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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.

  • 351
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    the failed budget @lmao

  • 352
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    the failed fuel price website ha ha

  • 353
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    the failed the failed direct action plan

  • 354
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    the failed the Abbott, give him opposition and see him roar

  • 355
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Direct action plan hailed as a masterpiece by Joe Hockey

  • 356
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    How good is it that Joe Hockey puts himself up as a complete wanker and allows someone like me to laugh and laugh and laugh while having one or two boubons

  • 357
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    The failed Direct Action plan, the incompetent government, the incompetent Prime Minister, we need a new election

  • 358
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    The failed Direct Action plan

  • 359
    Douglas and Milko
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    NathanA @340

    My friends and I had a great laugh about that Anne Coulter article on facebook. The ability to link the metric system to mass murders was a moment of sheer arsehattery that so-called “unhinged” right-wing nutjob Australian columnists can only aspire toward, but never quite manage.

    I agree – I found the whole article absolutely hilarious, and showed it to a friend.

    And at the end of the day, Obama is still president, which does not really bode well for the influence of the links of Anne Coulter except as amusement for the sane people of the world.

  • 360
    Douglas and Milko
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Whoops “likes”

  • 361
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    JoeHockey is a real nasty these days but he used to be quite jovial once upon a time. I blame the direct action plan.

  • 362
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    the * failed direct action plan

  • 363
    Douglas and Milko
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    John Reidy @344

    A lot of this in the US is their idea of exceptionalism , which is on both sides of US politics though the right tend to be more entertaining/scary (pick your own adjective), I will do some more reading on this ( I enjoy history am currently reading Barbara Tuchmann) , any suggestions re the US?

    I have really enjoyed the civil war novel The Killer Angels , by Michael Shaara, which is about Gettysburg, and the two novels written by his son Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure .
    I also like anything by Gore Vidal, who set out to be the “biographer of the American Nation”. A couple of good ones that come to mind are
    Burr and 1876 . I have recently red some very negative things about Gore Vidal regarding his sexual proclivities, but have not really had a chance to look into it. I do not think he was a Jimmy Saville, but other may be able to enlighten me on this.
    The above are fiction, but are very well researched.
    For non-fiction civil war (which I think is a defining moment in US history), Bruce Catton’s
    Centennial History of the Civil War is brilliant.
    I also find Wiliam Shirer’s
    rise and Fall of the Third Reich useful for understanding how American attitudes changed during WWII.
    Hope this helps.

  • 364
    Douglas and Milko
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Hmmm – my HTML when badly wrong. i think it was the RTF editor I was using.

  • 365
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Does this incompetent government have the ability to fix its failed budget?

  • 366
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Kevin Pietersen says England’s unhappiness since Ashes loss still affecting cricket team]
    KP doing KR

  • 367
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 3:06 am | Permalink


    Be careful with that Bourbon.

  • 368
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 3:09 am | Permalink


  • 369
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Bod Ellis is pulling no punches:

    A stricken boat with thirty-seven children and thirty-two women on it has climaxed Scott Morrison’s worst week and may seen him soon, or eventually, in gaol awaiting trial in The Hague.

    His policy of kidnap, piracy, bribery, cover-up and facilitating the torture and death of children has disgusted some of his own back bench, and his foam-flecked madness in Question Time is worrying even Sky News’s beaming thickos and his fellow worshippers in Shirelive.


  • 370
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    So it wasn’t the CIA it was Murdoch:


    The damage he did in Australia was a precursor to the damage he is doing in the USA.

  • 371
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Ian is suggesting insides might be worth watching today.

    Ian Cuthbertson ‏@cuthbertsoni 11h

    Look! A no dickhead #insiders panel tmrw: @lenoretaylor @farrm51 @PhillipCoorey. @frankellyabc @Bowenchris. 9am on #ABC1 and News24 #auspol

    Fox news is Murdoch


  • 372
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Kon Karapanagiotidis ‏@Kon__K 13h

    It’s not our borders but our humanity that’s at risk when the Abbott Government think saving people from possibly drowning is optional.

  • 373
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Billionair bonus.


