a seat to the immediate west of McMillan which existed from 1990 to 1996. He was defeated at the 1993 election by Labor’s Alan Griffin, who moved to his present home of Bruce with the abolition of Corinella. Broadbent returned as member for McMillan three years later, before again experiencing the sharp end of life in a marginal seat with his defeat 25-year-old Labor candidate Christian Zahra in 1998. Zahra added 2.3% to his margin against the trend of the 2001 election, before emerging a big loser when his electorate traded Morwell and Traralgon for conservative farming and coastal areas around Leongatha and Wonthaggi. Zahra was left needing a 2.9% to retain his seat in 2004, but a 2.1% swing the other way saw it change hands for the fifth time in six elections.

Thus began a remarkable third stint in parliament for Broadbent, who went on to perform very strongly in limiting the swings against him to 0.2% in 2007 and 0.4% in 2010, before securing his hold with a swing of 7.6% in 2013. He has been assisted by a trend against Labor in the Latrobe Valley and surrounding areas, which has been equally evident at state level. Broadbent has failed to win promotion, but has generated headlines on a number of occasions with his liberal positions on asylum seekers.

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  • 801
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    We WILL return the Budget to surplus in the first year, becomes don’t mention the S word

    Or the D word, which is slowly being erased from public discourse, despite being the sole cause of a so-called ‘budget emergency’ only 4 months ago.

  • 802
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Sean, that was not what was promised. Tony said he would stop the boats, not reduce them to some arbitrary number.

    It’s like a politician saying they want to stop people dying in traffic accidents.

    If they reduced it by 90% in 100 days you’d say they are succeeding in their pledge.

    Only an idiot would expect never to have any road deaths, ever again, in the history of our nation. But then again I overestimating the intelligence of some.

    BTW, Happy New Year!! Only 365 days till the next one.

  • 803
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Let me know when Abbott actually implements a policy for stopping boats.

    Buy boats failed, turn boats failed.

    All he’s got is secrecy and Labor’s PNG policy

  • 804
    zoidlord
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    @Sean/802

    Stop means Stop.

  • 805
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    DisabilityCare, Education funding, FTTP and other progressive iniatives will be affordable in the future if tax avoidance loopholes, income tax rates, mining super profits taxes, taxes on polluters and taxes on superannuation are all reformed by a Govt which has courage.

  • 806
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/2013-site-review.html

    2013 site review – ten most visited articles of the year, and other inane statsy fluff like why my site is disproportionately visited by people from the Seychelles, Malta and Trinidad&Tobago.

    Coming in the next few days, Ehrlich Awards for the worst predictions made in or relating to the year 2013. As usual nominations are open but the winner has already been selected.

  • 807
    bemused
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    confessions@797


    In an earlier post I mentioned


    In an earlier post you gave the finger to anyone who was affected by Christine by saying how thankful you were for these cyclonic events because they watered your garden. It was the sort of idiotic remark Sean Tisme would make.

    Oh I see, so there is something wrong with deblonay mentioning that the same weather system produced beneficial rain in southern Australia?

    What an arrogant little numpty you are. :mad:

    The person best compared with Tisme is none-other than you.

  • 808
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Just skimming through the list of Australian PM’s – my goodness there are a few duds in that list.

  • 809
    PeeBee
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Sean, nobody has promised to stop all people dying in traffic accidents, but we do have a prime minister who has promised he would stop the boats.

    What I am surprised about is that he is not keeping his promise.

  • 810
    ruawake
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Stop The Boats is pretty straightforward.

    Stop

    (of an event, action, or process) Come to an end; cease to happen

  • 811
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    No Tisme.

    What Abbott said was to the equivalent of “we will stop people from dying on our roads”.

    As you have said, only an idiot would promise to stop deaths on our roads.

    Abbott is that same sort of idiot who promised to stop the boats.

    By the way, you seem to be big on facts so stop bullshitting.

    Less boats under Minister Burke than Minister Morrison on the average weekly basis – that is a fact!

    Abbott is going backwards.

    Three boats headed towards Australia this week alone, all tried to be kept secret by the Libs but have failed with at least one so far.

  • 812
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    And of course the other idiocy from deblonnay is that the sweeping rain band across Victoria is anything to do with ex-TC Christine. It is not.

  • 813
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Abbott promised to turn back the boats.

