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Seat of the week: Hindmarsh

Maintaining the recent South Australian focus ahead of the looming state election, the latest instalment of Seat of the Week takes us to the only electorate in the state to change hands at the September federal election.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Covering coastal Adelaide directly to the west of the city centre, Hindmarsh was the Liberals’ only South Australian gain of the 2013 election, at which Matthew Williams unseated Labor’s member of nine years, Steve Georganas. The electorate was one of seven created when South Australian electoral boundaries were first drawn in 1903, its traditional orientation around the working-class suburbs of north-western Adelaide making it a Labor stronghold for much of its history. The creation of the electorate of Port Adelaide in 1949 made it somewhat less secure, pushing it southwards into more conservative Henley Beach, but only with the 1966 landslide was long-term Labor member Clyde Cameron seriously threatened. The watershed in its progress from safe Labor to marginal came with the abolition of Hawker in 1993, which drew Hindmarsh still further south into Liberal-voting Glenelg. Currently the electorate covers the coast from Semaphore Park south to Glenelg South, from which it extends inland to mostly Labor-voting suburbs including Kidman Park and Torrensville in the north and Morphettville and Ascot Park in the south.

The Liberals’ first ever win in the seat followed the aforementioned redistribution at the 1993 election, which cut the Labor margin by 1.2% concurrently with the retirement of John Scott, who had held the seat since 1980. The Liberal candidate was Christine Gallus, who had become the first Liberal ever to win Hawker in 1990, a feat she duly followed by becoming the first Liberal ever to win Hindmarsh. This was achieved on the back of a 2.8% swing, the losing Labor candidate being John Rau, who has since emerged as a senior figure in the state government. Liberal hard-heads rated Gallus’s vote-pulling power very highly, and were duly dismayed when she decided to retire at the 2004 election. Her departure created an expectation that the seat would fall to Labor’s Steve Georganas, a former taxi driver who won preselection for the 2004 election with backing from the “soft Left” faction. So it proved, but the 1.2% swing to Labor was only enough to secure the deal by 108 votes. The unsuccessful Liberal candidate was Simon Birmingham, who went on to enter the Senate in 2007.

Georganas’s margin increased by 5.0% in 2007 and 0.7% in 2010, but these were modest gains by the standards of Labor’s performance in South Australia, leaving him on a weaker margin than Labor colleagues in Makin, Kingston and Wakefield, which unlike Hindmarsh had stayed with the Liberals in 2004. The margin going into the 2013 election was nonetheless a solid 6.1%, having been boosted slightly by redistribution, but this was accounted for by a forceful swing to the Liberals of 8.0%, the largest in the state. The seat is now held by Matt Williams, who had previously been national business development manager with law firm Piper Alderman.

  • 51
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Hockey’s comment about “Abdul the Kebab maker in Western Sydney” is well made….however, I would probably have said Kylie the Fish and Chip shop owner….

  • 52
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I’m off to a Greek Orthodox baptism this morning. Does anyone have any tips on protocols?

    Just don’t giggle.

  • 53
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I think that some of those Qld farmers think that Abbott can deliver rains etc. He and they may stupidly like to think he is God but he isn’t. They need to leave the land – things change and their land is now unsustainable.

  • 54
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink


    Billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox has been granted an extra 45 metres of prime beach – worth $5 million – to his coastal Victorian property boundary, sparking fears that stretches of the state’s coastline could fall into private hands.

  • 55
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The most efficient farmers in the world, more and more people joining the human race every year, less and less agricultural land every year, more and more value in food production over the next 50 years.

    It is a very good idea for us to ride the “Dining Boom”.

  • 56
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Switched on Insiders at 9.41am… switched off Insiders at 9.47am.

  • 57
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Clearly looks as though the MSM are now onboard the anti-union meme.

  • 58
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I had a similar experience.

  • 59
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The purpose of shows like Insiders is to make a man who has no prime-ministerial qualities whatsoever look like a prime minister. :-P

  • 60
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The upcoming 2 years are not going to be a golden era for the Union movement methinks….

  • 61
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Truth Time. Talking Pictures

  • 62
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Elder dishing it out – giving them the Mitch Johnson cricket ball to the head treatment –

    Mark Kenny ‘investigated’ Gillard’s AWU connections from a file that Abbott’s office dropped in his lap, day after day for months; had he been an investigative journalist he would have realised the documents did not support a story.

