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Seat of the week: Murray

The northern Victorian seat of Murray is one of a number of seats in rural New South Wales and Victoria which have drifted from the Nationals to the Liberals after long-serving sitting members retired, Sharman Stone having secured the seat once held by Jack McEwen in 1996.

Blue numbers indicate size of two-party majority for the Liberal Party. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Murray covers central northern Victoria including a 200 kilometre stretch of the river that bears its name, from Gunbower east through Echuca to Yarrawonga and Bundalong. From there it extends southwards into the Goulburn Valley region as far as Inglewood in the west and Nagambie and Euroa in the east. Its largest population centre by a considerable margin is Shepparton, home to about a third of its population, followed by Echuca, which accounts for about 10%. The electorate was created with the expansion of parliament in 1949, but its boundaries resembled those of Echuca which existed from federation until its abolition in 1937, when its territory was divided between Bendigo in the west and Indi in the east. Its dimensions have not substantially changed at any time since 1949, apart from a slight reorientation westwards when the electorate of Wimmera was abolished in 1984.

The area in question was the domain of the Country Party from its formation in 1920 until 1996, when Sharman Stone won Murray for the Liberals upon the retirement of Nationals member Bruce Lloyd. John McEwen began his federal parliamentary career as the member for Echuca in 1934 before moving to Indi when it was abolished the following term, then transferred to Murray in 1949 and remained there until his retirement in 1971. McEwen served as leader of the Country Party after 1958 and, for three weeks following Harold Holt’s disappearance at the end of 1967, Prime Minister. McEwen was succeeded on his retirement in 1971 by Bruce Lloyd, who held the seat until 1996. In a sadly typical outcome for the Nationals, the seat fell to the Liberals when Lloyd retired in 1996, Sharman Stone outpolling the Nationals candidate 43.2% to 29.7% and prevailing by 3.7% after the distribution of preferences. The Liberals had intermittently fielded candidates against Lloyd throughout his career, but always finished third behind Labor.

Sharman Stone served as a parliamentary secretary from after the 1998 election until January 2006, when she was promoted to the junior ministry as Workforce Participation Minister. After the 2007 election defeat she assumed environment, heritage, the arts and indigenous affairs, the first named being shared with shadow cabinet member Greg Hunt, before being promoted to shadow cabinet in the immigration and citizenship portfolio when Malcolm Turnbull became leader in September 2008. However, she was demoted to the outer shadow ministry position of early childhood education and childcare when Turnbull was replaced by Tony Abbott in December 2009, having supported Turnbull during Abbott’s leadership challenge, and relegated to the back bench after the 2010 election. In February 2014, Stone accused Abbott of Joe Hockey of lying about union conditions for workers at the SPC Ardmona cannery in Shepparton after the government’s rejection of a bid for $25 million in assistance put the future of its 2700 jobs in doubt. When asked at the time if she intended to remain in the Liberal Party, Stone said only that it was “to be seen how things pan out”.

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  • 101
    Darn
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Jackol
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 10:25 am | PERMALINK
    Labor are going to face an utterly toxic Senate if they win in 2016 that is unlikely to be “fixed” naturally until 2020 short of a DD.

    It will make any substantive legislative program very difficult indeed, and particularly any attempt to re-introduce a carbon price.

    That’s probably true. Co-operative Senate’s are a rare occurrence, which makes it all the more regrettable that the Greens wasted a golden opportunity to get an ETS in place and bedded down when they had the balance of power between 2007 and 2010.

  • 102
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I was at a meeting the other day when the subject of the Green Army came up. There was much cynicism about it. Who would supervise them and who would pay for that? How can the poor buggers get to and from work if they are being paid a pittance? How can we be sure they wold not supplant the work done now by small businesses? Much concern over the excision of OH&S and workplace regulation.
    Also I found out that the 2 to 3% indexation of federal government payments to local government has been frozen for 3 years. Councils will have to increase rates at a faster rate now. I just hope they make the point strongly when they send out this year’s rates notices.

  • 103
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Yeah, and on the Swedish side, the Wallander series was pretty damn good too, as were the BBC’s adaptations featuring Kenneth Branagh.

  • 104
    Darn
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Don’t know where that stupid apostrophe came from.

