Queensland election 2015

Mudgeeraba

Margin: Liberal National 25.9%
Region: Gold Coast Hinterland
Federal: McPherson/Moncrieff/Wright

Candidates in ballot paper order

mudgeeraba-lnp

mudgeeraba-alp

BENEDICT FIGUEROA
Palmer United Party

ROS BATES
Liberal National (top)

BILL SHERWOOD
Independent

CHRIS PETERSEN
Family First

GEORGI LEADER
Labor (bottom)

ROGER BRISBANE
Greens

ELECTORATE MAP

2012 ELECTION RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

The southern Gold Coast seat of Mudgeeraba was one of eight seats gained by the Liberal National Party at the 2009 election, having anomalously been in Labor hands since the 2001 landslide. Its LNP member since 2009 has been Ros Bates, who has endured political difficulties since the 2012 election victory that cost her her position in the ministry, and threatened to result in her disendorsement.

Mudgeeraba is located immediately inland of the coastal electorates of the Gold Coast, extending from southern Nerang to the New South Wales border. It encompasses developed areas in the electorate’s north-east, together with hinterland and national park territory to the west and south. The electorate was created in place of abolished Nerang at the 2001 election, when Dianne Reilly won it for Labor with the second biggest swing of an extraordinary election result, turning the notional Liberal margin of 11.6% into a Labor margin of 6.8%. Reilly suffered a 5.0% correction at the 2004 election and had her already threadbare margin cut 1.0% finer in 2006, but survived on both occasions before finally being toppled by a 6.6% swing in 2009.

The seat has since been held by Ros Bates, a former nursing administrator and director of lobbying firm Entrée Vous, to which factional powerbroker Michael Caltabiano had been a consultant. Bates first ran for the seat as Liberal candidate in 2006, and won LNP preselection in 2009 despite reports that the party merger agreement has reserved it for Ted Shepherd, a Nationals identity and Gold Coast councillor who had threatened to create a three-cornered contest by running against Bates in 2006.

The reshuffle that followed Campbell Newman’s assumption of the leadership in April 2011 saw Bates promoted to shadow cabinet, and following the 2012 election victory she was appointed Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. Her first dose of political trouble came the following September after her son, Ben Gommers, secured a $103,000 position in the Department of Transport and Main Roads, to which Michael Caltabiano had contentiously been appointed director-general, at a time when Campbell Newman had ordered a freeze on public sector appointments. It then emerged that she had neglected to declare meetings with lobbyists in the official register. Under pressure from Labor allegations she had misled parliament, Bates resigned from the ministry in February 2013, citing health and family reasons.

Together with Bruce Flegg in Moggill and Peter Dowling in Redlands, Bates was one of three LNP members who were subjected to a vetting process by the party’s state executive before acceptance of her preselection nomination, but Flegg was the only one of the three whose nomination was rejected (though he was ultimately allowed to contest a ballot, in the event unsuccessfully). Her Labor opponent at the election will be Georgi Leader, a Reedy Creek financial planner.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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