    A good investigative journalist knows when they’re being had; Kenny doesn’t and neither does his boss.

    Kevin Rudd strung Peter Hartcher along for a decade. Hartcher thinks he’s building credibility with the new government with soft bullshit like this; it’s too late.

    Hartcher is finished. And if Hartcher is finished, what chance do any of them have …

    …Fairfax have compounded their lack of talent by hiring Matthew Knott. The media reporter at Crikey could have been in a privileged position to report on an evolving industry, but he showed no depth, no nuance, and reported media comings and goings in such a vapid way he made Richard Wilkins’ disquisitions on Hollywood look like Chekhov. Fairfax has decided that such a person without context or knowledge or perspective is what they need in reporting on politics, and be it on their own heads.

    …The investigative bombshells that will wound this government will come from investigative journalists like Corderoy rather than the fixtures in the press gallery.

    …stuff press gallery journalists and their bogus attempts to bludge off the really important work of investigative journalists.

  • 63
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    THE Abbott government is structurally unstable: so much deadwood clogging up the frontbench, so much talent wasted on the backbench.
    Fortunately much of the talent left languishing on the backbench are relatively young, so their time will surely come.


  • 64
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Morning all. I can’t help thinking that Abdul the kebab maker reminds me a lot of Joe the plumber. I would have thought Hockey would be better acquainted with Ahmed the banker.

  • 65
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Australia hurtling down the corporate highway of lower wages/conditions = higher profits.

  • 66
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink


    It’s a good post by Elder. I also appreciate his insider knowledge of the faceless men and women of the Liberals.

    Peta Credlin and Alistair Furnival were both staffers in the Howard government. I make no comment on how close they may or may not have been at various points, but it is flatly untrue that Furnival’s was just another CV to her. The fact that Furnival was a loyalist and a known quantity is why the normal checks and balances weren’t done.

    Furnival is a long-term lobbyist with occasional bouts of staffer work, to keep his gamekeeper skills sharp when he returns to poaching. He’s a headkicker first and foremost. I first met him when he was working for Senator Michael Baume in Wollongong, one of the few pockets of Australia with a critical mass of actual socialists for a university conservative to hate. Even Baume found him a bit rebarbative. Labor people like Gareth Evans might ‘love humanity but hate people’, but Furnival hated everyone equally except for those who paid him. He is the guy you want to bulldoze others out of your way, if that’s what you need to have done. Furnival wouldn’t have much business nous and prolonged exposure to the man would irritate even loyal staff and clients.

    The fact that there was no follow-up check is what’s significant here. It’s all very well to be an all-powerful control freak, but the converse is you have to be right about absolutely everything all the time. Credlin could be forgiven for taking her pal Al on trust if she was a trusting, hands-off manager, but she isn’t.

  • 67
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    ‘Fess – Yep. Pity there aren’t a few more like him at Fairfax and the ABC.

    Still waiting for 4 Corners to come up with a decent political story – maybe they are scared of being shouted at too.

  • 68
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    How to get lots of political campaign volunteers.

    @AlexGreenwich: Fred Nile has announced he will run for another 8 year term. You can join my team of volunteers here http://t.co/Gytq7VghZW #nswpol

  • 69
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I woke up late because I was up late listening to cricket thanks to the ABC webcast of Australia destroying South Africa. Mitch Johnson is in thrilling form at present.

    I saw Lillee and Thomson at their peak in the 70s and I have to go back that far, or perhaps Roberts and Holding, before I can remember a fast bowler rattling batsmen to the same extent as Johnson. He is as accurate as Lillee, almost as quick as Thommo (not quite) and gets much more bounce than either.

    I always find it interesting to go back and check on the accuracy of predictions after the event. I found this article saying that South Africa “were not scared” of Johnson before the series.

    I wonder if they would say that now?

  • 70
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Abbott will be discussing climate change with the farmers on his jaunt around rural Queensland & NSW.

  • 71
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink


    I like the term “rebarbative”. :-)

  • 72
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink


    Just heard Michael Clarke on radio downplaying the role of Mitchell Johnson.

    I am no Cricket tragic but I find Michael Clarke to be a bit of an ego maniac and control freak.

