Seat of the week: Greenway

The biggest target in the well-stocked Sydney firing line is Greenway, where newly selected Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz is shooting for second time lucky against Labor’s Michelle Rowland.

The western Sydney electorate of Greenway delivered the government a crucial win at the 2010 election, prompting much soul-searching from a Liberal Party which had been tardy in preselecting candidates in this and other key New South Wales seats. Greenway now stands as Labor’s most vulnerable seat ahead of an anticipated tidal wave in suburban Sydney.

The current boundaries of Greenway extend northwards from Blacktown and Toongabbie, about 30 kilometres west of the central business district, through Lalor Park and Kings Langley to Kellyville Ridge and Riverstone. The seat was substantially redrawn at successive redistributions before the 2007 and 2010 elections, of which the first increased the Liberal margin from 0.6% to 11.0% and the second created a Labor margin of 5.8%, boosted by a 6.5% swing to Labor at the intervening election. The more recent redistribution largely reversed the effects of the former, restoring the suburbs south of the M7 which had been accommodated in the interim by Parramatta and Chifley. The scale of the changes was such that the redrawn Greenway had more voters from Parramatta than the electorate as previously constituted. To Macquarie it lost the areas of Hawkesbury which had temporarily given it a semi-rural rather than outer suburban character.

Greenway was created in 1984 and held for Labor by margins at or near the double-digit range until 1996, when inaugural member Russell Gorman was succeeded by Frank Mossfield. Mossfield retired after a low-profile parliamentary career in 2004, after suffering a 6.5% swing that reduced his seat to the marginal zone in 2001. He was succeeded as Labor candidate by Ed Husic, spokesman for Integral Energy and a non-practising Muslim of Bosnian background. The Liberals were perhaps more astute in nominating Louise Markus, a community worker with Hillsong Church, then located in the electorate. Amid muttering of a whispering campaign targeting Husic’s religion, Markus secured a narrow victory with a 3.7% swing, aided in part by an 11.8% informal vote fuelled by a bloated field of candidates and the electorate’s large proportion of non-English speaking voters. This delayed Husic’s entry to parliament until 2010, when he won the outer western suburbs seat of Chifley.

The buffer added by the subsequent redistribution allowed Markus to comfortably survive the 2007 swing, and its effective reversal at the 2010 election had her seeking refuge in marginal Macquarie, which had absorbed the electorate’s outskirts areas. In what at first seemed a secure new seat for the party, Labor endorsed Michelle Rowland, a former Blacktown councillor. Rowland was said to have been “courted” by the party, and was imposed as candidate by the national executive with the backing of the Right. This met with displeasure among local party branches, as such interventions usually do, with critics said to have included Frank Mossfield. Rowland went on to survive a 4.8% swing at the election to retain the seat by 0.9%.

A Liberal preselection ballot held last weekend was won by Jaymes Diaz, a Blacktown immigration lawyer of Filipino extraction, who was also the party’s candidate in 2010. Diaz is associated with the Christian Right faction of state upper house MP David Clarke, and is said to have forged strong local connections through his work as a Blacktown immigration lawyer. It was reported in early 2012 that the party planned to choose the candidate from a US-style primary in a “calculated bid” to freeze out Diaz, with Tony Abbott said to favour a different candidate (there was a disputed suggestion he had approached former rugby league player Matt Adamson).

In the event the matter determined through a normal local party ballot, the result of which confirmed his strength in the local party. Sixty-nine votes were recorded for Diaz against 27 for Brett Murray, a motivational speaker and anti-bullying campaigner associated with the “soft Right” faction of Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, and a solitary vote for accountant Mark Jackson. Other high-profile contenders were former Rose Tattoo singer Gary “Angry” Anderson and Hills councillor Yvonne Keane, both of whom withdrew when it became clear Diaz had the numbers. Padding out the original field of nominees were business coach Robert Borg, gym owner Rowan Dickens, senior financial analyst Mathew Marasigan, marketing manager Ben Jackson, Hills councillor Mark Owen Taylor, security supervisor Renata Lusica and, curiously, Josephina Diaz, mother of Jaymes.

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.

1,501 comments on “Seat of the week: Greenway”

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  1. “The western Sydney electorate of Greenway delivered the government a crucial win at the 2010 election, prompting much soul-searching from a Liberal Party which had been tardy in preselecting candidates in this and other key New South Wales seats.

    Greenway now stands as Labor’s most vulnerable seat ahead of an anticipated tidal wave in suburban Sydney”.