    Abbott has failed to stop the boats.

  • 814
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Centre:

    Abbott promised to stop the boats because they’ve done it before. So far it’s a huge fail.

  • 815
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s like a politician saying they want to stop people dying in traffic accidents.

    If they reduced it by 90% in 100 days you’d say they are succeeding in their pledge.

    Only an idiot would expect never to have any road deaths, ever again, in the history of our nation. But then again I overestimating the intelligence of some.

    That just proves that Abbott was an idiot for making a promise he should have known could not be kept. He said it many times: a Coalition would stop the boats – not some of the boats, or most of the boats, or nearly all of the boats. “”We will stop the boats and we will make a difference from day one,” he said.” (Australian, June 20)

    Having said that, if the trend of boat arrivals is indeed going down, then that is good, and to the extent that the actions of the Abbott government have contributed to that, they deserve credit for that. But they have not yet “stopped the boats” as promised.

  • 816
    zoidlord
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    @ruawake/810

    Stopping the Stop?

  • 817
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Having said that, if the trend of boat arrivals is indeed going down, then that is good, and to the extent that the actions of the Abbott government have contributed to that, they deserve credit for that.

    I’d argue that nothing they’ve done since coming to govt would’ve made a hill of beans difference to boat arrivals.

    The only thing that is likely to be impacting boat arrivals is the refusal to grant people who arrive by boat a visa.

  • 818
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Abbott cannot take any credit for slowing boats, if indeed they were to slow, unless he implements his policy and does not rely on Labor policy.

    Abbott’s policy was to turn back the boats.

    Unless Abbott turns back the boats – he will NEVER be allowed any credit.

  • 819
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Sean, nobody has promised to stop all people dying in traffic accidents, but we do have a prime minister who has promised he would stop the boats.

    Did he promise to stop every single boat? Never saw that one.

    “Stop the boats” to mean has always meant to take action to stop boats arriving, but once again I probably overestimated the intelligence of others.

    Bit of a long bow to claim “stop the boats” meant there was never going to be any boats. Perhaps if he had pledged “No more boats” or maybe “all boats stopped” you might have a case.

  • 820
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Psephos
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm | PERMALINK
    ….

    Having said that, if the trend of boat arrivals is indeed going down, then that is good, and to the extent that the actions of the Abbott government have contributed to that, they deserve credit for that…

    The slowing of boats has nothing to do with the Abbott Govt.
    In fact, this Govt has done it’s best to destroy the co-operation formed by the previous Govt with Indonesia and PNG.

  • 821
    Steve777
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Sean – most of us here don’t care about boats. All the sound and fury over the past few years was to persuade the politically disengaged to vote against their interests

    If you really want to help the conservative / economic dry cause, why don’t you explain to us lefties and others on this site why the following are desirable – good for Australia:

    - reducing wages
    - dismantling medicare
    - privatising the provision of health and education
    - reducing the bargaining power of employees
    - a foreign policy that unconditionally supports the actions and positions of the USA
    - reducing taxes for the wealthy
    - withdrawing from action on climate change
    - providing welfare to high income earners in the form of gold plated parental leave, subsidising private health insurance for those on over double the average wage and providing tax free super for millionaires

    These are reasonable questions. Don’t attack me as being envious of the wealthy. I’m not doing too badly myself. I pay my way, I don’t need handouts or concessions. The government shouldn’t be subsidising, for example, Kings School, for the same reason as it shouldn’t be subsidising luxury yachts.

  • 822
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Abbott cannot take any credit for slowing boats

    It was originally a Howard idea to have the Pacific Solution which was aboloished by Rudd, then re-established by Rudd, but fully implemented by Abbott.

    Trying to claim having offshore processing in Nauru and PNG was some Rudd invention is laughable.

  • 823
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Having trouble deciding the worst Prime Minister in our history, Stanley Bruce or Kevin Rudd ??

  • 824
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Centre:

    True on turning back boats. Abbott did promise to do that, but all they’ve managed to do is further alienate the Indonesian govt from the collaborative inter-governmental effort.

  • 825
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Any New Years resolution Tisme?

    How about writing to Morrison asking him if you could be of some use?

    Give you something to do :lol:

  • 826
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Did he promise to stop every single boat? Never saw that one.