  • 374
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink


    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    A lot of this in the US is their idea of exceptionalism , which is on both sides of US politics though the right tend to be more entertaining/scary (pick your own adjective), I will do some more reading on this ( I enjoy history am currently reading Barbara Tuchmann) , any suggestions re the US?


    It’s a bit of a slog but I really enjoyed ” The Untold History of the United States” by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.

    Also if you can find a copy (eBay?)of a DVD – an excellent 3 part 2004 BBC documentary ” The Power Of Nightmares – The Rise Of The Politics Of Fear ” ( The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and claiming similarities between the two ]

  • 375
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Martin B

    I used the introduction of the issue by a poster to correct a misconception I had seen trotted out numerous times before. Therefore the reference to ‘the Greens’ (unless specified, of course) was not to every single member of the Greens party, or to a particular members of the Greens party, or to the party itself…just a subsection who have come out with the claim before (and no, I can’t recall the name of every guilty party who has made this claim over the past few years and I’m not going to try).

    Seriously, if someone says ‘the ALP thinks that..” I don’t regard it as an attack on myself, because I don’t regard myself as ‘the ALP’.

    Which brings us to…

    I’m happy to say that this was a policy that both parties had supported for a long tine if you are happy to say that your claim about the Greens was wrong.

    which claim about which Greens?

    It is certainly true that self identified Greens supporters have made the claim I contested on occasions in the past.

    I never claimed you made the claim – I said that your correction of my statements (which I accepted, because I hadn’t checked myself and my brain was still buzzing from a brilliant header save during indoor soccer..) supported my statements, which I found ironic.

    Given the above, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to retract..

  • 376
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Suarez – what a tosser!
    A good contribution from Peter FitzSimons.
    One of our favourites gets the sack.
    The Guardian is still on the case of the death on Manus Island. More contradictions come to light.
    Some circumspection on the interaction between men and children.
    It seems to be a thing with religious organisations.
    This is a good read. Has Abbott sealed Peter Greste’s fate?
    I don’t think I have ever seen such stupid “cost saving” in all my life. The loss of productivity in the conduct of taxation work will dwarf the measly 1.5 hours of cleaning per floor per day. Again the inability to see the difference between price and cost is amazing.
    The arrogance of Campbell Newman was shining brightly at the Liberal convention.

  • 377
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Section 2 . . .

    This guy is going to be trouble in the Senate.
    Abbott launches his paper to change the nature of the federation.
    Apparently Morriscum thinks this is the Mary Celeste!
    Is this what we have become?
    There’s one unanswered question here. What jobs?
    One day we will get what we now clearly want. I hope Kevin Andrews is around to see it.

  • 378
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Oh, and…

    I’m happy to say that this was a policy that both parties had supported for a long tine if you are happy to say that your claim about the Greens was wrong.

    If it’s a statement of fact, it’s a statement of fact. You shouldn’t refrain from making it because you’re waiting for a statement from me.

    Seriously, you guys are incredibly thin skinned.

  • 379
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink


    There was a revamp of the ‘Jaws 2’ poster doing the rounds on facebook — “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the penalty area.”

  • 380
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Good Morning

    “@AshGhebranious: Morrison’s asylum policy has forced refugees into longer more dangerous sea journeys & created a greater risk of drowning #auspol”

    This is very true. As most here know I did not support Labor’s approach.

    However Labor as flawed as some of the policy and assessment was did not send Ships to Sri Lanka and has not turned boats away.

    The approach under Kevin Rudd about the visas by using PNG and moving to a real regional solution totally missed by the LNP.

    They have taken the good part out and kept the bad and then made it worse. Abbott has talked regional but there has been no movement on that front at all.

    In a few weeks Mr Rudd made more progress on that front than Abbott has in months,

    With Abbot I expect things to go backwards fast. Morrison has let immigration run amok and has done nothing to address the real problems.

    We saw more of this with the report from Adelaide about the children running away scared they too would end up like some taken by immigration.

    In fact Morrison has been so bad his approach could end off shore as an option by forcing the High Court to conclude there is no safety for AS off shore.

  • 381
    Martin B
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    which claim about which Greens?

