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Seat of the week: Gorton

Labor front-bencher Brendan O’Connor is securely ensconced in what remains Labor’s sixth safest seat, despite a 7.5% swing to the Liberals at last year’s election.

Red numbers indicate size of two-party majority for Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Gorton is located at Melbourne’s strongly Labor-voting western edge, covering the rapidly growing fringe suburbs of Derrimut and Deer Park in the south, Caroline Springs and Kings Park in the centre and Hillside in the north, and from there extending westwards through semi-rural areas to the satellite town of Melton. The latter area was gained with the redistribution that took effect at the 2013 election, adding 32,000 voters who had previously been in Lalor. This was counterbalanced at the city end through transfers of 33,000 voters at Sydenham, Keilor and Taylors Lakes to Calwell in the north, 9000 west of the rail line in St Albans to Maribyrnong in the centre, and 13,000 in Ardeer and Sunshine West to Gellibrand in the south. This boosted the ample Labor margin of 22.2% to 23.6%, which was then cut at the election by a 7.5% swing to the Liberals.

The electorate was created at the previous redistribution ahead of the 2004 election in place of abolished Burke, which furnished it with 12,000 voters around Sydenham and also included Melton and areas beyond the city to the north. This area was covered by Corio prior to pre-war urbanisation and the expansion of parliament in 1949, after which it was accommodated by shifting aggregations of Lalor (created in 1949), Burke (1969) and Calwell (1984). With the exception of one defeat in Lalor at the Liberals’ statewide high water mark in 1966, each of these three seats has been won by Labor at every election since their creation. Gorton’s inaugural member was Brendan O’Connor, who had entered parliament as member for Burke in 2001. His exchange of the predominantly rural outskirts seats of Burke for one anchored in outer suburban Melbourne was a welcome development, boosting his margin from 5.5% to 20.2%.

O’Connor rose through Labor ranks as an official with the Australian Services Union with factional backing from the Ferguson Left, which is now more likely to be identified under its formal name of the Independent Left. He was promoted to shadow parliamentary secretary when Kevin Rudd became leader in December 2006 and then to the junior ministry after the 2007 election victory, serving first in employment participation, then in home affairs in June 2009. Justice was added to his workload after the 2010 election, and in December 2011 he was shifted to human services. O’Connor stood by factional colleague Julia Gillard during Rudd’s leadership challenges in February 2012 and June 2013, and won promotion to cabinet as Small Business Minister on the former occasion. Further promotion to the troublesome immigration portfolio followed in February 2013, and he did well to be moved to employment after Rudd assumed the leadership the following June. Since the September 2013 election defeat he has served in shadow cabinet in the employment and workplace relations portfolios.

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  • 601
    citizen
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    From the Abbott media statement:

    The United States, Canada and France are long standing friends. We stood together at D-Day, we trade every day and we have always shared a commitment to democracy, to enterprise and to people’s  right  to  be   free.

    It seems strange that the UK doesn’t get a mention re D-Day and that Abbott is apparently not going to at least say hello to Cameron.

    The UK government is heavily involved in the commemoration see here

  • 602
    sohar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    “They can’t replace Abbott. No one else can do the ironman thing.”
    What about Bronnie?

  • 603
    imacca
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Considering the rather minor involvement that Australia had in the D-Day thing what is the stunting winker doing puttin gout a press release anyway??

  • 604
    Steve777
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    So who else should we drug test?

    - MPs, obviously, especially ministers of the Crown
    - CEOs of corporations that accept handouts under ‘Direct Inaction’
    Women who receive $75,000 in parental leave for 6 months off, to ensure that the money only gies to ‘women of calibre’
    - people who claim the private health insurance rebate ( that would include me)
    - peole who negatively gear
    - Rupert Murdoch, before we give his company its $800 million tax refund cheque
    - headmasters of elite private schools that are part financed by taxpayer handouts
    - people who salary package

    The list is endless.

  • 605
    sohar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised Tony didn’t weave the day he landed on Manly beach into the D-Day release.

  • 606
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    rua

    Love the Mr Opus Dei reference!

  • 607
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    @newsandimages: Just for the record, I’m standing by my story. http://t.co/TpQnWrnSGf

  • 608
    mikehilliard
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    poroti

    Abbott’s nodding head moment = Friar paralysis

  • 609
    New2This
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    rua that is the biggest croc of $hit Ive ever read…

  • 610
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    citizen

    It seems strange that the UK doesn’t get a mention re D-Day

    What a twat. The Poms quite rightly feel pretty miffed at how what they did is airbrushed out of what happened on D-Day.

  • 611
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    New2This

    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Drug testing “bludgers” is wasting government money… a statement like stopping the boats is impossible…

    stopping reporting is not stopping the boats.

    the purchase of even more life rafts is evidence to boats have not stopped.

    the fact that the Navy still has non-stop patrols running is evidence the boats have not stopped.

    the fact tat Border Control etc are still operating non-stop is further evidence the boats have not stopped.

