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Victorian Election Newsletter
Issue 4, 28 November 2014
 
With less than 24 hours until polling booths open across the state for the 2014 Victorian Election, all signs point to a victory for Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party come tomorrow night.  The sentiment reflects the way the Coalition Government and Labor Opposition have both tracked in published opinion polls, with Daniel Andrews’ holding a poll-winning lead over Premier Denis Napthine for the past 12 months.  The latest Galaxy opinion poll published in the Herald Sun this morning is no different, with Labor heading into election day with a handy lead of 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis, despite Andrews trailing Napthine as preferred Premier.
 
This week the leaders maintained a gruelling campaign pace, with Labor releasing its election policy costings, and both parties continuing to make new announcements and local spending commitments aimed mainly at the all-important marginal seats.  The Coalition concentrated its efforts campaigning in the seats of Ringwood, Burwood and the newly redistributed seat of Eildon, as the Premier sought to shore up seats that would normally have been thought ‘safe’ Coalition electorates.  In a further worrying sign for the Government, polls suggest that key marginal seats on the Frankston line that the Liberals won in 2010, including Mordialloc, Bentleigh and Frankston, remain up for grabs on Saturday.
 
Across town the Labor team remains cautiously optimistic about its chances for victory.  This week Labor has continued to link Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Liberal ‘brand’ to Victorian Liberals, in what they see as a successful strategy to take advantage of the PM’s apparently low popularity across the Victorian electorate.
 
And while the flurry of the final week is still ongoing, this election has quietly confirmed the trend of an increasing number of voters casting their ballot before election day, through pre-polling and postal voting.  As of 5pm Wednesday, over 20% of Victorians had voted – a sizeable chunk of the electorate too late to be influenced in the final days of the campaign.
 
The Opposition released its costings yesterday less than 42 hours until the polls open, revealing $3.3 billion worth of recurrent spending over the next four years.  The spending promises have been matched by approximately $300 million in savings over the same four year period which will be achieved by cutting taxpayer-funded advertising, cutting 52 departmental executive positions, ceasing to print hard-copy reports for Parliament, and axing the Construction Code of Compliance for the Building and Construction Industry.
 
Despite Labor’s costings being undertaken by small business advocate Professor Bob Officer, who led the Kennett and Howard Government’s Commissions of Audit, the Coalition slammed the costings saying Professor Officer has not taken into account information available about the cost of public infrastructure.  The Coalition also took aim at the underfunding of Labor’s key policy platform to remove 50 level crossings.  The Opposition’s costings were also signed off by accounting firm Moore Stephens, and former Chairman of Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission James MacKenzie.
 
In policy developments this week the Opposition continued to play to its strengths by announcing an Andrews’ government will contribute $150 million to help fund Australia’s first specialist heart hospital, the Victorian Heart Hospital – a 195-bed standalone cardiac facility at Monash University, Clayton.  Other announcements from the Opposition this week included:
 
  • A plan to end the current stalemate with Ambulance Victoria by removing the current board and replacing it with new members.  Labor has also committed $100 million to reduce response times, resolve the pay dispute and upgrade facilities.
  • Labor will commission former head of the Victorian Australian Medical Association, Dr Doug Travis, to conduct a state-wide census of hospital beds and theatre capacity.  The Opposition will then establish a $200 million Beds Rescue Fund to open more beds and theatres, based on the recommendations of a final report due by 30 June 2015.
  • Labor will also introduce random breath testing for all Members of Parliament during sitting weeks.  Legislation will also be introduced to give the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge and the Chief Magistrate the power to require the same random tests of the judiciary.
 
This week the Government focused on law and order with tough on crime announcements, including a commitment to require offenders convicted of repeat killings or serious sex offences to be given an indefinite jail sentence.  The Liberal Party will also give extra powers to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to appeal against inadequate sentences, and change laws to ensure offenders who breach a family violence order will face a minimum four years jail.  Other announcements from the Coalition this week included:
 
  • $5 million to develop a business case plan for improved health infrastructure in Melbourne’s fast growing west.
  • $25 million to create a Tech Policing Fund to assist frontline police by funding projects to improve the use of mobile technology.
  • A further $500 million to the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, extending it through until 2022.
  • $92.7 million in funding to further increase ambulance resources, services and stations across Victoria including the recruitment of 150 new paramedics.


Seats to Watch

Mordialloc
 
The electorate is centred around Mordialloc and incorporates the south-eastern bayside suburbs of Aspendale, Aspendale Gardens, Edithvale, Chelsea, Cheltenham, Mentone and Moorabbin airport.  Spanning a coastal strip 18 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, the electorate is predominately residential with established industrial estates.
 
Mordialloc was first contested in 1992 when it was won by the Liberal Party.  The Liberal Party went on to hold the seat until the 2002 election when the sitting member was defeated after a 7 per cent swing to Labor.  At the 2010 election Lorraine Wreford was successful in regaining the seat for the Liberal Party.
 
The redistribution has radically re-shaped Mordialloc with the electorate losing voters from Sandringham, parts of Cheltenham, Heatherton and Springvale South.  It has however gained more voters along the coastal suburbs including in Chelsea.  Despite the changes, the electorate remains notionally Liberal, albeit with a smaller margin for 1.5 per cent.
 
This is a key seat to watch given it is situated on the Frankston line and the Government must retain four seats in this area in order to win the election.
 
