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Seat of the week: Wakefield

Seat of the week visits South Australia one last time to cover Wakefield on the northern fringe of Adelaide, held for Labor since 2007 by Nick Champion.

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.

Wakefield extends from outer northern Adelaide to rural territory as far as Clare 100 kilometres to the north, with overwhelming Labor strength around Elizabeth and Salisbury partly balanced by support for the Liberals in the Clare Valley. It has existed in name since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, but its complexion changed dramatically when its southern neighbour Bonython was abolished when the state’s representation was reduced from 12 seats to 11 in 2004. Previously a conservative rural and outskirts seat encompassing the Murray Valley and Yorke Peninsula, it came to absorb the outer suburban industrial centre of Elizabeth while retaining the satellite town of Gawler, the Clare Valley wine-growing district, and the Gulf St Vincent coast from Two Wells north to Port Wakefield.

Prior to 2004, Wakefield was won by the major conservative party of the day at every election except 1938 and 1943, when it was won by Labor, and 1928, when it was won by the Country Party. The Liberal member from 1983 to 2004 was Neil Andrew, who spent the last six years of his parliamentary career serving as Speaker. Andrew at first considered challenging Patrick Secker for preselection in Barker after the 2004 redistribution turned Wakefield’s 14.7% margin into a notional Labor margin of 1.5%, but instead opted to retire. Wakefield was nonetheless retained for the Liberals at the ensuing election by David Fawcett, who picked up a 2.2% swing off a subdued Labor vote around Elizabeth to unseat Martyn Evans, who had held Bonython for Labor since 1994. Fawcett’s slender margin was demolished by a 7.3% swing in 2007, but he would return to parliament as a Senator after the 2010 election.

Wakefield has since been held for Labor by Nick Champion, a former state party president, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association official and staffer for state Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright. The SDA link identifies him with the potentate of the South Australian Right, outgoing Senator Don Farrell. He nonetheless went against Farrell by coming out in support of Kevin Rudd in the days before his unsuccessful February 2012 leadership challenge, resigning as caucus secretary to do so. As with Labor’s other South Australian newcomers from the 2007 election, Champion had no trouble retaining his seat at the 2010 election, a 5.4% swing boosting his margin to 12.0%. However, the seat has since returned to the marginal zone following a redistribution in which it traded an area around Salisbury for Lydoch and Williamstown east of Gawler, reducing the margin to 10.3%, and a 7.1% swing to the Liberals at the 2013 election, which has left it at 3.4%.

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  • 101
    lefty e
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/6-bulkbilling-fee-hits-poor-spares-rich-20140425-zqzmy.html

    Hockey caught out pretending his wealthy electorate has a high bulk-bill rate. But its BS: has one of the lowest in the country.

    These guys are BS-artists, pure and simple. and our press humiliate themselves daily before great altars of bullshit.

  • 102
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    daretotread@95

    Now Palmer made one very effective ant true point today. He called a spade a spade.

    He pointed out that as a business man he would not be employing 69 year olds, since the training costs were not worth the investment. Now this is obvious but very few call a spade a spade.

    We need to get real. If you are over 60 you are not going to get a job in a NEW field, although you may in an industry with which you are already familiar ie no training needed. Cut the platitudes and retraining cr*p and accept that if older workers are to get jobs then the government will have to pay employers to take them.

    In some cases that may be true but generally it is bollocks.

    Older workers come ready trained and with extensive experience and accumulated wisdom.

    Selecting age 69 for his example is an absurdity as people start experiencing age discrimination in their 50s or even earlier.

  • 103
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Poroti, for the link to the Abbott impersonator.

  • 104
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Helen Sykes@103

    Thanks, Poroti, for the link to the Abbott impersonator.

    I loved the bit where he did the “noddy”. :D
    Hasn’t perfected the walk yet.

  • 105
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Abbott may try and blame Labor, but this is clearly his big new tax.

    After all that mantra about how liberals will make things cheaper, Abbott will fall on his own sword.

  • 106
    sceptic
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Borewar
    On Savva
    Another useless offering this morning on Insiders
    ” pension introduced in 1909, for 65 year olds, life expectancy 56″…. that’s as far as the thought bubble went.
    We could assume Hockey Club will propose euthanasia at 69 to prevent payouts, thereby keeping budget in balance & sustainable

    Why does ABC invite stupid people on for “balance”?