    That is a most disturbing analysis, William. I will take a different slant.

    I have long been concerned at what I perceive, at my State level, SA, the failure of Labor to pre select early and get it’s candidate out in what may be a winnable albeit long held Liberal seat.

    It seems to me that little has been learned by Labor in that respect. Even well, let us take Boothby. Ms Cornes, whom I still hold in admire as an individual, could have done it. It takes so much more run up. Sadly.

    I don’t know about faction this or that. It does appear that Labor is lagging in terms of strategy.

    The Liberals were so dull at this for so many years.

    It is disappointing to think even they can outwit Labor.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    How will this argument stand the Coalition/MSM test – after all it is n=based on facts and scientific analysis?
    The courage of CREDLIN’S CREATURE is conspicuouus by its absence.
    NOW the Rodent tells us!
    Alan Moir paints a sorry picture of the Labor caucus.
    Cathy Wilcox has a crack at the gambling industry.
    Another good David Pope effort (Have a close look at the ice cream!)
    Ron Tandberg on the jamming of Radio Australia.

  3. And from the Land of the Free –

    Another exhibition of the class of the Repugs.
    The Repugs’ direction on helath care.
    some cartoons on Paul Ryan’s budget proposals.
    Another Gun Fail story. Only in America!
    They are so bigotted and stupid – especially in the “red” states.

  4. Good Morning BK. Lovely morning in our part of the world.

    The wind turbine thing.

    I fear I too may be suffering. ‘Vibro Acoustic Disease and Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance’.

    Where do I claim?

  5. News of Labor’s death has been severely exaggerated
    Posted by MatthewDonovan in Politics on 16 March, 2013 12:02 am / 7 comments

    The mainstream media are doing their best to skew the debate and misrepresent in the lead up to the 2013 Federal election, says Matthew Donovan.

    The worst example of Murdoch’s blatant disregard for balanced journalism.
    LIKE MANY people, I am constantly frustrated and let down by the way the mainstream media misrepresents the current Australian political landscape.
    It’s not a matter of the reporting being against my political allegiance, given that I am a Labor supporter*, it’s a matter of bias.
    I just want news to be news — not entertainment and manipulation.
    When I was trained in journalism at the University of Southern Queensland, I was taught the role of the fourth estate was to present the facts in an even-handed, unemotional way, with little colourful language so as not to lead my audience to be predisposed to a certain side of the story.
    The media is failing this test and failing badly. Any objective assessment would show that papers likeThe Australian are eager to present stories in the worst possible light for the Government, seeking to twist facts and change the discussion when it gets awkward for the Coalition. They seemingly want to present the Coalition as being the shoe-in.

  6. BK

    Given polling indicators that Latino’s if they were voting in Australia would be Labor or Green voters I do think the Repugs are in trouble relying on bigotry.

    The US had a party called the Whigs that catered to a declining base.

    I just hope that bigotry the likes of Morrison are catering to with dog whistling in the Western Suburbs is a dying appeal as well.

  7. “@JaneCaro: Off to @sunriseon7 to talk Joe Stalin (aka Steven Conroy) v Devil Incarnate (aka @rupertmurdoch) with @Joe_Hildebrand. Sparks may fly.”

  8. Good point, guytaur.

    And if Morrison thinks there’s still mileage in dog whistling, he’s going to get a nasty shock on the reaction to 457 visas. It stops boats xenophobia in its tracks. Jobs trumps it every time.

  9. guytaur
    Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    News of Labor’s death has been severely exaggerated


    Yes why the pro coalition media and news ltd/ abbott coaliton so desperate to try to get rid gillard

    If things start to equal out

    The Gillard government will be returned with a big win

  10. ‘the role of the fourth estate was to present the facts in an even-handed, unemotional way, with little colourful language so as not to lead my audience to be predisposed to a certain side of the story’

    Certain journos are bereft of original thought.

    Biff, kapow, kaboom. Lamentable.

    Lack imagination, verve and perception.

    Do dull very well.

  11. “@watermelon_man: Do News Ltd staff have like a war correspondent’s club, where they sit around and compare stories of their war against the government?”

  12. Peter van Onsolen lays out the media empire strategy in this candid piece. If there is nothing going to happen leadership wise, speculate.