  • 105
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Tony Abbott’s claim to be “a conservationist” doesn’t mean much more than “I’ve been on some bushwalks”

  • 106
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    sortius ‏@sortius 4m

    Wait? What? No. http://www.youngwitness.com.au/story/2353625/mobile-maybe/?cs=12 … LNP pollies really have no idea how technology works do they? pic.twitter.com/0mJCwBghPm

  • 107
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    And Wyshe-Wilson has been giving a good speeh in the Senate.
    Abbott’s budget has very few friends.

  • 108
    CTar1
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Bk

    It is a very close English/French adaptation of the excellent Danish/Swedish series

    The Scandinavians have really got things going with TV drama series at the moment – Wallender, Borgen & Real Humans all good story lines and excellent production qualities.

  • 109
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Cory Bernardi gets up now. I think I’ll watch something else.

  • 110
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    CTar1
    Yes, I had forgotten Real Humans That was a beauty – with so many messages.

  • 111
    daretotread
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Jackol

    You are of course quite right. The 2017 Senate will probably be very very strange.

    Now if the revised legislation on senate voting gets through – I assume it will you probably will not have as many odd balls but I would expect the Senate to still have PUP with balance of power

  • 112
    briefly
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I thoroughly support you in those comments Zoomster. I saw the Butler interview and he answered all their gotcha questions regarding the carbon tax/ETS perfectly. There was no hint whatsoever that Labor was wimping anything. The simple message was that when the time comes Labor will consider all options and then choose the best one – a totally unassailable position.

    If Butler had said anything even remotely sounding like Labor was determined to reintroduce a CT it would have become an unnecessary diversion at a time when the full focus needs to be on the unfairness of the government’s budget – a strategy which even Liberal supporters concede is working very well at present. He showed a lot of good judgement in that interview IMO.

    I really have to disagree. Climate change is the greatest economic challenge we face. It is also a very significant social justice issue. If the ALP cannot stand its ground and make the argument on climate change – stand against all the miserable lies and duplicity of the LNP in general and Abbott in particular – then I for one will be giving up on them.

    To surrender on this issue would be to hand Abbott the legitimacy he desperately craves but does not have and does not deserve.

  • 113
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    El Nino update is tomorrow (from BOM), don’t forget.

  • 114
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    It’s taken a lot to get an ETS passed. If the current legislation is repealed we’re all going to have to go through it again.

    I think everyone would be better off if legislation to repeal the ETS was defeated in the Senate. Unfortunately, given the numbers, I don’t think that will happen.

  • 115
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Abbott’s aim would surely be to amend Senate voting procedures to disadvantage small p[arties, and then to have his double dissolution, wouldn’t it?

    In which case, expect a DD to recede into the distant future. If ever.

  • 116
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    For the life of me I can’t understand why someone doesn’t lock Palmer in a room with three unimpeachable climate scientists and go over the whole Global Warming thing with him again.

    Surely worth a least a try.

  • 117
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Regarding Greg Hunt, I think he is using a stupid excuse for funding the Solar, because the use of “Difficult decisions”.

    He fully knows what happens, and there were no difficult decisions.

    It’s simply because it’s part of “living beyond our means” BS, or it’s a Labor Policy.

  • 118
    guytaur
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    @smh: Senator @CoryBernardi says he will cross the floor to vote against Tony Abbott’s deficit levy http://t.co/um2VeUHtDL #auspol

  • 119
    CTar1
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Bk

    I had forgotten Real Humans That was a beauty – with so many messages.

    After watching it on TV when broadcast (on one of your recommendations, I believe) I realised after the last episode that I’d understood about a quarter of what went on.

    So I got the series on CD and watched it 2 or 3 times before I ‘got’ most of it.

    My nephew seems to have made off with the CD’s now and is working his way through it.

  • 120
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    And from what I have heard he will cross the floor on PPL.

  • 121
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If reforms to Senate voting is passed Madigan probably won’t be re-elected in 2016. However, a Government elected in 2016 will still face three PUP Senators, one MEP Senator, one Family First Senator, one LDP Senator and Senator Xenophon, plus whatever happens in the next Senate election.

  • 122
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Bernardi is a Tea Party trickle down economics man.

