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Seat of the week: Maribyrnong

Bill Shorten’s electoral home in Melbourne’s inner north-west extends from marginal Essendon and Moonee Ponds in the east to rock-solid Labor St Albans in the west.

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

Bill Shorten’s electorate of Maribyrnong has covered a shifting area around Essendon in Melbourne’s inner north-west since its creation in 1906. It presently extends westwards from Essendon through Niddrie and Avondale Heights to St Albans. Labor has held the seat without interruption since 1969, prior to which it was held for the Liberals for 14 years by Philip Stokes. Stokes had emerged a beneficiary of the Labor split ahead of the 1955 election, at which preferences from the ALP (Anti-Communist) candidate enabled him to unseat Labor’s Arthur Drakeford by 114 votes, in what was only Labor’s second defeat since 1910. The seat finally returned to the Labor fold at the 1969 election when it was won by Moss Cass, who secured enough of a buffer through successive swings in 1972 and 1974 to survive Labor’s electoral winter of 1975 and 1977. In 1983 he bequeathed a double-digit margin to his successor Alan Griffiths, who enjoyed a 7.4% boost when the 1990 redistribution added St Albans, which remains a particularly strong area for Labor. Griffiths was succeeded in 1996 by Bob Sercombe, who chose to bow out at the 2007 election rather than face preselection defeat at the hands of Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten.

Shorten came to parliament with a national reputation after positioning himself as the public face of the Beaconsfield mine disaster rescue effort in April-May 2006, and wielded great influence in the Victorian party factional system as a chieftain of the Right. However, Shorten was known to be hostile to Kevin Rudd, and rose no higher than parliamentary secretary for disabilities and children’s services during Rudd’s first term as Prime Minister. Shorten then emerged as one of the initiators of the June 2010 leadership coup, together with Victorian Right colleague David Feeney, and interstate factional allies Mark Arbib in New South Wales and Don Farrell in South Australia. After the 2010 election he was promoted to the outer ministry as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, and he then won promotion to an expanded cabinet by further taking on the employment and workplace relations portfolio in December 2011. Nonetheless, Shorten’s political stocks were generally thought to have been depleted by the political travails of Julia Gillard, whom he crucially abandoned in June 2013 to facilitate Kevin Rudd’s return. For this he was rewarded with a portfolio swap of financial services and superannuation for education.

After the 2013 election defeat, Shorten and Anthony Albanese of the Left emerged as the two candidates for the first leadership ballot held under the party’s new rules, in which the vote was divided evenly between the party membership and caucus. Albanese proved the clear favourite of the membership, in part reflecting the taint Shorten was perceived as carrying from his involvement in successive leadership coups against sitting prime ministers. However, Shorten’s 55-31 victory in the caucus vote was just sufficient to outweigh his 59.92%-40.08% deficit in the ballot of approximately 30,000 party members, the combined result being 52.02% for Shorten and 47.98% for Albanese.

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  • 51
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Love Mike Carlton’s take on the Palmer-Gore media performance.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-clive-palmer-saved-the-world–in-just-12-minutes-20140626-zsms4.html

  • 52
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    @sarahinthesen8: Man ‘on board asylum boat’ says vessel in trouble off Christmas Island
    http://t.co/RK8Rn3Jz97

  • 53
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Griffiths was succeeded in 1996 by Bob Sercombe, who chose to bow out at the 2007 election rather than face preselection defeat at the hands of Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten.

    Well that’s a cute way of phrasing it William.

    How about something like: “Confronted by a massive branch stack, Sercombe saw he could not retain preselection and withdrew.”

    Of course Shorten’s hands were clean and the architect of the stack was the notorious George Seitz.

    Branch stackers ensured Shorten preselection

    PROMINENT federal MP Bill Shorten secured his spot in Parliament with the support of Victoria's most notorious Labor branch stackers, a former party insider alleges.

    And, for the first time, the branch-stacking claims by the insider and whistleblower, Costas Socratous, have been confirmed by the party members he used to bolster the power base of politicians such as Mr Shorten, the parliamentary secretary for disabilities and children's services.

    Mr Socratous has alleged what many Labor insiders have long believed - that Mr Shorten's 2006 preselection for Maribyrnong was secured with the support of members branch-stacked by him, retiring state MP George Seitz and former electoral officer Hakki Suleyman.

    At the time, sitting MP Bob Sercombe, realising he did not have the numbers, stepped down from the ballot and blamed ''a series of sleazy deals'' for his demise. Critics within the party claimed it never effectively dealt with allegations of branch stacking at the time.

    The truth is out there.

  • 54
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    guytaur

    You manage to couple complete ignorance of the subject in hand with a certainty that you’re right about it.

