Seat of the week: Lilley

Wayne Swan’s electorate of Lilley covers the Brisbane bayside north-east of the city centre, between the Brisbane and Pine rivers – an area accounting for industrial Eagle Farm in the south and residential Brighton in the north – along with suburbs nearer the city from McDowall, Stafford Heights and Everton Park eastwards through Kedron, Chermside and Zillmere to Nundah, Nudgee and Taigum. The redistribution before the 2010 election had a substantial impact on the electorate, adding 26,000 in Chermside West and Stafford Heights at the northern end (from Petrie) and removing a similar number of voters in an area from Clayfield and Hendra south to Hamilton on the river (to Brisbane), but the margin was little affected.

Lilley was created in 1913, originally extending from its current base of Nudgee, Aspley, Kedron, Eagle Farm and Brisbane Airport all the way north to Gympie. It did not become entirely urban until the enlargement of parliament in 1949, when Petrie was created to accommodate what were then Brisbane’s semi-rural outskirts. Labor won Lilley in 1943, 1946, 1961 and 1972 (by a margin of 35 votes on the latter occasion), but otherwise it was usually safe for the prevailing conservative forces of the day. A decisive shift came with the elections of 1980 and 1983, when Labor’s Elaine Darling won and then consolidated the seat with respective swings of 5.2% and 8.4%.

Wayne Swan succeeded Darling as the Labor member in 1993, but like all but two of his Queensland Labor colleagues he lost his seat in 1996. Swan stood again in 1998 and accounted for the 0.4% post-redistribution margin with a swing of 3.5%. He added further fat to his margin at the each of the next three elections, although in keeping with the inner urban trend his swing in 2007 was well below the statewide average (3.2% compared with 7.5%). The 2010 election delivered the LNP a swing of 4.8% that compared with a statewide result of 5.5%, bringing the seat well into the marginal zone at 3.2%.

Swan’s path into politics began as an adviser to Bill Hayden during his tenure as Opposition Leader and later to Hawke government ministers Mick Young and Kim Beazley, before he took on the position of Queensland party secretary in 1991. He was elevated to the shadow ministry after recovering his seat in 1998, taking on the family and community services portfolio, and remained close to former boss Beazley. Mark Latham famously described Swan and his associates as “roosters” when Beazley conspired to recover the leadership in 2003, but nonetheless retained him in his existing position during his own tenure in the leadership. Swan was further promoted to the Treasury portfolio after the 2004 election defeat, which he retained in government despite suggestions Rudd had been promised the position to Lindsay Tanner in return for his support when he toppled Kim Beazley as leader in December 2006.

Although he went to high school with him in Nambour and shared a party background during the Wayne Goss years, Swan has long been a bitter rival of Kevin Rudd, the former emerging as part of the AWU grouping of the Right and the latter with the Right’s “old guard”. He was in the camp opposing Rudd at successive leadership challenges, including Rudd’s successful challenge against Beazley, his toppling by Julia Gillard in June 2010, and most recently when he sought to recover the leadership in February 2012, when Swan accused Rudd of “sabotaging policy announcements and undermining our substantial economic successes”. Swan succeeded Gillard as deputy upon her ascension to the prime ministership.

Swan’s LNP opponent for the second consecutive election will be Rod McGarvie, a former soldier and United Nations peacekeeper. McGarvie won a July preselection vote from a field which included John Cotter, GasFields commissioner and former head of agriculture lobby group AgForce, and Bill Gollan, owner of a Deagon car dealership.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,173 comments on “Seat of the week: Lilley”

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  1. @lisa_maksimovic: We are awaiting confirmation from the AFL or DFAT before we release the name of an AFL player who has died in Las Vegas. More to come.

  2. Albo challenging Abbott to make a statement about Sydney Uni days, like he asked about PMJG’s past.

    Go Albo. Do You need another baseball bat? That one’s a bit dented.

  3. “@lisa_maksimovic: “The Port Adelaide Football Club has been informed that an Australian man who has died in Las Vegas is believed to be one of its players.””

  4. Joe Hockey said he was with TA at 3.45pm, but Albo says camera footage shows this is not possible, They were in different locations.

  5. C@tmomma @ 2078
    [On reflection, having been out in the garden and in the fresh air, sunshine & solitude for a while, it is probably the case that I should not have cast aspersions at Kevin Rudd this morning in the way that I did.]
    Good on you for having the courage to make this post. Respect is restored. 🙂

  6. [3AW Melbourne @3AW693 10s
    STATEMENT: Port Adelaide @PAFC unable to confirm the identity of player involvement in tragic death in Las Vegas. Club GM on way to US.]

  7. The press pack were trying to give Abbott a free pass on it. Albo was saying he may have mislead the House. After the way the msm went after Gillard, if they don’t go for Abbott over his claims to have read/not read the Klopper statement and his denial of punching that wall, their bias will be obvious.

  8. That is very tragic about the player who died, his family and friends will be devastated.

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for end-of-season (all codes of) football trips to end in tragedy or at least, serious injury.

  9. zoidlord @ 2106


    Could be twitter server related OR your modem’s timezone setting.

