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Federal Election 2016

May 17, 2014

Seats of the week: Fadden and Moncrieff

This week's Seat of the Week double-up accounts for the northern two-third of the Gold Coast, served by Liberal National Party members Stuart Robert and Steven Ciobo.

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Fadden

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

Fadden covers the northern part of the Gold Coast municipality, from Gaven and Labrador in the south through Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau to Logan River in the north, with the Pacific Motorway forming most of its western boundary. This area’s intensive population growth has caused the electorate to be progressively drawn into the Gold Coast since its creation in 1977, at which time it contained none of its present territory, instead covering outer southern Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s rural hinterland. The redistribution caused by the expansion of parliament in 1984 drew it into Brisbane, extending as far northwards as Salisbury and Rochedale, with the Logan River as its southern boundary. It first infringed upon the Gold Coast when it acquired Coomera at the 1996 election, the migration being completed with the exchange of Redland Bay in the north for Southport in the south at the 2004 election. The ongoing population explosion caused it to shed nearly 14,000 voters inland of its current boundary at the most recent Queensland redistribution before the 2010 election.

With the exception of 1983, Fadden in its various guises has been won at every election by the conservatives, meaning the the Liberal Party prior to the 2010 merger and the Liberal National Party thereafter. The inaugural member was Don Cameron, who had held Griffith for the Liberals since 1966. The 1975-engorged margin was whittled away at the 1977 and 1980 elections, then overturned with David Beddall’s victory for Labor with the election of the Hawke government. Cameron returned to parliament a year later at a by-election caused by Jim Killen’s retirement in Moreton, which became the third seat he represented. The 1984 redistribution made Fadden notionally Liberal, causing David Beddall to jump ship for Rankin. The seat was then won for the Liberals by David Jull, who had held the seat of Bowman from 1975 until his defeat in 1983. Jull’s margins were less than 5% until 1996, but generally well into double digits thereafter.

Jull was succeeded on his retirement at the 2007 election by Stuart Robert, a former army intelligence officer. Robert was said to have played a role in “rounding up support” for Tony Abbott ahead of his challenge to Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership in December 2009, and was elevated afterwards to shadow parliamentary secretary in the defence portfolio. He was further promoted after the 2010 election to the outer shadow ministry portfolio of defence science, technology and personnel, which was rebadged as Assistant Defence Minister following the 2013 election victory.

Moncrieff

Teal numbers indicate two-party majority for the LNP. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Moncrieff covers the central Gold Coast from Miami north through Surfers Paradise to Nerang Head, and inland to Nerang and Highland Park. The seat was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984, previous to which the entirety of the Gold Coast had been accommodated by McPherson since 1949, and by Moreton beforehand. Moncrieff originally extended deep into rural territory at Beaudesert, before assuming its current coastal orientation with Beaudesert’s transfer to Forde in 1996. Prior to Moncrieff’s creation the entirety of the Gold Coast had been accommodated by McPherson, which had itself been created with the previous expansion of parliament in 1949. The Gold Coast had originally been contained within the electorate of Moreton, which has since migrated into Brisbane’s southern suburbs. The area has had conservative representation without interruption since 1906, with McPherson passing from Country Party to Liberal Party control in 1972, and Moncrieff being in Liberal and more recently Liberal National Party hands since its creation.

Steven Ciobo assumed the seat at the 2001 election after the retirement of its inaugural member, Kathy Sullivan, who had previously been a Senator since 1974, establishing what remains a record as the longest serving female member of federal parliament. Ciobo emerged through Liberal ranks as a member of the Right faction, associated with former ministers Santo Santoro and Warwick Parer and state party powerbroker Michael Caltabiano. He rose to the shadow ministry in the small business portfolio after the defeat of the Howard government, which was elevated to a shadow cabinet position when Malcolm Turnbull ascended to the leadership in September 2008. However, he was demoted to the outer shadow ministry portfolios of tourism, arts, youth and sport when Tony Abbott became leader in December 2009 and relegated to the back bench after the August 2010 election, which was generally reckoned to be a consequence of his support for Turnbull. Following the 2013 election victory he won promotion to parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer.

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