    Am I right?

  • 73
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I trust Abbott is visiting the drought affected farmers to tell them they won’t be getting a handout as we don’t live in the Age of Entitlement anymore. We are in the Age of Individual Responsibility and they should have saved up money from the good years to tide them over the bad years.

    Either that or they are a dying industry.

  • 74
    Simon Katich
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Poroti re south aus cold….
    I live in the hills, we can go 6 months without a day over 20degs and even longer without a critical article on the conservatives.

  • 75
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink


    Mitch is in fine form. 12fer is a great achievement.

    Btw you can watch the games live here: http://cricket-tv.net/channel3.php

  • 76
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand how Mitchell Johnson can get so much bounce off a good length. It’s like he’s bowing hand grenades which can explode off the pitch.

    It’s uncanny.

  • 77
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink


    That is not how I perceive Clarke. In sport as with politics there are a lot of big egos. I do think Clarke was insecure when first captain and that perhaps explained his inability to work with rival Simon Katich. But since he has settled down I think Clarke has improved his captaincy greatly. He talked Johnson up before his return to the test team, and talks about the bowling unit and other team stuff a lot.

    That being said, the real credit for our team improvement belongs to Darren Lehman. He dropped Warner (correctly) for misbehaviour, restored discipline, got their minds back on the job, and still kept them having fun. The change in performance has been evident. It is not only Johnson. Steve Smith, Haddin and Lyon have all taken a step up under Boof.

    Arise, Sir Boof.

  • 78
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks soc!

  • 79
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink


    I should add that the joy Johnson displays is good for the soul.

  • 80
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Australia spied on Indonesia talks with US law firm in 2013
    • New Edward Snowden documents show ASD listened to Indonesian government talks and shared what they learned with US


  • 81
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink




    There was an interesting graphic I saw on one website that used a compilation of Hawkeye data to compare the average release point of Johnson’s deliveries now vs before his dropping. He is holding his arm more vertically and releasing the ball from a higher point, in a more downward direction. The difference in bounce resulting is remarkable.

    He was always fast and had height, but before tended to sling the ball across batsmen. Now he is hurling the ball Thommo style into the pitch, at a steeper angle.

    The same sight had a comparison of balls from Morkel and Johnson. The balls left their hands at similar speeds with Johnson 1kph faster. But by the time the balls got to the batsmen Johnson was 5kph faster and climbing more steeply.

    Whoever has been Johnson’s bowling coach recently also deserves a generous raise.

  • 82
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits 1h
    The more Scooter Morrison enrages Insiders viewers he endears himself to the Liberal backbench. Take two steps up leadership ladder.

    Plus only tragics watch Insiders.

  • 83
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Paul Syvret
    Australia spied on Indonesia talks with US law firm in 2013 theguardian.com/world/2014/feb… Holy crap this will go down well in Jakarta. #stopthebugs
    10:20am – 16 Feb 14

  • 84
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink


    Yes I agree, it is great to see someone (Johnson) do something they love doing, and do it well. There is no nasty egotistical side to him, he is refreshingly normal.

  • 85
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink


    I have not bothered with Insiders for ages. Wonder what the numbers are for viewership?

  • 86
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink


    I believe Mitch has also lengthened his run-up. This too has been a Boof initiative.

  • 87
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink


    No idea. All I recall is they were better than the viewers for Bolt when his show was still on air.

  • 88
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    “@joeobrien24: Morrison declines to answer at this stage publicly how many Aust ships strayed into Indon waters. On @abcnews24 now.

    As I posted yesterday, the number is at least five.

    3 times, I am informed, the RAN went into Indonesian territory to give those they were offloading a fighting chance of reaching shore.

    The other two times, I am also informed, were “accidental” or as the result of low resolution digital “charts” that didn’t identify small islands etc. in sufficient detail.

    It is said these digital “charts” have been updated in recent weeks to ones of finer detail.

    While the “comradeship of the sea” excuse sounds fine and dandy, noble even, “in the best traditions of the navy” etc., it has to be acknowledged that saving someone from possible drowning loses some of its shine if you were the one who threw the hapless refugee in the water in the first place.

    Our navy intercepted boats, which were often in conditions of poor repair, towed them back out to sea and dumped them. Sticking around to make sure their passengers didn’t actually drown was the least we could do.

