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Seat of the week: Dickson

Peter Dutton’s parliamentary career began when he unseated Cheryl Kernot in 2001, and he was doubtful enough of his capacity to keep his seat out of Labor hands that he sought refuge elsewhere before the 2010 election.

Located at the western edge of Brisbane’s northern suburban corridor, Dickson is one of six seats which have been created to deal with Queensland’s population boom since the expansion of parliament in 1984. From south to north, it presently encompasses the marginal hills district suburbs of Ferny Hills, Arana Hills and Everton Hills; a strongly conservative area around Pine River including Albany Creek and Eatons Hill; and Labor-leaning suburbs along Gympie Road and the Caboolture rail line including Strathpine, Bray Park, Lawnton and Petrie (that latter being confusingly located outside the electorate that bears its name). It also extends westwards beyond the metropolitan area to Lake Samsonvale and the interior edge of the D’Aguilar Range, including the townships of Dayboro and Samford. The populous part of the electorate had hitherto been accommodate mostly by Fisher after 1984, Petrie after 1949, and Lilley beforehand.

Teal and red numbers respectively indicate size of two-party majorities for the LNP and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Dickson was won for Labor on its creation in 1993 by Michael Lavarch, who had previously been the member for Fisher. Lavarch went on to serve as Attorney-General in the second term of the Keating government, before becoming one of its highest profile casualties of the 1996 election. The Liberal candidate who defeated him was Tony Smith (not to be confused with the current member for Casey in Melbourne), whose career imploded when he was questioned by police after being seen leaving a building that housed a brothel. Smith forestalled preselection defeat by quitting the Liberal Party and declaring his intention to run as an independent, which he did with little success. By this time it had emerged that the Labor candidate for the 1998 election would be defecting Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot, who had announced her determination to win a marginal seat for Labor. At first it appeared that her bid had failed, prompting her to lash out on election night at an ALP network that had deprived her campaign of resources. She would in fact go on to win the seat by a margin of 276 votes, but her career as a Labor MP was limited to a single disastrous term, after which she was unseated by a 6.1% swing at the 2001 election.

The new Liberal member was Peter Dutton, owner of a Brisbane child care centre who had earlier worked for the National Crime Authority, the Queensland Police sex offender squad and the Department of Corrective Services. Dutton consolidated his hold on the seat with a 1.8% swing in 2004 and was subsequently admitted to the outer ministry as Workforce Participation Minister, going on to a minor promotion to Revenue Minister and Assistant Treasurer in January 2006. After surviving the heavy statewide swing to Labor at the 2007 election by a margin of 217 votes, Dutton was promoted to shadow cabinet in the finance, competition policy and deregulation portfolios, and then to health and ageing after he backed Malcolm Turbull’s successful leadership challenge against Brendan Nelson in September 2008.

Dutton’s career hit a speed bump when the redistribution ahead of the 2010 election saw Dickson exchange upper Brisbane River valley territory for suburban areas around Murrumba Downs, making it a notionally Labor seat at a time when few foresaw the problems that would engulf the government at the end of its term. Dutton believed he saw a lifeline in Margaret May’s retirement as member for the safe Gold Coast seat of McPherson, for which he nominated for preselection. However, well-organised locals had long had their eyes on the succession and were not of a mind to accommodate Dutton, being readily able to draw on the argument that he would serve his party better by fighting for his crucial marginal seat. Dutton unwisely sought to raise the stakes by declaring he would not fall back on Dickson if thwarted in McPherson, evidently hoping preselectors would baulk at the prospect of depriving the party of his services. Despite backing from Malcolm Turnbull and John Howard, this proved to be a miscalculation: the local preselection vote was won by local favourite Karen Andrews, with Dutton reportedly meeting opposition in the branches of the newly merged Liberal National Party from those who had formerly been with the Nationals.

After alternative options failed to emerge, Dutton went back on his word and ran again in Dickson. However, such was the statewide backlash against Labor after the dumping of Kevin Rudd that he went untroubled, his 5.9% swing being well in line with the state average and enough to secure him a margin of 5.1%. Dickson again closely matched the state trend in recording a further 1.8% swing to the LNP in 2013, putting Dutton’s present margin at 6.7%. Dutton meanwhile has maintained the health portfolio since September 2008, serving as Minister for Health and Minister for Sport since the election of the Abbott government in September 2013.

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  • 251
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    And sorry, I can’t see how I could have ‘worked it out’ with a young, drunk male who was relying on the lie to protect his home and job.

    Here was a guy who wasn’t raising merry hell in a township, but travelling home from a drunken night at a neighbour’s place – 100 metres away, according to you.

