Seat of the week: Oxley

Despite unfavourable redistributions and the statewide swing of 2010, Bill Hayden’s old seat has returned to safe Labor form since the famous interruption of Pauline Hanson.

Still famous 15 years later as the former electorate of Pauline Hanson, the modern seat of Oxley was created around the satellite city of Ipswich west of Brisbane in 1949 (a seat bearing the name earlier existed in southern Brisbane, before being renamed Griffith in 1934). Redistributions in 2004, 2007 and 2010 sent the electorate’s remaining share of Ipswich to Blair, pushing Oxley towards Brisbane with the addition of Middle Park and Jindalee in the north and Algester to the east. The changes before the 2010 election garnished the margin from 14.1% to 11.3%, and the punishing statewide swing against Labor that followed pared it back to 5.6%.

Oxley was was held for the Liberals on fairly comfortable margins for a decade after its creation by Donald Cameron, who served as Health Minister in the Menzies government. However, a 9.4% swing in the near-miss election of 1961 portended a long-term shift, delivering the seat to Labor’s Bill Hayden. Hayden did extraordinarily well to lift his margin to 19.1% by 1969, but Queensland’s reaction against the Whitlam government was enough to cut it back to 3.8% in 1975. By the time Hayden resigned to become Governor-General in 1988, the seat was safe enough for Labor that Les Scott was able to survive a sharp swing at the resulting by-election with a 4.0% margin.

After retaining a margin of 12.6% at the 1993 election, few suspected that Scott would be in serious danger despite the hostile environment Labor faced in 1996. However, trouble came in the form of Liberal candidate Pauline Hanson, whose campaign remarks about Aboriginal welfare saw her disendorsed by a party sensitive about its leader’s complicated history on racial issues. The voters by contrast rewarded her with an astonishing 48.6% of the primary vote, resulting in a 4.7% win after preferences. Unfortunately for Hanson, Oxley was substantially redrawn with the 1998 redistribution, losing its rural areas beyond Ipswich to newly created Blair along with parts of Ipswich itself, while absorbing the very safe Labor urban area of Inala. Rightly or wrongly, Hanson decided the new seat offered her the better prospects and Labor’s Bernie Ripoll had no trouble regaining Oxley at the 1998 election.

A member of the Australian Workers Union/Labor Forum faction, Ripoll served as a parliamentary secretary in opposition after the 2004 election, but was passed over when Labor came to office in 2007. His preselected Liberal National Party opponent for the coming election is Andrew Nyugen, a 28-year-old policy adviser to Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk.

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.

977 comments on “Seat of the week: Oxley”

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  1. Scarpat@80


    Yes. If you go after Abbott the Libs will replace him, if you go after Bishop it’s a gut-wound

    victoria,

    perhaps Elder is saying that Bishop is the only woman of stature on the Opposition’s bench and as such is their only weapon to use against the PM without being accused of misogyny.

    Bishop gives Abbott some of his few remaining threads of credibility. Take her out of the equation and what do you have left? One unhinged, bullying, mysogynistic neanderthal of an opposition leader who wouldn’t know a policy if it punched the wall on both sides of his head – and he’s the best they can manage?

  2. I have been waiting for someone to invent a builder or painter who did work on Gillards house and got paid by Blewitt. Andrew is the man for this task. Bolt has a photocopy of a cheque…… well the details are irrelevant as we know. After presenting his documented evidence with impressive linky things and and long-winded statements his conclusion is this….

    I suspect we’ll hear more about this.  In saying that, I should make clear I have no evidence to say Gillard is not telling the truth. I just believe there is more to evidence to come.

    The Glorious Unhinging continues. I now think of Bolt as a pathetic Rex Connor figure sleeping next to his modem waiting for the evidence that will never come.

  3. Briefly @85:

    Or to put it as simply as possible: something minor happened about 20 years ago. It’s not really a story. But that bloody lawyer won’t let us talk about Thomson, Slipper is now inextricably linked with Abbott being sexist, and we don’t have any more electricity bills to misrepresent. So let’s go with the minor thing from 20 years ago.

  4. Filthy Abbott and the disgraceful Credlin using the vile OM to demand Gillard disprove the existence of the non-existant – well screw that. What’s next, a fricken Salem witch dunking?

    Which of our gutless craven OM media will stand up? Shackleton, Stewart and Cunningham must be vomiting in their graves.

  5. Minister Dickson said at the end of the day the government had to watch its spending.

    “We just can’t afford to go blowing big bundles of money at this point in time, on Origin or anything else,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.foxsports.com.au/league/king-and-gordie-criticise-premier-newman/story-e6frf3ou-1226520579716#ixzz2D8ahIDCY

    Didn’t they teach Minister Dickson at Conservative Politician School, that you forget about the ‘We’ve got to be careful with money’ meme when it comes to footy? 😀

  6. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s not a good look at all for the Newman government to have found $100 million for their mates at the racetrack, but they couldn’t find a few zacs down the back of the Premier’s couch for the State of Origin. Queenslanders will be rightly filthy about that.

    Now, if the Labor Party were as opportunistic as the Liberals/LNP are, they’d send an Emerson emissary over to King Wally’s house and sign him up to run against Mal Brough in Fisher.

    You know it makes uncommon good sense, as Howard used to say. 🙂

  7. @C&tmomma/116

    I think next year’s election is getting more interesting the more stuff up’s Newman is doing…

    Footy fan’s – you don’t want to mess them up.