  • 123
    daretotread
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    BK

    I properly managed the “green army” would not replace either the private sector OR the landcare groups.

    Now I am NOT saying this will happen but IF landcare groups were funded then they could supervise SOME of the Green army” especially in rural areas where chances are they know the local kids anyway. Those private firms who do weed clearing for councils could be funded to extend their supervision of the green army. This would mean that the work was done effectively , no job losses in the private sector and a few of the kids would find employment longer term in the supervising firm and others would at least have good references to help them in the future.

    The key is to ensure that the work done is stuff that would NOT be done if left to market forces alone.

    This is an area with which I am VERY familiar, as a land owner, who employs private land clearer AND has council assisted land clearing, a volunteer in two land clearing organizations and with a former housemate for a guy who was employed in the industry for 9 months while waiting for a professional job.

    I do take the point about the need to supervise the program but just because it failed once does nopt mean it must fail again

  • 124
    CTar1
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    zoidlord

    Regarding Greg Hunt

    I don’t regard him at all.

  • 125
    cud chewer
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    With any luck this coming summer will be a scorcher. Then it will be time for Labor to announce a brand new ETS.

  • 126
    lizzie
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Let’s remember who is REALLY responsible for putting Abbott in charge of our environment. That dull-eyed snake Andrew Robb.

    Think about the circumstances under which Tony Abbott took the leadership of the Liberal Party. The party was in open rebellion, parlously split over the bipartisan deal Malcolm Turnbull was just inches from signing with Kevin Rudd to introduce an emissions trading scheme in Australia.

    And he might have signed it, too, had an ailing Andrew Robb - still on sick leave and suffering badly with depression - not turned up to the relevant party room meeting on November 24, 2009, with a secret mission to torpedo Turnbull's plans.

    Robb passed a note up to Turnbull, advising him that the side effects of his depression medication tended to make him very tired and that "I'd be really grateful if you could get me to my feet soon".

    Turnbull agreed, whereupon Robb took to his feet and denounced the deal. His intervention was enough (he had been a fervent backer of emissions trading up till then) to do a mortal injury both to the emissions trading scheme, and to Turnbull's leadership. It was an extraordinary act.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-12/crabb-parental-leave-when-ideology-and-policy-collide/5517934

  • 127
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    daretotread
    LandCare’s funding has been effectively cut by two thirds in this budget.

  • 128
    cud chewer
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I know its a quite improper thought, but what happens when a few green army “volunteers” suffer workplace accidents or deaths?

  • 129
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    @Cud/128

    No lawsuits, no royal commissions, just the way Liberals like it.

    Green Army Legislation protects the government.

  • 130
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    zoid
    Yes, gutless when the rubber hits the road.

  • 131
    citizen
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    BK

    Also I found out that the 2 to 3% indexation of federal government payments to local government has been frozen for 3 years. Councils will have to increase rates at a faster rate now. I just hope they make the point strongly when they send out this year’s rates notices.

    These Federal Assistance Grants have been the lifeblood of councils for many years, particularly for less affluent councils or shires in rural areas. Once again Truss seems to be ignoring his constituency by not making a public fuss over the issue.

  • 132
    MTBW
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/jillian-skinner-decriminalise-the-use-of-medicinal-cannabis-for-people-with-terminal-cancer-like-my-son?recruiter=51392346&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

    Some of you may be interested in signing this petition.

  • 133
    cud chewer
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    zoid,

    Front page of Telegraph?

    not.

  • 134
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Retweeted by Greens
    Rachel Siewert ‏@SenatorSiewert 8m

    HILDA report shows reliance on welfare has dropped – Hockey confected a ‘welfare crisis’ like he confected a ‘budget crisis’ #bustthebudget

  • 135
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    @Cud/133

    DailyTerror will probably mention something like “Green Army provides jobs” then some liberal propaganda, but no mention of accidents, deaths or the like.

  • 136
    daretotread
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    BK

    Yes I know that Landcare has been cut – stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • 137
    daretotread
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    BK

    Mind you I am looking forward to four Royal Commissions in 2017 – One into injuries in the Green Army program – just like the Pink Batts RC, another into corruption in Industry Associations, a third into human atrocities in the Immigration program and a fourth into the misuse of the law for defaming political opponents. Abbott would be the star witness at most of them.