    Who’s at fault here? The neighbour for allowing him to drive home after drinking at his place? Or the bloke for driving when over the limit?

    Then, you get a drunken phone call, blaming you for an accident, that was the fault of someone else.

    When you have discovered that it is nothing less than a drunken, uninjured bloke, who’s trying to cover his arse, why call the police?

  • 252
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    The issue wasn’t insurance. I was quite willing to cough up if I was in the wrong.

    Bullshit. You were shitting yourself about liability. That’s why you rang the cops.

    You could have easily resolved this situation, if you had insurance, without involving the police, given the bloke admitted to drinking with another neighbour 100 metres away.

    And so what if you were woken at 2.30am. Surely you should have had your wits about you.

  • 253
    deblonay
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Growing rift between USA and Germany
    _______________________________

    a major German source looks at a whole list of matters that are causing a major rift between Germany and THe USA

    Last year it was revealed that the CIA spied on Angekla Merkel’s phones and other data…and now a senior German secueity official has been arrested and charged with in fact being a CIA agent
    His trial will bring the conflict out into the open,but German opinion is hardeninbg against the US surveillance

    Snowden has said that the US is anxious that many in Germany see better relations with Russia as essentiual for the health of the German economy…Russia being their best customer ,and a supplier of much oil and gas

    see below

    vhttp://www.moonofalabama.org/

  • 254
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Palmer faces more media pressure over his business interests.

    Clive Palmer and his companies are locked in more than a dozen legal tussles across Australia, with hundreds of millions of dollars of the billionaire MP's fortune at stake.

    As Mr Palmer's party takes the balance of power in the Senate, a search of court registry records by The Weekend West has identified 13 active matters in which Mr Palmer and his business interests are parties, including three against the Commonwealth.

    Most notable is complex litigation against his estranged Chinese business partner CITIC Pacific, with at least a dozen cases on it sprawled across the WA and Queensland supreme courts and the Federal Court.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/latest/a/24393159/inside-palmers-legal-fights/

    Seems he’s got fires raging on all fronts these days.

  • 255
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    Why did you bring feminism into this?

    Do you think there would have been a different outcome if your husband had answered the phone?

  • 256
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    And there’s still the challenge to the GBR authority over illegal toxic waste dumping onto the reef as well. I wonder if this will become a negotiating point between his party and the govt over Senate stand-offs.

  • 257
    TaxiLurker
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I think it was kezza1 for the insurance in the lounge room with the lead pipe!

  • 258
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    This is an interesting site I found, for searching for your trade union ancesters in the UK, and this page gives a good timeline of union history in the UK.
    http://www.unionancestors.co.uk/Timeline.htm

  • 259
    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Tomorrow’s Daily ToiletPaper front page

    Main themes are Circuses, Crime, Junk Food and Sex. This is what they think sells in the Western Sydney heartland

    @sundayteleed: Sunday Tele page one. SOS for women to save the rugby league from itself. @nrl http://t.co/Wb9CNh6ht2

  • 260
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    kezza

    if it was any other poster than myself, you’d be doing the full Evil Male riff.

    I rang the cops because I needed advice on how to protect myself from a false accusation – knowing by then that the horses were safely in their paddock, liability was no longer an issue.

    Normally, the idea of a young, drunk male bullying a female because he wanted to keep daddy – who makes sure he never suffers any consequence from his actions – on side, would have you all a flutter.

  • 261
    TaxiLurker
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I think kezza1 has deviously substituted his name to kezza2 in an attempt to fool us all.
    I’m now leaning towards the candlestick.

  • 262
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    Normally, the idea of a young, drunk male bullying a female because he wanted to keep daddy – who makes sure he never suffers any consequence from his actions – on side, would have you all a flutter.

    Normally, a drunken bastard overpowering a female would have me all “a flutter”.

    Except, this young drunken male wasn’t bullying a young female, he was talking to a competent, sober, older woman.

    Or was he? Are you claiming you’re the little powerless woman?

  • 263
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    What a surprise, I drop in and there’s kezza2 like a drunk in a bar wanting to start a brawl and take on all comers.

  • 264
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    OTOH, I don’t know why we all need to know about minor irritants in zoomster’s life.

  • 265
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh, go soak your head, kezza.

    I really have had far too stressful a day to bother with your idiocies.

  • 266
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    zoomster:

    I love hearing about the happenstance things that occur in your world even if they may be somewhat from left field.

    That said, please ignore the moaning from the pious, whiny-arsed numpties and continue to regale us with tales from zoomster land. :)

  • 267
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Cheers, fess!

  • 268
    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I hope I am not out of order, but sometimes this blog seems more an “agony aunt” column than a political column.