  • 107
    Henry
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Lot of material now for labor to work with wrrt to Abbott and his lies and broken promises.
    Start going for the jugular labor and calling them for what they are – liars and incompetent fools.
    Use the harsh language that Abbott used and still uses.

  • 108
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Has anyone else thought that Palmer is messing with the heads of the Libs?

  • 109
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    zoidlord

    Abbott will fall on his own sword.

    Predictions of Abbott’s demise have never come true yet. He has all the big guns on his side, plus Murdoch.

  • 110
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    sceptic

    Savva often gives some insight into Liberal thinking, but today she seemed to waver in her messages – didn’t sound confident. If she’s a straw in the wind, that’s how many Libs are feeling about Tony.

  • 111
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    sceptic@106

    Borewar
    On Savva
    Another useless offering this morning on Insiders
    ” pension introduced in 1909, for 65 year olds, life expectancy 56″…. that’s as far as the thought bubble went.
    We could assume Hockey Club will propose euthanasia at 69 to prevent payouts, thereby keeping budget in balance & sustainable

    Why does ABC invite stupid people on for “balance”?

    Before I comment on your post I have to say I love you name “sceptic” and wish I had thought of it first. :D

    The relevant statistic would be “life expectancy at retirement”.

    In 1909, many died in childhood so this dragged down the life expectancy statistic.

    My grandparents would have been born prior to 1909 and at least 3 of the 4 lived into their eighties. Not sure how old the 4th was when he died – he may well have been into his eighties.

  • 112
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Bemused

    I probably agree with you BUT from an employer perspective, older workers are not worth the risk. Sure 50 -55 year olds have lots to offer and an employer may well feel that experience and reliability outweigh risk since 10-15 or even more years of work are likely.

    BUT at 60 -65 the balance changes because protracted illness becomes MUCH more likely and because work expectations are 5-10 years.

    As I said where no retraining is needed empployers are on a good deal but if retraining IS needed the balance is not in the employee’s favour.

  • 113
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    The relevant statistic would be “life expectancy at retirement”. In 1909, many died in childhood so this dragged down the life expectancy statistic.

    Exactly. The trap in statistics.

  • 114
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    You are wrong on the life expectancy stuff. In say 1980 -1990 men typically died age 67, just two years into retirement. My father, father in law, father in Law’s brother etc all met this fate.

    Improvements in medicine including kidney dialysis, cardiovascular treatment and cancer therapies have dramatically increased life span.

  • 115
    sceptic
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Newman

    “Palmer offered to buy my Government we said go away not for sale………”
    Unless you want to pay me $5000 to have a talk … That’s different
    Palmers problem was he knew Newman wasn’t worth anything , now Mewman is insulted

    Difficult to tell who’s a bigger idiot Newman or Abbott, doesn’t even help when they a both in same place @ same time

  • 116
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Damn right, here is a chart of life expectancy at various ages in the US. In 1900 when born your life expectancy was less than 50 but if you were aged 60 in 1900 your life expectancy was 75.
    http://childhealthsafety.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/us-life-1900-1998.gif

  • 117
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    daretotread@114

    bemused

    You are wrong on the life expectancy stuff. In say 1980 -1990 men typically died age 67, just two years into retirement. My father, father in law, father in Law’s brother etc all met this fate.

    Improvements in medicine including kidney dialysis, cardiovascular treatment and cancer therapies have dramatically increased life span.

    Produce the statistics to prove your point.

    Yes, life expectancy has increased, but a big part of that is due to the reduction in deaths in childhood.

    It is simply not true that there were very few old people around in the past. There were. If you made it to adulthood, you stood a good chance of attaining what we still regard as an old age.

  • 118
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Death during childbirth wouldn’t explain why the same statistics show women living longer than men.

  • 119
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, bemused! Misread!!

  • 120
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    zoomster@119

    Sorry, bemused! Misread!!

    Happens to us all at times. ;)

  • 121
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    @lizzie/109

    And the same thing was said with Newman Gov.

  • 122
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I like Deceit Tax

    Beats Carbon Tax hands down

  • 123
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    118

    Industrial and other work related deaths would help to explain said gap though.

  • 124
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I for one don’t think labor has enough mongrel to take it up to the libs. Really after tony Burke and his lisp who is there that goes after the libs in parliament or the media ?

  • 125
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    On Newman btw: going after Pets:
    http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/sick-pets-could-be-hurt-by-qld-bikie-laws/story-e6frfku9-1226894915546

  • 126
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    @EDj/124

    So you have something against people with lisps now?