    Any policy that requires our navy to encroach upon the territorial waters of a neighbouring country – especially when that country has made it clear these encroachments are unwelcome – is a bad policy.

    If the only way Stop The Boats will work is for our sailors to break international law and risk either a diplomatic or even a military incident by crossing borders, then Stop The Boats is a dangerous methodology.

    This was always warned against before: the only way we could tow boats back to Indonesia – “when it was safe to do so” – was to violate Indonesian sovereignty in order to avoid mass drownings.

    Now that the heat is on Morrison and the battleships in his bathtub the situation is riven with new tensions.

    Who wants to be the first junior commander to enter Indonesian territorial waters, even if it is to save the lives of a bunch of swarthy asylum seekers? Scott Morrison has promised it won’t happen again.

    But, sure as God made little green apples, the situation where drownings are in the immediate offing, unless the navy sticks around to help, or perhaps even gives the potential drownees a nudge towards shore, is going to come about.

    THAT is when the shit will hit the fan, and the balls will get tangled in the propellor. No amount of cover-up will disguise it. The truth will out, because no-one will want to be responsible for drowning boat people under orders, as a result of using their initiative, or simply because they’re only second class human beings who Ray Hadley reckons are only coming here to rape our women and spit in our streets.

    If there are any decent journalists out there now they will be on death watch.

    We’ve assured Indonesia that there will be no more incursions, yet are almost powerless to avoid them – given this government’s only “successful” policy so far has been to at least slow the boats down, and their zeal in flogging it to death for all it’s worth as a result.

    The test will be “Humanity” versus “Abbottism”, and with Morrison playing offence, don’t expect “Humanity” to trouble the scoreboard attendant too often.

    It’s unclear who will win, but it is clear that things are going to get uglier (and quickly) in the short term.

  • 89
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    American and British storms are ‘holding hands’ over Atlantic: Systems that wreaked havoc on two continents are COMBINING

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2559856/London-New-York-storms-COMBINING-Meteorologists-say-two-storms-holding-hands-Atlantic.html#ixzz2tRC3ImFv

  • 90
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    One political point before I go. Labor was correctly bagged for politics by focus group in the 2010 election fiasco. Yet now the Liberals have actually gone one worse in government. Not only are they basing policies on market research rather than principles, but they are making taxpayers pay for a blatantly party political exercise.

    The Abbott government is using a research company to trawl through millions of Australian social media posts to advise it on its immigration policies.
    The scrutiny of Twitter, Facebook and blogs is part of $4.3 million worth of research contracts commissioned by the federal government in its first five months of office.
    Cubit Media Research has two contracts with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to deliver ”media positioning analysis”.


    We have declining tax revenue, more debt, yet they are blowing millions on marketing.

    Stop the waste! Stop the debt! Sack the Liberals!

    Have a good day all. Confessions thanks so much for the net tv link, since I refuse to get Foxtel.

  • 91
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink


    All that bullshit about how it is done to protect us from “terrorism” etc.

    Australia spied on Indonesia and shared the information with the United States when the two countries were involved in a trade dispute in February 2013,

  • 92
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink


    Morriscum truly thinks he is onto a winner. What else can explain his smugness and smirkiness when talking about the success of Operation Sovereign Borders

  • 93
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink


    Yep indeed

  • 94
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink


    No worries. The TV link was posted last night by Silver Bodgie when some of us were despairing at the lack of visuals for the Test.

  • 95
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink


    The Tories won’t have to pay people to monitor this blog! there are a few here who would report back for free.

  • 96
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Regarding Indomesia

    I think our government is sounding like the Saddam Hussein guy saying how well things were going just before Rumsfeld launched his Shock and Awe strike.

  • 97
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I wonder if we’ll see a Neilsen poll tonight?

  • 98
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Just a couple of cartoons which may be the defining narrative of the Abbott years. Apologies if already posted.

    On manufacturing..


    On indigenous Australia


  • 99
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink


    This is what Samantha Maiden tweeted

    Dear @JoshFrydenberg starting to remind me a little of that Iraqi information minister re everthing is going well with Indonedia #lateline

  • 100
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink


    Oh No!!! Thinking like Samantha Maiden that is a worry!!!