    They are still sailing from Indonesia. They have not stopped leaving Indonesia.

  • 612
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    @607… I can’t read it.

  • 613
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    rua that is the biggest croc of $hit Ive ever read…

    Read more. :P You might learn something.

  • 614
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    CEOs of mining companies, and farmers, who receive the diesel fuel rebate. Farmers who receive drought assistance. We don’t want them driving tractors around while stoned.

    Frances. She got $60,000 for doing SFA. test her.

    Anyone who gets PPL. Don’t want stoned mothers trying to breast feed mothers.

    Old age pensioners. They are bound to self-medicating with the funny stuff.

    The list goes on and on and on.

    Bring it on, I say.

  • 615
    citizen
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Steve777

    So who else should we drug test?

    - MPs, obviously, especially ministers of the Crown
    - CEOs of corporations that accept handouts under ‘Direct Inaction’
    Women who receive $75,000 in parental leave for 6 months off, to ensure that the money only gies to ‘women of calibre’ (etc)

    The issue, of course, is that the welfare recipients listed above are GOOD people.

    The unemployed, on the other hand, are BAD people.

  • 616
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    J3etc

    Statement by Australian Financial Review Associate Editor Anne Hyland

    I stand by my interview with Ken Cowley. Mr Cowley agreed to an on-the-record interview and, as such, I taped it on a recorder clearly placed in front of him on his desk.

    The interview at Mr Cowley’s Milson’s Point office went for an hour.

    After initially discussing his business RM Williams, Mr Cowley – unprompted by me – offered opinions on a range of other subjects.

    As any self-respecting journalist would, I reported these.

    It’s disappointing Mr Cowley has denied his statements and it’s not for me to speculate why. Nonetheless, I stand by the story.

  • 617
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    J3

    Here is 607

    afr.com
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    Statement by Anne Hyland
    PUBLISHED: 0 HOUR 52 MINUTE AGO | UPDATE: 0 HOUR 0 MINUTE AGO
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    Statement by Australian Financial Review Associate Editor Anne Hyland

    I stand by my interview with Ken Cowley. Mr Cowley agreed to an on-the-record interview and, as such, I taped it on a recorder clearly placed in front of him on his desk.

    The interview at Mr Cowley’s Milson’s Point office went for an hour.

    After initially discussing his business RM Williams, Mr Cowley – unprompted by me – offered opinions on a range of other subjects.

    As any self-respecting journalist would, I reported these.

    It’s disappointing Mr Cowley has denied his statements and it’s not for me to speculate why. Nonetheless, I stand by the story.

  • 618
    liyana
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    So Abbotts DDay disaster has to be tomorrow headlines right?

    This government just blunders on and on ..Abbott is a loon…

  • 619
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks :)

  • 620
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it is because the Brits did do a fair bit of ineffectual pissfarting around after they came ashore.

    After years of war they still thought the best thing for their poor old tankers was to give them the armoured equivalent of tin foil in which to get brewed up: mere target practice for the .88s.

  • 621
    WarrenPeace
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Tony Abbott stars in Game of Thrones
    http://geek-news.mtv.com//wp-content/uploads/geek/2013/04/MAD-Magazine-521-Cover-AB1.jpg

  • 622
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    @618 – I’d be startled if the press release gets more than a passing glance.

  • 623
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Did Cowley:

    (a) lie
    (b) mispeak
    (c) make a mistake
    (d) tell the truth by accident
    (e) put himself in the merde with Murdoch?

    If so, which truth is the most important here?

  • 624
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Seems Anne Hyland has the tape and Ken Cowley should slip into silence on the matter.

  • 625
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    This has to be a joke … please, someone tell me this is a joke …

    http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/index.php?/topic/1130100-abbotts-70th-anniversary-d-day-landing-speech/

  • 626
    FarQU
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Just so long as they don’t drug test me. She’d be all over

  • 627
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Operation Goodwood is most instructive:

    http://www.angelfire.com/trek/mytravels/militaryalliedtkwknss.html

  • 628
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwTgJCPtOXQ&feature=youtu.be

    …behold.

  • 629
    FarQU
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    They should probably drug test the person who wrote that D-Day speech. They obviously need better drugs.

  • 630
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    So can we soon expect a Hedley Thomas expose on Cowley detailing tawdry detail that destroys his life?

  • 631
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m more terrified of having that slimy git Malcolm Turnbull as my Prime Minister rather than Tony Abbott. I’m sitting at home right now, on a Sunday evening, trying to download some music via cable and the data is just dribbling in. Thank you Malcolm you useless huckster.
    At least, if Malcolm takes over, half the party will spend the rest of this term leaking against him and trying to tear him down. Hopefully they’ll be so busy trying to destroy each other they won’t have time to destroy the country.