    The public dentistry scheme has been implemented.

    The Greens argue that it wouldn’t have been, if they had not made it a condition of their support for Labor in 2010.

    At the same time, they admit that Labor had a public dentistry policy prior to 2007 and had legislation ready to put before Parliament.

    Therefore, for the Greens to claim that the policy would not have been introduced without them is a lie.

    I repeat: I don’t mind the Greens taking credit – I wouldn’t object to a statement that “Greens were instrumental in delivering a public dentistry scheme’ or similar – but I do object to the Greens saying it wouldn’t have happened without them, when Labor had clearly been trying to get a scheme in place since 2007.

    As for whining, that’s what you’re doing, with your inability to accept or understand why the Greens stance on this is objectionable.

  • 55
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “@SabraLane: Some debate now about changes to Lib party constitution: a Vic member says should not go ahead, CPyne now seconding motion…”

    “@SabraLane: Says the proposed changes are tantamount to a fed takeover of state divisions says changes will be overwhelmingly defeated if put to a vote”

    “@SabraLane: And AG Brandis now putting the case for the changes. One of the changes gives the Fed ex the power to impose conditions ‘upon any party body”

    “@SabraLane: or to require action… that the fed exec believes…necessary to achieve the solvency, future solvency or fin. security of any party body.”

    Does this fight or entrench party donation problems highlighted by ICAC?

  • 56
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Nonsense, bemused.

    It was well known within the party at the time that Shorten had the numbers – without needing to branch stack.

    I was told at the time that he had personally visited every single branch member to argue his case.

    As members of the Left have said to me more than once, Shorten works that electorate as if it’s a marginal.

  • 57
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    Still you go on about this as if you are right.

    The point I made about what the Greens think you cannot undo by saying they are lying.

    They think the policy adopted was due to pressure otherwise dentistry would have been included when Hawke brought it in.

    You can say they think wring. It does not change what they think.

  • 58
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Dee@8

    Following on from last night conversation about the Jews and correct paperwork for migration.

    These people had the correct paperwork.


    When the first European refugees arrived in Australia after the second world war, under the displaced persons migration scheme, their number included dozens of fascist collaborators from central and eastern Europe. Amongst them were officers, like Kalejs, of the Arajs Kommando, the Nazi-controlled Latvian security police, a volunteer police auxiliary which, by mass shootings, mobile gas vans or deportation to concentration camps, wiped out Latvia’s 70,000 Jews and murdered other racial, religious and political targets of the Nazis.

    There were also Croatian fascists, whose cruelty is said to have sickened even hardened German Nazis. One of them was Srecko Rover, alleged to be the fanatical officer in charge of a mobile killing unit which massacred Jews, Serbs and, especially, communist-led partisans in the Balkans. Recruited by US intelligence before arriving in Australia in 1950, Rover immediately began a decades-long career as an ASIO agent and organiser of terrorist operations against left-wing migrants and President Josep Bros Tito’s communist Yugoslav government.

    How did these killers slip through the screening process which was supposed to weed out war criminals from genuine refugees? Post-war confusion, incompetence, diffidence and corruption by Allied immigration officials in Europe were partly to blame.

    Yes Dee, that stuff has been known for a long time and it is an utter disgrace.

    I don’t agree with capital punishment, but in the case of those ‘people’ I would have made an exception.

    Many of those responsible for importing that human garbage are probably dead now, but their involvement should be publicly disclosed and their memory forever shamed by their actions. :mad:

  • 59
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    wring=wrong

  • 60
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    BK@13

    frednk
    Thanks. I must have been a bit frantic this morning.

    Must be the new haircut causing it. :P

  • 61
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised bemused you should know how naturally unpopular sitting members are with party members in their electorate!

  • 62
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    @senatormilne: Heading to #bustthebudget rally in Burnie. Wild weather! http://t.co/inIk7f2H1y

    Still these go on. This one is in what is currently a Liberal seat.

  • 63
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    guytaur

    They think the policy adopted was due to pressure otherwise dentistry would have been included when Hawke brought it in.

    Er, what?

    No, the Greens claimed that the policy was only adopted after 2010 due to pressure, and that Labor would not have introduced it without that.

    Given that Labor had been advocating for this policy prior to 2007, that is a lie.

  • 64
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    It was only a matter of time before the media started with these stories in the wake of pensioner cuts:

    Gosnells pensioner Brian Cutjar assumed losing his wife of almost 50 years, Corrie, would be the toughest time in his life.

    But since she died nine months ago, Mr Cutjar has been moved on to a single pension and regularly gets down to his last $20, even with government concessions.