    “The Greens consistently voted with the Liberals to block it.”

    Utterly untrue, and you should admit it.

  • 382
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    And from the Land of the Free –

    A huge failure for trickle-down economics in Kansas.
    Obama finally blew his top over the disgraceful efforts of the Republicans.
    Political religious insanity Colorado style.
    FoxNews viewers start eating their own.
    Here’s where al the money comes from and goes to as the Repugs gear up to fight each other in the Presidential primaries.
    Social justice Detroit style.
    Some Bill Maher and guests from last night.
    Apparently God gives Americans the right to disobey gun laws.
    Neighbourhood relations Ohio style.
    Pedestrian traffic management Arizona style.

  • 383
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    From BK’s link about Greste. Boy does this guy get it right and he’s a real Tory.

    chairman of the Conservative government’s climate advisory committee John Gummer (AKA Baron Deben), said earlier this month:

    “I think the Australian Government must be one of the most ignorant governments I’ve ever seen in the sense, right across the board, on immigration or about anything else, they’re totally unwilling to listen to science or logic.”

  • 384
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    This description of Clive Palmer is delicious.

    Clive Palmer, who when the Senate next meets will wield its balance of power, is blessed with several native advantages over some of his colleagues.

    He is naturally unembarrassable, and thus not hampered by any fear of being thought a fraud, a buffoon or a dangerous lunatic.

    He is gloriously unencumbered by any commitment to the principle of consecutive thought. Interviewing him is as frustrating as trying to coax a sheep through an open gate; guaranteed to be annoying, because the terms of engagement are so deeply asymmetrical. The sheep just doesn’t care about the gate, and that’s that.

    Of the freakish skills that Mr Palmer does have, a primordial feeling for the power of imagery is most assuredly one.

    It is, for example, unlikely that Mr Palmer is in fact a billionaire as claimed. But as long as he keeps turning up at Parliament in increasingly outlandish conveyances (vintage Rolls, Gullwing Mercedes, animatronic pterodactyl) – who cares? He looks like one.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/clive-palmer-puts-himself-in-the-political-picture-20140627-zsnqp.html#ixzz35yZ0HdK2

  • 385
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink


    I did, about 500 posts ago, on a number of occasions.

    Indeed, my original response to you made it clear that I accepted that that was a wrong claim, but that I found it ironic that, in demonstrating this, you proved my bigger point.

    The point I was making – and will happily continue to make – is that it is incorrect for the Greens (or any subsection thereof) to claim that public dentistry was their initiative, and would not have happened had the ALP been left to its own devices.

  • 386
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Gosh, is zoomster still trying to pretend she was right to say that “The Greens consistently voted with the Liberals to block it.”


    It is amazing how folk here go with attack and bravado rather than admission of error, and persist for days.

    “Pride comes before the fall” as they say!

  • 387
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    A good article on why the Gore/Palmer convergence is a potential game changer, pointing out that Palmer was limited in what he could commit to, given his election platform —


    (Thanks to Frank Calabrese for sending me the link!)

  • 388
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    For pity’s sake Zoomster …

    The substantive claim against us was that the parliamentary Greens (and by extension its ardent supporters) have a free hand to criticise everyone else and make ambit claims about the policies we’d like because we will never have to make the kinds of compromise which in practice attend all policy that is actually implemented.

    The response was that our parliamentary party has been involved in implementing policy and had driven both CO2 pricing and abatement more generally, and a dental health scheme. It was alleged against us that we had blocked the latter — a claim you sought for a time to entertain, but which was wrong.

    It is fair to object as you do above that one should freely acknowledge what is, rather than make it an article of intellectual trade, and Martin should perhaps have composed more carefully, but it seems to me that his intent was no greater than yours last evening, when you said that you were willing to acknowledge that both parties had had a role in authoring a dental health care scheme but merely objected to Greens (unspecified) wanting to claim that we fought the ALP to get it or that the ALP would not have implemented such a scheme but for us.