Tim Richardson, who was most recently a staff member for Federal Member of Parliament Mark Dreyfus is contesting the seat for the ALP.  There are 11 candidates overall.
 
Candidates 
 
  • Damien Brick (Democratic Labour Party)
  • Tim Richardson (ALP)
  • Georgina Oxley (Independent)
  • Rod Figueroa (Rise Up Australia Party)
  • Jeevaloshni Govender (Family First)
  • Tristram Chellew (Sex Party)
  • Lorraine Wreford (Liberal Party)
  • Alexander Breskin (Greens)
  • Leon Pompei (Independent)
  • Victoria Oxley (Independent)
  • Rosemary West (Independent)
 
For more details see the Victorian Electoral Commission and the ABC.
 
Brunswick
 
Brunswick is a densely populated residential electorate covering a relatively small area of just 16.5 square kilometres in the inner-north of Melbourne, only 5 kilometres from the CBD.  It includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West and parts of Coburg, Pascoe Vale South, Parkville and Fitzroy North.
 
Since its inception in 1904, Brunswick has always been held by the Labor Party.  The electorate was abolished in 1992 with electors divided between Melbourne and Coburg.  With the resurgence of inner city apartment living increasing enrolments, the electorate of Brunswick was re-established in 2002.
 
In recent times, Brunswick has developed into a contest between Labor and the Greens, with the Liberals finishing third behind the Greens in every election since 2002.  The contest was extremely tight at the 2010 election, with the Liberals decision to preference Labor ahead of the Greens allowing Labor to hold the seat.  The Liberal Party has once again decided to preference the Greens last at this election.
 
Tim Read, a doctor and medical researcher currently working in the public health system in the areas of sexual health and HIV medicine, is the Greens candidate.
 
Candidates
 
  • Tim Read (Greens)
  • Ward Young (Animal Justice Party)
  • Frank Giurleo (Family First)
  • Jane Garrett (ALP)
  • Dean O’Callaghan (Independent)
  • Giuseppe Vellotti (Liberal Party)
  • Stella Kariofyllidis (People Power Victoria/No Smart Meters)
  • Babar Peters (Australian Christians)
 
For more details see the VEC and the ABC.


Profiles
The Hon. David Hodgett MP
Minister for Ports
Minister for Major Projects
Minister for Manufacturing
Member for Kilsyth (Victoria)
Liberal Party of Australia
 
David Hodgett was first elected to the Parliament of Victoria as the Member for Kilsyth in 2006, and was re-elected in 2010.
 
The electorate of Kilsyth covers 41 sq km of Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs including Croydon, Lilydale, Montrose and Ringwood East.  Following the re-division of state electoral boundaries, Hodgett will be contesting the new seat of Croydon at the 2014 election.
 
Hodgett was elevated to his first frontbench position in 2009 as Shadow Cabinet Secretary.  He later became the Cabinet Secretary and Government Whip following the election of the Baillieu Government in 2010, and was appointed to his current role as Minister for Ports, Major Projects and Manufacturing in March 2013 following the elevation of Denis Napthine as Premier.
 
During his time in Parliament, Hodgett has served on the Outer Suburban/Interface Services and Development Committee and the Legislative Assembly Standing Orders and Privileges Committees.
 
Hodgett holds a Bachelor of Business Management from RMIT and a Graduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  He also holds a Graduate Certificate in eBusiness and Communication from Swinburne University of Technology.
 
Prior to entering Parliament, Hodgett worked in the Commonwealth public sector and was a Registrar for the Victorian Office Social Security Appeals Tribunal, before becoming the Deputy Registrar for the Victorian, South Australian and West Australian Immigration Review Tribunal.  He later worked as the District Registrar of the Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals.

Hodgett and his wife Tina have lived in the electorate for over 30 years.  Together they have seven children.
Mr Brian Tee MLC
Shadow Minister for Planning
Shadow Minister for Sustainable Growth
Shadow Minister for Major Projects and Infrastructure
Legislative Council Member for Eastern Metropolitan (Victoria)
Australian Labor Party
 
Brian Tee was first elected to the Victorian Legislative Council as a Member for Eastern Metropolitan in 2006 and was re-elected at the 2010 Victorian election.
 
The upper house electorate of Eastern Metropolitan represents Melbourne’s eastern suburbs including Eltham, Templestowe, Rowville, Lysterfield, Ferntree Gully and Kilsyth.
 
In August 2007, Tee was appointed to his first frontbench role by former Premier John Brumby as Parliamentary Secretary for Justice.  In January 2010, Tee became Parliamentary Secretary for Public Transport, a position he held until Labor’s election defeat later that same year in November.
 
Following Labor’s return to Opposition, Tee was appointed Shadow Minister for Planning and Shadow Minister for Sustainable Growth under Daniel Andrews’ leadership.  In February 2013, Tee was given the additional shadow portfolio responsibilities for Major Projects and Infrastructure.
 
Tee was born in South Africa and moved to Perth at the age of 12.  He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia.
 
Tee practised law in Perth before moving to Melbourne, where he gained employment as a solicitor for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union.  After some time in private legal practice, Tee worked as an advisor to the Victorian Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Planning Rob Hulls, a position he held until his election to the Legislative Council.
 
Tee lives in Macleod with his two children and a kelpie-staffie cross named Bridie.
 
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