    Two-thirds of his pension goes in rent, leaving the 73-year-old with less than $400 a fortnight to pay for groceries, electricity, medication and insurance.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/24340066/pensioners-hit-by-rebate-cut/

    Where’s Brendon Nelson, the pensioner’s advocate when you need him.

  • 65
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    …and it’s nothing to do with what they ‘think’, either – the Greens knew that Labor wanted to introduce such a policy after 2007, because we have Greens senators on the record saying they would have supported it.

  • 66
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    They think the policy adopted was due to pressure otherwise dentistry would have been included when Hawke brought it in.

    LOL clearly cost was never an issue.

  • 67
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    Wrong. Hawke Keating in Government did not do this. So Greens can make such claims and not be lying.

    No matter how much you hate it the facts the Greens actually paid attention to Labor in Government and judged on that.

  • 68
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Wrong. Hawke Keating in Government did not do this. So Greens can make such claims and not be lying.

    No matter how much you hate it the facts the Greens actually paid attention to Labor in Government and judged on that.

    Comedy gold.

  • 69
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    WWP

    The cost of including dental in Medicare has only gone up not down as all health costs have.

    So I don’t get your point.

  • 70
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    WWP

    Yeah real comedy gold let us know when you can point to dentistry being in medicare in the Hawke Keating era

  • 71
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    WWP,

    While you are around, I had a quick read of your posts last night regarding the RC into child abuse and I pretty much agree with your measured and reasoned approach to the issue.

  • 72
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    @Leroy_Lynch: Fed Minister Kevin Andrews denies any member of his office involved in distributing Baillieu tape http://t.co/IdTEPhhz0z #springst #auspol

  • 73
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    WWP,

    While you are around, I had a quick read of your posts last night regarding the RC into child abuse and I pretty much agree with your measured and reasoned approach to the issue.

    Thank you.

  • 74
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “@Simon_Cullen: Scott Morrison about to speak to the media re asylum seeker boat”

  • 75
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    guytaur,

    You never know if something is true until it has been officially denied

  • 76
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    GG

    Yes Minister such a good guide to understanding politics :grin:

  • 77
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Morrison not willing to say there is a boat off Christmas Island

  • 78
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    zoomster,

    I do mind them lying – as supporters did last night...

    Who exactly are these lying supporters (plural) who posted last night?

    iirc lefty e was having an exchange with ruawake when you chipped in.

    .. – that Labor had no intention of introducing the policy...

    Can you please link to any post where lefty e made this claim.

    —————————————————————

    The exchange between ruawake and lefty e began thus:

    lefty e posted http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2014/06/26/bludgertrack-52-6-47-4-to-labor-3/?comment_page=19/#comment-2009605

    This is a rather dated view. The interim CO2 price was a Greens policy, and it was implemented by the Comonwealth of Australia; as was their public dental health plan.

    In response to:

    Green’s policies don’t have to be tempered with even an iota of pragmatism, since they know they will never, ever be called on to actually put them into practice.

    In subsequent posts Lefty e provided some links…

    * http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/better-dental-care-millions-australians

    "The Dental Health Reform package honours the Greens' agreement with Labor and shows how power-sharing governments can make a real difference to people's lives when parliamentarians work together constructively."

    Seems to me to be giving some kudos to Labor here.

    * http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2014/06/26/bludgertrack-52-6-47-4-to-labor-3/?comment_page=20/#comment-2009634

    [The deal was negotiated by Greens Senator Richard di Natale and honours a promise Julia Gillard made in her 2010 agreement which saw the Greens support her government in the hung parliament.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/government-announces-13b-boost-to-public-dental-schemes/story-fnagkbpv-1226460559009

    after which you then chipped in with your untruth about blocking a vote…..

  • 79
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    zoomster@56

    Nonsense, bemused.

    It was well known within the party at the time that Shorten had the numbers – without needing to branch stack.

    I was told at the time that he had personally visited every single branch member to argue his case.

    As members of the Left have said to me more than once, Shorten works that electorate as if it’s a marginal.

    I knew Bob Sercombe at the time and was aware of his concerns about what was going on.

    Shorten did not need to branch stack as it had already been done by Seitz.

    Shorten being a good local member is to his credit, but it does not alter history.

    And I am not suggesting for a moment that Shorten is alone in being the beneficiary of branch stacking.

  • 80
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Media giving Morrison a harder time.

    His response the same

  • 81
    BK
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    bemused
    :-)

  • 82
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    WeWantPaul@61

    I’m surprised bemused you should know how naturally unpopular sitting members are with party members in their electorate!

    Too obscure for me.

  • 83
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I assume that Scroat is saying it’s an ‘on-water’ operation so he won’t comment on the specific boat.