    “Stop the boats” to mean has always meant to take action to stop boats arriving, but once again I probably overestimated the intelligence of others.

    You must be the only person in Australia who didn’t hear Abbott saying he would stop the boats, full stop. You’re either a liar or a moron – probably both.

  • 827
    zoidlord
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    @Sean/819

    This is You’re language in October:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2013/10/11/counts-and-recounts/?comment_page=6/#comment-1816114

    “Suffice to say you lefties… nor the Indonesians need to know about it… but please continue your silly little games, Abbott and Morrison will stop the boats which will help wipe the smug smiles off your faces.”

  • 828
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    [Having trouble deciding the worst Prime Minister in our history, Stanley Bruce or Kevin Rudd ??]‘

    That’s a bit rough on Stanley Bruce. The general view is that McMahon was the worst.

  • 829
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Any New Years resolution Tisme?

    Yes!

    I’ve decided to be a nicer, friendlier individual this year!

  • 830
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Having trouble deciding the worst Prime Minister in our history, Stanley Bruce or Kevin Rudd ??

    I think Fraser’s govt has to rate up there. What did Fraser achieve which was of national significance?

  • 831
    bemused
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    confessions@812

    And of course the other idiocy from deblonnay is that the sweeping rain band across Victoria is anything to do with ex-TC Christine. It is not.

    Oh I see, so the ABC News tonight, basing its report on the BOM got it all wrong and you are right?

    Oh Tisme really does have a rival for VI. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • 832
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Tisme is a classic click bait troll – primarily planted here to keep the pages flowing

  • 833
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    828

    One of the biggest marks against Bruce is that he lost his seat as PM. He however won it back at the next election, while Howard did not even try. Is Howard thus worse than Bruce?

  • 834
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ve decided to be a nicer, friendlier individual this year!

    You can be as nasty as you like, so long as you say something intelligent. So far you’ve been both nasty and moronic.

  • 835
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Well it wasn’t Rudd, Rex Douglas.

    He avoided a recession, was awarded a AAA credit rating and added some 400 points to the ASX for doing so.

    Of course if the Greens had stuck to protest rallies in parks where they belong, Labor would still be in government today.

    Connie @ 824

    Agreed.

    All Abbott has, as AA has said, are Labor’s policy and secrecy.

  • 836
    PeeBee
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Sean, he said he would stop the boats. Not some of them. All of them. He has failed.

    As for ‘I’ve decided to be a nicer, friendlier individual this year!’ Good on you, I hope you succeed.

  • 837
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    confessions

    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Highest amount of taxpayer money ever donated to a sports club of which the PM making the donation is a member

    I’m not sure you can ping Abbott for that without going back through history looking at all the other govt grants to local sporting clubs.

    I’d be willing to bet however that Abbott’s donation is first time a newly elected PM has made a similar donation on his/her watch so early in his/her elected term.
    —————————————————

    How about the quickest time taken for a PM to slash funding for Aboriginal Legal by $13 million but still donated $10 million to his local sports club.

  • 838
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    One of the biggest marks against Bruce is that he lost his seat as PM. He however won it back at the next election, while Howard did not even try.

    Howard’s metaphorical political son has now succeeded him. Does he even need to bother coming back?

  • 839
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Centre:

    It remains my hope that this govt comes to be characterised by its secrecy and refusal to submit itself to scrutiny.

  • 840
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    As for ‘I’ve decided to be a nicer, friendlier individual this year!’ Good on you, I hope you succeed.

    Me too.. I might have to take up smoking

  • 841
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    One of the biggest marks against Bruce is that he lost his seat as PM.

    I don’t think that’s got much to do with whether he was a good PM or not. Gladstone and Helmut Kohl both lost their seats, but that hasn’t affected their reputations. Bruce won two elections and was regarded as a perfectly competent PM at the time. He lost the 1929 election by sticking to a point of principle, which is actually rather to his credit.

  • 842
    Sachin Lara
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Can Tisme explain how his life has or is expected to change under a Coalition government?

    When can we expect these changes?

    Will electricity prices decline?

    I saw a headline on the news that electricity prices
    are going up as of today.

  • 843
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Abbott knows he cannot stop the boats.

    That is why he is spending millions upon millions of dollars EXPANDING detention centres.

    If boats were stopped he would not need MORE accommodation.

    And the private contractor that manages the detention centres would not be increasing staff numbers.