    I profess not to know what the ALP would have done on dental health but for us. The ALP seemed, prior to 2007, keen to price carbon emissions, yet constructively abandoned the policy in 2010 to the indefinite future. Perhaps they’d have gone with dental health even if we had stayed silent, but we just don’t know. In a way, this episode parallels the other matter raised about a Federal anti-corruption body, where it was alleged, again wrongly, that we had not raised the matter during the 43rd parliament.

    We are not thin-skinned. We don’t like being misrepresented however. We are entirely capable of and willing to compromise with others to secure worthy reforms that do not infringe any principle. We are realistic about what may be done. The claim against us that we opposed an ALP initiative on dental health — adduced to suggest the revers — was scurrilous. You should concede that because it’s the case.

  • 389
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Oops … reverse …

  • 390
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    zoomster’s sense of right versus wrong appears to be subservient to her party political bias!

  • 391
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Another bit of irony – ModLib, who never admits a mistake and trots out the same nonsense long after it’s been discreditted, taking an admission of error as being a denial of error.

    As I said, my inital response to MartinB et al was an implicit admission that I’d got it wrong. I’ve since said this again in posts to guytaur and peg (and excused my fuzzy thinking on what, I repeat, was an absolutely brilliant header in indoor soccer).

    Apparently having someone admit they were wrong on a minor point is more important than admitting the Greens are wrong on a more major point.

    No matter how many of errors of fact I made, the statement that the ALP had a public dentistry policy well before 2010 and therefore the Greens cannot claim sole credit for one being implemented, goes unchallenged.

    I can understand that worrying about how many ‘s’ I used in a sentence is far more important than making THAT admission.

  • 392
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink


    Perhaps we missed your grovelling apology in between the insults and mocks!


  • 393
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    BTW: What was this “major point”*

    *yes, you have piqued my interest with all this bluster! :devil:

  • 394
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Oh, ffs —

    Yes, I was wrong to state that the Greens had blocked the original dental scheme.

    I was also wrong (as I admitted previously) to use the term ‘posters’ when I should have said ‘poster’. (On that one, I hadn’t checked back, and accepted peg’s correction when it was made).

    However, the Greens voted with the Libs to block the repeal of legislation which (rightly or wrongly) the ALP thought needed to be removed before they introduced their own scheme.

    And – I repeat – my main point has been (and really, if you haven’t picked this up by now, you’re being willfully obtuse) – that the Greens cannot claim SOLE credit for a public dentistry scheme being introduced.

    And that’s all I was saying.

    I really don’t mind admitting error on the other points, given that I really don’t care about them.

  • 395
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink


    1. The insults – if any – were relatively minor, and I received a few myself.

    2. I don’t see why I needed to make a grovelling apology to anyone. It was an error of fact, I accepted it as such as soon as it was pointed out to me.

    That it’s some 500 posts since that happened, where I have made numerous posts on the subject to hand, and that’s all people are still obsessing about, suggests that the majority of my argument is sound.

    When people start arguing with you about whether or not you should have used the plural or singular form, rather than the substance of an issue, then I reckon you can chalk it up as a win.

    But gee, the Greens are a precious lot, aren’t they?

  • 396
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink


    Good find by Frank. The bit about California was particularly interesting. Game over for Abbott.

    Australia already has a signed MOA to link its ETS to California’s scheme…………………California is on track to establish the world’s second largest emissions trading scheme………Its cap and trade scheme commenced at the beginning of 2013 and has already linked to the Canadian Western Climate Initiative ETS. In 2013, there were 23 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Mid-Western and Western GHG trading schemes.

  • 397
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Anyway, guys, thanks for the genuine laughs…got to take a boy to soccer.

  • 398
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    …. then I reckon you can chalk it up as a win.

    Yes, you chalk it up to a win then….jolly good!


  • 399
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Now you’re doing strawman, Zoomster. If you concede your error, then why are you still protesting about us?

    FTR you still haven’t managed to cite even one Green who makes the claim you allege. So arguing about plurals is silly.

  • 400
    Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink


    The proof of your assertions as to ALP intent will be provided the next time Labor has a majority government.

    Until then they are assertions as are the Greens belief about applying pressure.

    You have gone on this for ages now and I can only conclude you are obsessed with smearing the Greens or distracting from something else.

    Maybe the unravelling of off shore processing.