  • 632
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    J
    I notice that Abbott’s tie is getting paler and paler.

    Can we infer anything about his leadership chances from his tie? Or his haircut? Or his inadvertant omission of the tens of thousands of British casualties in Normandy.

    I suppose if Abbott is going to go ahistorical he might as well go the whole hog and f*** everything up properly.

  • 633
    mikehilliard
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    J341983

    I reckon Abbott could get squashed by a sherman tank on Omaha beach, what da ya think?

  • 634
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    But of course there is not a single shred of evidence that MH370 was anywhere near DG. Nor can anyone offer a reason why it would be there specifically, beyond runaway imagining

    Go ahead Slothy, believe that the pilot went mad, shut down all his comms before killing the passengers and then flew several thousands of kilometres so he could ditch his plane in the deepest ocean trench so that we’d never know why the f**k he did it.

    Sounds like a rational plan to me.

  • 635
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    PO:

    No joke. Just our Prime Minister.

  • 636
    boomy1
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s hilarious hey Player 1?, don’t it make you feel proud.

    He is a joke without a punchline.

    Yea, I wish….

  • 637
    ruawake
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Fight fight

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/ken_cowley_backflips_on_murdoch_HuXjR0VE0BUURdrBLYZ0YN

  • 638
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    AUSSIE – Wasn’t Carr the one trying to bring Abbott over to labor. Says everything, doesn’t it, about both of them.

  • 639
    liyana
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh and what sort of business are we actually open for?

    Renewables?..sorry we don’t do that…wind turbines are ugly
    Technology?..Oh we have wireless..
    Cars? Awww..sorry
    Science?..You can talk to our Science minister..wait..CSIR What?

    Can you imagine any slightly competent world leader dealing with this inept, incapable mob of losers?

  • 640
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Front page of tomorrows tele a mock up of Cowley as a king rat

  • 641
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m sitting at home right now, on a Sunday evening, trying to download some music via cable and the data is just dribbling in. Thank you Malcolm you useless huckster.

    Someone on twitter remarked that Turnbull would call a leadership spill, except that Tony was on the phone and therefore sucking up all the bandwidth.

    Thought it was funny at the time. :)

  • 642
    cobberdig
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Sorry this is a few days old. A great shame Combet resigned he would of had fun with this in parliament.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/waterfront-baron-and-liberal-party-donor-scored-inside-running-on-freight-hub-tender-20140526-38zob.html

  • 643
    BK
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Looks like the PM’s website has collapsed. Probably pissed off people hitting it over the D-Day press release.

  • 644
    citizen
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Player One
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm | PERMALINK
    This has to be a joke … please, someone tell me this is a joke …

    http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/index.php?/topic/1130100-abbotts-70th-anniversary-d-day-landing-speech/

    “Essential baby” is part of Fairfax media.

    One comment says the original weird press release seems to have been been taken down and replaced by a more normal looking one as follows – but who released the original one, an enemy of Abbott?

    Interesting bferal as it won't load for me either. It seems to have been removed and replaced with a much milder released, quoted below. His office is getting sloppy...

    "To mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and Normandy campaign, I will attend an official commemoration in France on June 6.

    More than 3,000 Australians fought in support of the D-Day landings, 18 were killed.

    I will join French President Francois Hollande and other heads of government at the British services at the Bayeux Cathedral and Cemetery and the international ceremony at Sword Beach, Ouistreham.

    Seven Australian D-Day veterans will accompany me for the commemorative services – Robert Cowper OAM, Stuart Davis, Phillip Elger, Francis Evans, Ronald Houghton, Billy Purdy and Frederick Riley.

    On June 7 I will visit the Western Front to pay tribute to the 295,000 Australians who served there between 1916 and 1918 and honour the 46,000 who lost their lives. I will visit the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and Pozieres.

    As part of the 100th anniversary of ANZAC, I would like to see a greater focus on Australia’s role on the western front. The Government is considering constructing an interpretive centre at Villers-Bretonneux.

    Following my visit to France, I will travel to Canada and the United States of America to hold formal talks with the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama.

    The US and Canada are important strategic partners of Australia. I will be accompanied by a business delegation to strengthen trade and business ties between our countries.

    I will visit Ottawa, New York, Washington, Houston and Pearl Harbour.

  • 645
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I can get onto pm.gov.au without any problems.

  • 646
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    BK:

    Works for me.

  • 647
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    hmmm the link to the D-Day statement now won’t connect..

  • 648
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    A fantastic contribution by Australia to the D day landings and well worth Abbott big noting himself on the backs of the war dead.

  • 649
    BK
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    A few minutes ago it wasn’t. Maybe they took the site down for “maintenance” as decribed by citizen above.

  • 650
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    One comment says the original weird press release seems to have been been taken down and replaced by a more normal looking one as follows – but who released the original one, an enemy of Abbott?

    I guess it must be a joke.

    No PM would be that crass … surely?

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