  • 269
    paaptsef
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    after seeing ch7 advert showing a very pretty Canadia girl versus a sweaty faced Czech girl who can doubt the result

  • 270
    frednk
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    I’d go for the facts; there may or may not have been a horse, I wasn’t there; but it wasn’t my house unless he was driving in my paddock because my horse was in the paddock.

    Stay away from the value judgements.

  • 271
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    swamprat

    I have collected some brilliant recipes from here, as well as adopting BB’s recommended brand of cat litter.

  • 272
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    I really have had far too stressful a day to bother with your idiocies.

    Sorry if I have upset your equanimity.

    And sorry about your stress, but don’t accuse me of idiocy. Thanks very much.

    Let’s recap.

    You had a drunken call at 2.30am.

    You throw an overcoat over your nightie, put on gum boots, and attend your neighbour.

    You’re obviously not threatened.

    You discover he’s pissed, and claiming he’s pranged his father’s car because of one of your horses.

    You immediately understand why he’s claiming this. He’s worried about his job, let alone the damage to his father’s car.

    Still, you go home, unmolested, wake your son for verification of the number of horses in your paddock (now, who’s going to believe that) and ring the police.

    Your son verifies your neighbour is drunk.

    As I’ve said, why ring the police?

    You could have solved this problem without involving the police.

    What are you going to do when one of your sons breaks the law by driving over the limit from a neighbour’s place?

    I think you’ve just made a rod for your childrens’ backs.

    I grew up in a small town. What I meant was I grew up 3 miles from the centre of town. On a long, lonely farming road.

    We all looked out for each other. We didn’t ring the police if a neighbour got into a spot of travel bother.

    We sorted it, for male and female.

    Only a loss of human life would have made us behave differently.

  • 273
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    frednk

    It’s all OK, now, although what my future relations with the neighbours is going to be like, heaven knows…

  • 274
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Shut up, Kezza.

  • 275
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    kezza

    What are you going to do when one of your sons breaks the law by driving over the limit from a neighbour’s place?

    Make sure he feels the full force of the law.

    Actions have consequences; I don’t shield my children from them, although I help them cope with them.

  • 276
    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    oomster

    swamprat

    I have collected some brilliant recipes from here, as well as adopting BB’s recommended brand of cat litter.

    OK sorry. I agree that does make it worthwhile.

    I wish someone would give me a good recipe and a cure for onion weed!!!!

  • 277
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Swamp rat
    It’s a group of people who meet frequently to discuss politics. Naturally over the years they get to know something about personal lives and attitudes. I find it a comfort as well as stimulating.

  • 278
    frednk
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    So there is still someone who believes what they read in the murdoch press. Interesting.

    Confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
    ....
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/latest/a/24393159/inside-palmers-legal-fights/

    Seems he’s got fires raging on all fronts these days.

  • 279
    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    sorry, oomster = zoomster

  • 280
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes more agony than aunt.

    But, moving on.

    The man leading the sexual abuse RC says the Harris verdict will open doors to potential Australian victims coming forward.
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/national/a/24393561/harris-verdict-will-open-door-mcclellan/

    It raises the question of whether the entertainment industry should be in scope as an ‘institution’ for an extended RC, if that were to happen.

  • 281
    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    lizzie, i apologise. I was not condemning. Actually a bit jealous.

  • 282
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    The West Australian is not “the Murdoch press”.

  • 283
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    zoomster@275

    kezza


    What are you going to do when one of your sons breaks the law by driving over the limit from a neighbour’s place?


    Make sure he feels the full force of the law.

    Actions have consequences; I don’t shield my children from them, although I help them cope with them.

    Good answer to an ethical question.

    I agree and have actually been in such a position.

  • 284
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Swamp rat

    Sorry if I sounded snakey. Can’t sleep.

  • 285
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Bemused Comrade #264

    I’ve been lurking here on and off all day and I quite agree.

    Every one of us are challenged by personal and family and neighbourhood and workplace and health and financial (and …….) vicissitudes day in day out.

    I just can’t understand why one would feel the need or the right or the appropriateness to ventilate their personal experiences on a political blog, other than if the experience relatre to a topic under discussion.

    I am even more amazed at the large number of PBers who seem to encourage the practice, even though the interactions are between anonymous correspondents.

    God help Mr Bowe in his management of his site if all of us exposed our vicissitudes to the extent some do …… “Dr William D Dixer Bowe’s website for Political Poll Driven Discussions and Personal Counselling” …. good grief!

  • 286
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    Make sure he feels the full force of the law.

    Actions have consequences; I don’t shield my children from them, although I help them cope with them.