    I don’t have access to any modem settings, but my router has the correct timezone set and all other times display correctly.

  10. lizzie

    I have a son around that age who plays local footy. He always goes away on trips etc. my biggest fear is that he or one of his friends fall from hotel balconies. This incident resonates with me, because I can see how easily this can occur.

  11. von kirsdarke@2124,

    So the quarterly essay was essentially a puff piece on how wonderful that lying vile despicable vicious disgrace of a man is?

    Yes, I was amazed to hear David Marr on ABC Sydney this morning basically saying that Abbott is just a rascally rapscallion!!!

  12. Victoria,
    Defensive would be the best description. Then it was cut off for the news about the footballer. I think Albo’s attack will be overwhelmed in the news by that. Unfortunately the msm will probably make the lives of the family hell, by not leaving them alone.

    I am sick of ABC news readers reading out tweets from Twitter. If I wanted to know what Twitter was saying about it I would bloody well read fit or myself.

  13. I’ve just had another one of those yuk de ja vu things in my life. When I read the players were leaving for their end of year celebrations in LV my immediate reaction was ‘oooh, not good. We’ll be hearing a lot about that.’

    That reaction was based on absolutely nothing.

    The last time I had that reaction was as I watched my brother out the window leave on his bike to go to my boyfriends place to work on his race bike. My reaction that time was NO, don’t GO, as I watched him leave. My brother came off his bike and smashed his back.

    That reaction was based on absolutely nothing. I’ve had plenty of these ‘events’. Just weird.

    Anyone else get these weird happenings in their life?

  14. [The press pack were trying to give Abbott a free pass on it. Albo was saying he may have mislead the House. After the way the msm went after Gillard, if they don’t go for Abbott over his claims to have read/not read the Klopper statement and his denial of punching that wall, their bias will be obvious.]

    :monkey: will assure the Press Gallery with something like: “Look, look, umm, we say and do a lot of things that we shouldn’t. I am not perfect. No one is. God has forgiven me. Really, I am a good person just trying my best with the God-given talents and failings that I have. Now, this Prime Minister, she is just a lying, untrustworthy whore.”

  15. SK
    I get the presentiments regularly; but the presentimented incidents hardly ever happen. Naturally, I remember best the once-in-a-blue-moon ‘hits’.

  16. Puff

    Not surprised the msm is defensive. They behaved the same way regarding the Slipper case when the focus went onto the coalition

  17. Labor would look like hypocrites if they pursued the Abbott stuff from 30 years ago in QT today, given that the Liberals would have been similarly damned if they’d asked questions about the Slater & Gordon stuff.

    OK so lets analyse the two different “incidents”:

    Abbott, after losing an election,allegedly approached his opponent, got well within her personal space, then punched a hole in the wall, either side of her face. That’s extremely intimidatory behaviour, and if the truth be told, is Assault.
    Ms Gillard, allegedly once shacked up with a bloke, whom she also set up s “slush fund” for, who went on to allegedly use said fund to defraud a union of it’s funds.( Ms Gillard also broke off the relationship after it was apparent that he was dodgey.)

    And you see some sort of equivalence between the two because ?

  18. I don’t agree with most here today re PunchGate. I reckon the Govt should go hard at Abbott on this. It looks like he has lied about it.

  19. Victoria,
    I have some contrarian ideas, one of which is that involvement in organised sport is not as great a thing for teenaged/young men as it is cracked up to be. Until codes own the tangible and intangible damage that can occur by the very nature of the groups they create (and to their credit a lot of them are) young people will continue to be at risk.

  20. Lynchpin,

    I don’t agree with most here today re PunchGate. I reckon the Govt should go hard at Abbott on this. It looks like he has lied about it.

    I agree, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that.

    If you can find the Albo presser from a few minutes ago, Albo was doing it. However the death of a footy player will be the focus of the msm for a few days.

  21. Puff

    Organised sport is a good thing in my experience.

    Males of all ages who get together in certain social settings, can end in tragedy by the very nature of their risky behaviours. Nothing to do with organised sport

  22. I don’t mind seeing the govt going after abbott on this, he has clearly lied. The incident with Hockey where he knocked him unconscious is also worth noting – I would like to think the leader of this nation has more self control than this and has more creative responses to conflict. I have never had need to physically hit anyone, and I have a country/football/military background. Resorting to assault, I believe, is a sign of weakness.

  23. SK – used to, especially after pregnancies and so many could not be explained as coincidences. Used to tell OH and he’d say that’s not going to happen and when it did he’d get worried. I was so glad it stopped but I had to concentrate hard to make that happen.

    All our hard work over last couple of weeks and on Sat at polling booth seems to have come off. Almost certain our candidates will get up.

  24. Lord Bazza,
    Albo said that Hockey said he was with Abbott when he read the statement at 3.45pm. So Hockey must have claimed to have witnessed Abbott reading the M Klopper statement except Albo reckons the parliamentary cameras show they were not together at the time. I think Albo said Hockey was still in the Chamber at 3.45 pm and that means Abbott mislead the House.

    Expect more in QT, I reckon.

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