  • 138
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Capitulations everywhere you look.

    The Govt capitulating on the Solar panel subsidy commitment.

    ALP capitulating on their long term CEP and declaring themselves weathervanes on pollution/climate change.

    Clive capitulating on his stance of non-reliance on parliamentary services.

  • 139
    zoomster
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    briefly

    refusing to lock yourself into a position which might be out of step with the rest of the world in a couple of years time is not ‘wimping’ anything.

    I would be the first to kick and scream if there was even a hint at Labor walking away from tackling climate change – posters here might remember that when the msm was confidently quoting ‘Labor sources’ as saying that Labor would vote with the government to remove ‘the carbon tax’, my immediate response was to email every single Labor MP and Senator and ask wtf was going on — but there’s no indication that’s happening.

    mysay

    cheers, thanks for the feedback.

    I’m not sure which Milne proposal you’re referring to — do you have a link? (I was on motherly duties yesterday, watching soccer, so I’m a little behind the news…)

  • 140
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    daretotread
    We can live in hope!

  • 141
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    @DTR/137

    You are forgetting one more, Royal Commission decision on National Broadband Network where Telstra/Murdoch gets the FTTN upgrade.

    Further, this RC should be who favors who, especially regarding deregulation:
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/malcolm-turnbull-wants-consensus-on-tv-sport-rights-and-ownership-rules-20140615-3a5se.html#ixzz34lMoLbuk

  • 142
    BK
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Labor can vote to remove the “carbon tax” provided there remains a capped ETS based on world carbon pricing markets.

  • 143
    citizen
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    From Guardian parliament live update site at 11.55:

    While I've been listening to the debate, my colleague Lenore Taylor has been asking Labor to clarify its stance on climate policy after the weekend vacuum.

    I mentioned earlier today that it's a bit odd that the opposition isn't now confirming core principles of its climate policy it was prepared to confirm just a couple of months ago. Lenore has sent me this quick update – Labor's climate policy for the next election will include a cap on emissions and a market-based mechanism to lower carbon pollution:

    Both opposition leader Bill Shorten and opposition climate spokesman Mark Butler insist Labor's position as outlined in Shorten's March interview with Guardian Australia has not changed.

    Butler said Labor's policy at the 2016 election would be based on the "core principles" that there needed to be "a legal cap on Australia's greenhouse emissions and a market mechanism to bring those emission levels down."

    A spokesman for Shorten said the position he enunciated in the Guardian Australia interview had not changed.

  • 144
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to watch the ALP over the next few years as policy is announced to see how much they fall into line behind the Murdoch agenda.
    I’d hate to see a desperate Rudd-like sellout to Murdoch from a Shortens ALP.

  • 145
    guytaur
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    BK

    Abbott will not agree to that. However Palmer might. After all an ETS is not a tax

  • 146
    zoomster
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    citizen

    So it seems we’re having a semantic argument – just as the ‘carbon tax’ Gillard said she would never introduce was not the ‘carbon tax’ she did introduce, Butler is commited to a ‘market based mechanism’ which MAY be an ETS.

    It’s a pity we don’t seem to be able to do nuance nowadays.

  • 147
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I’d hate to see a desperate Rudd-like sellout to Murdoch from a Shortens ALP.

    You just can’t help yourself can you – like an itch or twitch that is involuntary – pathetic.

  • 148
    guytaur
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    To be fair I think its not bludgers confused with semantics. Its the journalists who are confused

  • 149
    psyclaw
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Jackol #91

    Here’s some solid argument.

    You can’t predict how the micros and Clive’s mob will vote until they show their hand in actions rather than words. Even then, will the way they vote as a group in 2014, if they do, sustain till 2016?

    You can’t predict what the accepted best practice will be in capping carbon emissions in 2016. It may be by ETS methodology, it may be some variant of the same, or it may be something else entirely.

  • 150
    citizen
    Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Another retailer blames poor sales figures on the budget.

    Super Retail Group has trimmed its full year profit forecast, blaming the federal budget for hurting sales across its businesses.

    The owner of Supercheap Auto and Rebel Sports said sales had been weaker than expected since the May 13 budget, forcing it to moderate its full year net profit forecast.

    https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/super-retail-blames-budget-sales-233417126.html

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