  • 844
    feeney
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I am obviously from an old school of thought on financial and budgetary matters.

    I want a substantial higher tax on very wealthy earners, the abolition of negative gearing (what a racket), and various other levies imposed (means tested of course) for the great social initiatives such as NDIS and a comprehensive dental scheme for lower incomes.

    Perhaps even the reintroduction of television licence fees for the ABC, to be funded by a tax slug on the rich.

    I appreciate there would be few supporters, if any, on PB for these measures, but I feel it’s time for us as a nation to have the balls to do these things.

    Or am I becoming filthy socialist-Marxist-communist-terrorist threat to Australia?

  • 845
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Since Sean is incapable of making the correct defence of Abbott, let me do it for him.

    It’s far too early to say Abbott has failed. If by election day 2016, there have been no boats, or almost no boats, in the preceding year, he will get the credit. He will be able to say “Labor failed, I succeeded”, and that will be correct.

  • 846
    deblonay
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Bemused re the Vic rain today
    ________________
    Thanks for your defence against Confessions who seems determined to deny the BOM statement tonight

    If you look at the coming 4 day weather charts it seems obvious to all(but not confessions) that the rainfall and what is on the way is of WA origin
    strange
    Thanks anyway

    http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/4day_col.shtml

  • 847
    confessions
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    For those who watch the weather through the prism of news reporting rather than the actual BoM itself, here is today’s issue for Victoria around 6 hours ago:

    Victoria Forecast
    View the current warnings for Victoria

    Forecast issued at 4:37 pm EDT on Wednesday 1 January 2014.
    Weather Situation

    A low pressure trough will move from South Australia to link with a cold front and cross eastern and northern Victoria this evening and overnight and an associated deep low pressure system will pass south of Tasmania. A ridge of high pressure will briefly extend across Bass Strait on Thursday then another cold front will cross Bass Strait and southern Victoria later on Friday while a low pressure system being the remnants of tropical cyclone "Christine" will move across New South Wales. A cool southwesterly airflow will affect Victoria on Saturday, driven by a deep low pressure complex south of Tasmania. Another front will approach western Victoria on Saturday night, moving rapidly across the State on Sunday.

    Forecast for the rest of Wednesday

    A band of rain moving across most districts and generally contracting east this evening and overnight. Fresh north to northwesterly winds shifting west to southwesterly from the west in the evening and overnight. Winds locally reaching gale force on the higher ranges in the evening.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/state.shtml

    The rain band associated with ex TC Christine is currently moving through the Goldfields of WA, clearly some time away from any passage through Victoria as is clearly shown here, where the low itself is barely forecast to cross into SA come 10am tomorrow:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/4day_col.shtml

    I repeat what I said earlier: deblonnay’s hours ago remark that he is thankful cyclone Christine hit WA’s coastline causing all that destruction just so his garden can be watered today is both offensive, inaccurate in its intended implications for today, and hence Tisme like.

  • 848
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    or almost no boats, in the preceding year, he will get the credit. He will be able to say “Labor failed, I succeeded”, and that will be correct.

    Only if he implements a policy he has developed.

    So far, and I said it previously, all he’s got is secrecy and Labor’s PNG policy.

    He needs a policy of his own

  • 849
    Centre
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    feeney

    I’m starting to think negative gearing should be abolished as well.

    Property prices are genuinely too high. If we ever hit bad times with a serious recession, there is going to be big trouble.

    Still, Hawke and Keating should have done it back then, it’s probably too late to do now.

  • 850
    deblonay
    Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Re Bruce
    _________
    In his defence ,taking a commonsense view he worked in the early twenties to remove the appaling Billy Huighes from the office of PM…though Hughes had the ultimate revenge in 1929 when he brought down the Bruce Govt and helped cause a landslide defeat for Bruce and the conservatives.

    Odd,though, that defeat put a hapless Scullin in ppwer in the very week of the Wall Street Crash and Scullin was doomed from the start

    If Hughes hadn’t brought Bruce down he would have lasted until 1932 and then suffered a huge defeat in both Houses and given Labor a chance to govern thru the thirties…with Theodore as Tresurer,,,one if the few Keynesians in the ALP or parliament…and at the time of the New Deal in the USA. which might have been his model..an interesting alternative scenario for Australia pre-WW2

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