  • 127
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile at the Annual Policy Meeting of the Spivs ‘R’ Us Party, Abbott and Hockey have denied that they have a secret plan to tax Grange and lies.

    ‘That’s uh, crazy,’ nodded Abbott. ‘It simply does not pass the pub test. We would go broke.’

  • 128
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    No zoidy I think Burke overcoming his lisp to lead the attack is inspirational

  • 129
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Bemused

    In 1890 a man of 65 had a life expectancy of 11.1 years and woman 12.3 years. By 1950 man 12.3 and woman 15 years, by 2000 man 17.7 years and woman 21.6 years and by 2007 Man 18.5 and woman 21.6 years.

    In other words since 1950 the life expectancy for a both men and woman has gone up more than 6 years.

    In terms of expected pension payments then for women it has moved from 12-21 years since federation and for men 11-18.5 years.

  • 130
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    DTT

    In 1890 a man of 65 had a life expectancy of 11.1 years

    My maternal grand father made it a lot further. Born 1886.

    He was the only Grand parent I saw.

  • 131
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    daretotread

    It is about the bullshit Savva and her claim workers were damned lucky to live long enough to collect it.

    ” pension introduced in 1909, for 65 year olds, life expectancy 56″

  • 132
    briefly
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    To find out more about life expectancy at a given age, from 1881 onwards, this is the reference:

    3105.0.65.001 – Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2008

    Go to life table (series 7)…available as .xls download..

    It shows what your chances were of dying within one year at any given age.

    In the decade 1901-1910, the chance of dying within one year…

    0 yo 0.10139
    1 yo 0.03353
    65yo 0.02998
    75yo 0.07779
    85yo 0.16459
    95yo 0.32487

    In the period 2004-06

    0 yo 0.00451
    1 yo 0.00034
    65yo 0.00706
    75yo 0.02026
    85yo 0.07123
    95yo 0.21380

    Far fewer of us die at birth or in the first year of life and those of us survive til late life live much longer.

    The stats are very interesting.

  • 133
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    daretotread@129

    Bemused

    In 1890 a man of 65 had a life expectancy of 11.1 years and woman 12.3 years. By 1950 man 12.3 and woman 15 years, by 2000 man 17.7 years and woman 21.6 years and by 2007 Man 18.5 and woman 21.6 years.

    In other words since 1950 the life expectancy for a both men and woman has gone up more than 6 years.

    In terms of expected pension payments then for women it has moved from 12-21 years since federation and for men 11-18.5 years.

    6 years is not the huge increase the scare mongers are raving on about. It should be quite manageable.

    It is also relevant that people are staying healthier longer too.

  • 134
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Actually Savva has a bit of a point

    If you take life expectancy at age 30 (removes childhood stuff) then in 1909 a woman on average lived until 69 and a man to just 66.5. So yes you were in the lucky 50% or so if you go to claim the pension.

  • 135
    psyclaw
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Both my grandfathers were born in 1880s and both exceeded their 84th birthdays. They both had numerous siblings who lived into their eighties. Maybe it was just good genes and they were significant exceptions??????

  • 136
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Yes I agree

    6 years is not the big scary bogey man and health is also a big factor.

    It is actually (no figures) probably as much of a drag on the economy to keep kids at school for an extra 6-10 years. In 1909 most left by 12-14 whereas NOW most stay on until 21 or so.

  • 137
    Gauss
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    daretotread @ 129

    For Life expectancy figures to 2012 see here: -.

    http://www.aihw.gov.au/deaths/life-expectancy/

    Males aged 65: 1901- 1910; Life expectancy 76.3 years. 2010- 2012; Life expectancy 84.1 years.

    Females aged 65: 1901- 1910; Life expectancy 77.9 years. 2010- 2012; Life expectancy 87 years.

    I would expect by the time the first increase (to 65) comes in the life expectancies will be about 85-86 & 88-89 years respectively..

  • 138
    roger bottomley
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Who is this ESJ person?

    Sounds terribly confused to me.

  • 139
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    psyclaw@135

    Both my grandfathers were born in 1880s and both exceeded their 84th birthdays. They both had numerous siblings who lived into their eighties. Maybe it was just good genes and they were significant exceptions??????

    Yes, it pays to choose your parents wisely. :P

  • 140
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    roger bottomley@138

    Who is this ESJ person?

    Sounds terribly confused to me.