  • 84
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    ctar

    Yes. However media not seeming to buy this time

  • 85
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    zoomster@65

    …and it’s nothing to do with what they ‘think’, either – the Greens knew that Labor wanted to introduce such a policy after 2007, because we have Greens senators on the record saying they would have supported it.

    It is futile arguing with a Green.

  • 86
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison: A boat hasn’t arrived, let’s be clear about that. #auspol #ABCNews24”

  • 87
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    “@abcAndrewG: Immig Min Scott Morrison: ‘I don’t respond to hypotheticals’ on reports boat carrying 150 asylum seekers north of Xmas Island. @ABCNews24”

  • 88
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Jeez so Morrison is flat out denying what everyone else knows to be true?

  • 89
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised bemused you should know how naturally unpopular sitting members are with party members in their electorate!

    Too obscure for me

    I was trying to be funny. I have no idea how hard Shorten had to work to undermine the guy he scared off for preselection, so I have no idea if your claim Shorten stacked is correct or if zoom is right there was no stack needed. But by and large a sitting member is going to have support from the local genuine rank and file. The ones that man the polling booths, make the sandwitches and get a genuine thrill out of just being in the members office, or invited to a function.

    I guess my point was almost all sitting members are going to have some support that to steal the seat you’d have to eat away one way or another, or use numbers elsewhere that make the real local rank and file irrelevant.

  • 90
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    guytaur

    I’m sorry, you are so completely ignorant about what you’re talking about you’re just making a fool of yourself.

    No one – not even the Greens – are discussing what happened under Hawke.

    If that’s where you have to go, either you have no clue about the issue under discussion or you’re being deliberately misleading.

    Peg

    ah, semantic games are OK when you play them, I take it?

  • 91
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Egg on face for Morrison!

    He will need a huge spatula to wipe it off.

  • 92
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    laurie Oakes doesn’t miss anyone except the media in todays little gem.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/its-all-change-on-the-climate/story-fni0fha6-1226969421023

  • 93
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Sercomb had a safe seat and had done zip with it.

    There was deliberate action by the party to get rid of some of the cushion warmers and replace them with some genuine talent.

    Generally sitting members go unchallenged, so I doubt Sercomb had ever been under threat before.

    It’s not surprising that he cried ‘foul’.

    I will note that a genuinely popular local member – Simon Crean – who faced a similar challenge at the same time survived it with ease.

  • 94
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    Medicare was brought in under Hawke. Your attempts to ignore that time period and its relevance is your mistake not mine. Or if not a mistake a deliberate move on your part to ignore unpalatable facts

  • 95
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Peg

    ..after which you then chipped in with your untruth about blocking a vote

    Since you’re into semantics, this isn’t actually an untruth.

    I just got which vote was blocked wrong!

  • 96
    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Qld ex MP Dr Chris Davis has just quit LNP in STAFFORD, now wants to join the ALP

    http://t.co/RFhKD62yiU

  • 97
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    WeWantPaul@89


    I’m surprised bemused you should know how naturally unpopular sitting members are with party members in their electorate!

    Too obscure for me


    I was trying to be funny. I have no idea how hard Shorten had to work to undermine the guy he scared off for preselection, so I have no idea if your claim Shorten stacked is correct or if zoom is right there was no stack needed. But by and large a sitting member is going to have support from the local genuine rank and file. The ones that man the polling booths, make the sandwitches and get a genuine thrill out of just being in the members office, or invited to a function.

    I guess my point was almost all sitting members are going to have some support that to steal the seat you’d have to eat away one way or another, or use numbers elsewhere that make the real local rank and file irrelevant.

    It is an interesting story and I don’t pretend to know more than a tiny part of it.

    Sercombe and Shorten were factional allies and Shorten decided to wrest the seat off him.

    The key to Shorten’s success was George Seitz, a very colourful character who had been in the left but switched, taking his supporters with him.

    Bill Shorten wooed Seitz to secure preselection

    BILL Shorten is the hero of the hour, the man whose actions at Beaconsfield prompted the Sydney media this week to insist he become the next Labor prime minister.

    But when he wanted preselection for a federal seat earlier this year, he was forced to woo local branch-stacker George Seitz, and that meant one thing: helping Seitz's ally get elected deputy mayor of the City of Brimbank.

    It seems to be only in zoomster’s world that none of this ever happened.

  • 98
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    WWP

    Morrison makes a great target for satire. We just need some satirists

  • 99
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I was looking for images of a Laughing Kookaburra and serendipitously came across this Flickr stream about HMAS Australia:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/41311545@N05/

  • 100
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Palmer presser now

Womens Agenda

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