  8. Is the old media getting a little wary of flying close to defamation claims so they are glad to have Wilson speak out now. Timed perfectly for a polling week tho.

    Fiona – among the tomatoes, beans and herbs it pays to grow flowers (dwarf marigolds, sweet Williams, dwarf dahlias). The flowers help to attract bees and the marigolds cut down nematodes.

    We were slack last year and didn’t plant flowers and our crops were way down. We had so few bees, but this year we’ve planted flowers. We’ve heaps of bees and a massive tomato crop coming – just hope we can keep the darn possums away.

  9. Good Point:

    So, @abc730, bullied into joining the #NewsLtd #LNPfail #GetGillard camp a few days ago. Abandoned your journalistic integrity. For what?

  10. [Jordan Stanley ‏@xposya
    Wish they would change their name to The Conservative Party being called Liberal is so misleading @AshGhebranious @easynowtiger ]

    After the next election comments like this won’t seem so odd.

  11. Well, yes, boats. Thats’s for dog-whistling though, not debating.

    It was going all right there for a moment. Bishop trying out her prefect persona on Gillard, pursed lips and all. Morrison bringing his evangelist zeal to the AS issue. Hockey saying whatever came into his head on the economy. And Abbott surrounding himself with women while giving his ‘measured’ thoughts on all issues like the statesman he’s supposed to be.

    I guess it was all supposed to pull together this weekend, and set the scene for the last week of Parliament. Unfortunately the media finally twigged that there might not be a story in this AWU caper after all. Abbott couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and has said a few dumb things on AS. Nobody even noticed Hockey. And Turnbull very smartly pulled his head in after Monday night.

    So they’re looking like a bunch of indignant phrases in search of a topic to vent on.

  12. Aguirre,
    There is one piece of policy shenanigans that the Opposition might see some mileage in by throwing a spanner in the works of the government next week.

    I’m thinking about the Disallowance Motion that the spoilers in the Senate are cooking up between them wrt the MDB Plan. Though I did read that the government were attempting to cover off this possibility by moving to take the MDB Plan off the table asap so this would not eventuate if the Opposition and The Greens agreed to get together.

  13. Victoria
    [How are you and your family?]
    Thanks for asking!
    As I said, things have been much like a soap opera.
    One drama after another!
    Very tiring!

  14. Victoria
    [How are you and your family?]
    Thanks for asking!
    As I said, things have been much like a soap opera.
    One drama after another!
    Very tiring!

  15. Interesting events up here in Qld.

    Mate just rang me to let me know state LNP pollie Ray Hooper has just resigned from the LNP to join the Katter party.

    Hooper reckons a few more pollies will jump ship as well.

    Hooper is a long standing member, national party to the core.

    LNP being held together with tape atm. Nationals not happy with the libs trying to take over.

  16. So, the only really “new” things to come up are:

    Blewitt claiming the PM helped, technically, to falsify a document, which he wanted to have the effect of giving a POA to Wilson anyway. Said copy of document has no dates on it except when it was copied so its all on Blewitts recollection of events many years ago. Geez, thats strong evidence wot!!

    And:

    An ex S&G partner has produced some documents he probably has no right to hold that imply the PM MAY have been aware in a peripheral way that S&G were organising a mortgage for Blewitt.

    And:

    The supposed arch do-badder Wilson has come out and said the PM knew nothing about the house deal.

    What isn’t a beat up about all this? Are we sure this is a newspoll weekend? All the omens are pointing that way fure sure.

  17. Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP

    Andrew Bolt’s blog has listed the same quotes by ALP MPs re past illegal comments the Libs spin team sent me…or he did his own research 🙂

  18. BH,

    (between cleaning my toothy pegs and going to bed)

    I have a humumgous plot of nasturtiums, daisies, geraniums, rosemary and other norty flowers just across the path from the veggie pots, so – even though our uninvited and longterm resident beehive is no more – I hope that we will be well and truly fertilised.

    In any event, excellent advice, which should be spread as widely as possible.

  19. [Mr Wilson is alleged by another AWU official, Wayne Hem, to have given him $5000 cash he said he won at a casino, and asked him to deposit the money in Ms Gillard’s bank account in mid-1995.

    Asked whether he had asked Mr Hem to do that, Mr Wilson said: “Look, it’s possible, but I don’t specifically recall.”]

    Well, will be quite interesting if any of Gillard’s ORIGINAL bank statements from the period turn up in the hands of The Age won’t it.

    And any other document that indicates knowledge or lack of knowledge of some things.

    The Age has more to come….. enjoy.

  20. C@tmomma@132


    I’m thinking about the Disallowance Motion that the spoilers in the Senate are cooking up between them wrt the MDB Plan. Though I did read that the government were attempting to cover off this possibility by moving to take the MDB Plan off the table asap so this would not eventuate if the Opposition and The Greens agreed to get together.

    That could happen. I saw SH-Y going on about it yesterday. I believe her plan is to plant refugees all along the Murray and water the basin with her own tears.

  21. Thomas. Paine.@145



    Well, will be quite interesting if any of Gillard’s ORIGINAL bank statements from the period turn up in the hands of The Age won’t it.

    And any other document that indicates knowledge or lack of knowledge of some things.

    The Age has more to come….. enjoy.

    Yet again, you show what a turd you are.

    Totally pathetic turd.

  22. [I despair at The Ages shift to the right.]

    You mean lockstep with Gillard that is. One deserves no more respect than the other, for the same reason.

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