    He/she/it is quite deranged. :evil:

  • 141
    briefly
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    While the share of the population over pension age has increased steadily with life expectancy, real GDP per capita has also increased. Since 1900 real GDP per capita his increased 8-fold.

    It is far far easier for us to support the population of aged and invalid pensioners now than it was in 1910…

    The constitution ...authorised the new Commonwealth Parliament to legislate in respect of age and invalid pensions. In the event, the Commonwealth did not exercise this power until June 1908 when legislation providing for the introduction of means-tested 'flat-rate' age and invalid pensions was passed. The new pensions, which were financed from general revenue, came into operation in July 1909 and December 1910 respectively, superseding State age pension schemes which had been introduced in New South Wales (1900), Victoria (1900) and Queensland (1908) and an invalid pension scheme introduced in New South Wales (1908).

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument

  • 142
    psyclaw
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Whilst I enjoy the spectacle of Palmer shit stirring the Abbotteers, I am not at all confident that he will reject any Abbott policies.

    His rhetoric this morning was markedly more Abbotteer friendly than during the week. And fundamentally he is motivated by business values, despite some unexpected social empathy that may be moving him to support war orphans and pensioners.

    In the end he is a conservative, unpredictable, business motivated, an AGW denier and high living.

    My bet is that at senate voting time his true values will lead him to honour Abbott’s “mandate”.

    Whether or not “his” senators will vote as he wishes is another matter.

  • 143
    sprocket_
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    this Leunig cartoon sums up the view of many

    https://twitter.com/jameshorton/status/460255177555968001/photo/1/large

  • 144
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    daretotread@136

    bemused

    Yes I agree

    6 years is not the big scary bogey man and health is also a big factor.

    It is actually (no figures) probably as much of a drag on the economy to keep kids at school for an extra 6-10 years. In 1909 most left by 12-14 whereas NOW most stay on until 21 or so.

    I am also sure that if the jobs were available, many people would CHOOSE to work well beyond 65 and I am one of those.

    The crooks are putting the cart before the horse. If the jobs were there, a lot of those capable of working would choose to do so.

    OTOH, those who have engaged in hard physical work, and really are worn out, should be free to retire at 65 or earlier.

    But even those people may CHOOSE to take up less demanding work. A lot of people like the social environment of the workplace.

  • 145
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    IF YOU LIVE IN NEWPORT VICTORIA, BE VERY WATCHFUL OF YOUR DOGS AND CATS, (and other animals). CONFIRMED MEAT-BAITED FISHOOKS have been left in public places and at least one dog has been treated at Hobons Bay Vet Clinic. The x-ray shows the hook in the dogs stomach. If I saw any meat laying about I would call the police, as they are investigating. Unfortunately wildlife are also at risk.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hobsons-Bay-Vet-Clinic/189549804480817?hc_location=timeline

  • 146
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Bastards.

  • 147
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone have a link on Abbott’s new “Debt Tax” or “Debt Levy” that has any actual details? I’ve not found any.

    Or is this just a another pre-budget scare put out by the LNP so that people will be relieved when it is not introduced, thereby making all their other bastardry easier to swallow?

    One thing I do think – suddenly 150K will not be “average earnings” any more – I’ll bet they suddenly “discover” that average earnings are closer to 70K, so that when the “Debt Levy” kicks in at 100K or so it can still be justified as a “tax only on the very well-off”!

  • 148
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Hockey uses the figures regarding life expectancy to sell his toughen up on everybody needing the pension rhetoric.

    He makes no mention of the fact that because of the superannuation guarantee many, particularly GENY/X, will be either self sufficient or need only a part pension.

    He also avoids confessing to the fact that he is actually going to cause a greater reliance on the pension by not increasing the superannuation guarantee.

  • 149
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Workers set to be hit by a debt tax and families could lose benefits as the Abbott government struggles to reduce the nation’s deficit

    SAMANTHA MAIDEN NATIONAL POLITICAL EDITOR •
    The Sunday Telegraph

    WORKERS will be forced to dig into their own pockets to pay off the country’s debt and families could face losing benefits as the Abbott government struggles to reduce the nation’s deficit.

    Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are preparing to risk a backlash from voters by introducing short-term hikes to taxes, spending cuts and the tightening of means tests for family benefits.

  • 150
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    AussieAchmed

    Add to that the supposed Baby Boomer demographic bulge pension “crisis” will decline as quick as it kicks in as they die off.

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