    I’m sure you’ll let us know when that happens.

    William Bowe
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm | PERMALINK
    Shut up, Kezza.

    Charming, as usual.

  • 287
    frednk
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Great economic managers this lot; double the deficit and tanked the economy:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-06/has-the-government-doubled-the-budget-deficit/5423392

  • 288
    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    psyclaw

    I just can’t understand why one would feel the need or the right or the appropriateness to ventilate their personal experiences on a political blog, other than if the experience relatre to a topic under discussion.

    I am even more amazed at the large number of PBers who seem to encourage the practice, even though the interactions are between anonymous correspondents.

    Psyclaw, I know what you say may seem “correct” from a certain tight point of view.

    But there is also an alternative view that some people on here have, what you humans consider an ongoing “relationship”. and that can change things.

    Some humans change rigorous rigid forms to suit themselves.

    This may be a problem to more rigid humans.

  • 289
    TaxiLurker
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    swamprat
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm
    I was kinder trying to make that point that this is a socio/political blog but as Confessions says sometimes it’s good to get a regard for what happening in other peoples lives. So jokingly I can suggest that damp things aren’t your mainstay. Well maybe the occasional beer.

  • 290
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    psyclaw@285

    Bemused Comrade #264

    I’ve been lurking here on and off all day and I quite agree.

    Every one of us are challenged by personal and family and neighbourhood and workplace and health and financial (and …….) vicissitudes day in day out.

    I just can’t understand why one would feel the need or the right or the appropriateness to ventilate their personal experiences on a political blog, other than if the experience relatre to a topic under discussion.

    I am even more amazed at the large number of PBers who seem to encourage the practice, even though the interactions are between anonymous correspondents.

    God help Mr Bowe in his management of his site if all of us exposed our vicissitudes to the extent some do …… “Dr William D Dixer Bowe’s website for Political Poll Driven Discussions and Personal Counselling” …. good grief!

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Perhaps William could publish the phone number for services like Lifeline for those that need it.

    Actually, I think some here don’t have a very high capacity to deal with stress, while others are quite stoic in the face of great adversity. I recall Vera and Gwyneth. And there are others here with serious illness who say very little about it.

    “Life is mostly froth and bubble;
    two things stand like stone –
    kindness in another’s trouble,
    courage in our own.”

    Adam Lindsay Gordon

  • 291
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Scroll key, guys.

  • 292
    Raaraa
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    I hope this neighbour of yours was only drunk. Otherwise, I think he might have seen this before he got into that accident.

    http://i.imgur.com/17LpayK.jpg

  • 293
    silentmajority
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I lurk here for the political discussion. The distilled information. The polling.

    In short, the relevant information I’d expect to find on a non tory political blog.

    The drama queens, male & female should desist.
    (Put as politely as I can)

  • 294
    frednk
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ghost of PJK ‏@GhostOfPJK 3h

    Tony provokes even Malcolm Fraser to Goodwin’s Law… pic.twitter.com/aWQ2TSKuI0 #auspol http://bit.ly/1nAtjp1

  • 295
    Raaraa
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Just spent the past hour digging the comments from the beginning.

    In the unlikely event that the Greens actually let Labor go through with the Malaysian refugee solution, I think the Coalition would have ripped up that agreement. No way would they have agreed to a significant number of refugees settling here from Malaysia.

  • 296
    Raaraa
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The Libs aren’t ever going to trumpet Fraser’s achievement for a while now.

  • 297
    frednk
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    And it would seem the liberals are not happy with the inconvenient truth.

    http://www.glennmurray.com.au/the-facebook-comment-liberal-didnt-want-you-to-see/

  • 298
    kezza2
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Good answer to an ethical question.

    I agree and have actually been in such a position.

    Since you want to buy into this, I’m talking about rural ethics. You seem to think suburban ethics are all that matters.

    As farming kids, we drove all sorts of agricultural equipment on State roads, sharing with neighbours.

    The cops could have booked us every day of every week, but they didn’t, because we lived out of town and our livelihood depended on lots of hands of lots of decks.

    It was the rule of the bush. We had to look out for each other.

    Of course, if there was human life involved, then the general rules applied.

  • 299
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Swamprat

    As I said, I understand, appreciate and enjoy tangential or incidental mention of what is happening in other commenters’ lives.

    And I realise that albeit anonymously, relations do form, at least virtual relationships anyway.

    But sometimes the specific issue really goes on and on. It becomes gar more than incidental.

    Today’s has lasted about 14 hours so far.

    Anyway, that’s all I propose to say on the matter.

  • 300
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Raaraa

    stick around this blog, you see a fair few of those here…

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