    [If Labor doesn’t act next week to install Rudd, speculation on leadership will persist through next month and up to the May budget, before the chance to act again during a parliamentary sitting period arises in June. If Labor does not remove Gillard in June, speculation will persist through July and into the first half of August, as poor polling propels talk that Labor MPs could be called to Canberra for a desperate vote, even if parliament isn’t sitting.

    Speculation that Rudd should be reinstated as leader will finally cease once the formal month-long campaign ahead of the election begins. But after that, Labor MPs should expect the campaign to be dogged by speculation about what could have been. Which MPs might have been doing better if Rudd had been in charge? How much better might things have been under Rudd’s leadership? It will be never-ending.

    And for the reduced partyroom Labor is left with after the election, the leadership speculation about Rudd will begin again. If Rudd is overlooked or refuses to be drafted, the new leader will be stalked (intentionally or unintentionally) by Rudd. That is what awaits Bill Shorten, Greg Combet, Jason Clare or Tony Burke. And potentially for more than one term.]

    And as with Peter Hartchers pathetic effort today (he lives by the cut and paste from last week/month/years story), I don’t think these media pundits care whether they are constantly wrong.

  13. So Tony Abbott is softening his image with the Aboriginal vote.

    he wanted a new engagement with Indigenous Australians to be the hallmark of a Coalition government from day one

    This “day one” stuff is just annoying the hell out of me.

    It’s like it’s the new “literally”. None of this stuff is happening on “day one”, Tony Abbott just feels he can add it to anything to make himself sound decisive.

    He said he planned to move the Department of Indigenous Affairs into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in effect creating a prime minister of Indigenous affairs.

    “It’s got to start at the top. It’s got to have the authority of the Prime Minister,” he said.

    But Mr Abbott said the Coalition’s Indigenous affairs spokesman, Nigel Scullion, would still be the minister in charge of the portfolio.

    WTF does this mean? The portfolio is in PM&C, but Nigel Scullion is the Minister? I can’t imagine what that means or what it might possibly achieve.

    The Opposition Leader, meanwhile, is also promising to bring forward for consultation a draft amendment to the Constitution recognising Indigenous Australians within 12 months of office.

    Right. So there’s been a process all the way through this parliament talking about constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians and Tony Abbott and the LNP have made all sorts of dubious noises and otherwise ignored the issue.

    The ABC report basically ignores the existing process – apart from a throwaway last paragraph that provides no indication of the existence of this process/committee/etc or the LNP’s engagement (or lack thereof).

    ie The government has been working on this for the last 3 years with almost no reporting of it. Tony Abbott comes along and “hey we’ve just discovered recognition for Aboriginal people in the constitution and think it might be a spiffy idea!”

    And Tony Abbott might be putting some distance between himself and John Howard on the “sorry” issue, but funnily enough all he’s suggesting is exactly what Howard put up – some sort of preamble amendment with no change in the text of the constitution at all. Remember that little referendum thing we had at the time of the Republic debate? Well I guess the ABC doesn’t because they didn’t talk about that at all, nor the fact that (as I understand it) Indigenous representatives on the consultative committee are very keen to have some substantive change to the constitution at any such referendum (removing the race power eg), and that any token gesture (a la Howard) probably will go down like a lead balloon.

    Context. Do journalists even know what it is?

  14. Oh, and the little lead-in text on the tab on the ABC’s main page has the text “Tony Abbott signals he will make major changes to Indigenous policies should the Coalition win…”

    What major changes? This text doesn’t appear in the actual article page, was this earlier text edited out because it’s blatantly untrue? The only changes listed in the article are this bizarre reshuffling of Indigenous Affairs with separate Minister into PM&C and some thought bubble minor stuff about truancy officers. “But some possibilities were floated” – good dog, floating thought bubbles now qualifies as “signalling major changes”?


  15. And did no one in the press gallery ask about the LNP policy on the Intervention? Not a squeak of a mention of the LNP’s monster baby that the ALP has continued, and presumably forms the biggest single issue in Indigenous Affairs. And no one thought to ask?

  16. Morning all. Regarding wind farm paranoia, I think it is all in the wallet. Never mind wind farm neighbours. People being paid lease fees to have wind turbines on their property have never reported the illness :d

  17. Peter Hartcher is a student of the literature. Must have missed this one

    [The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

    Mark Twain]

  18. BK thanks for the links, but you missed one. CFNEU is bracing for damaging revaluations about millions made by former official John Maitland from coal leases he bought for a song.
    [Now the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is bracing itself for a reputational hit in the next part of the inquiry, which is due to begin on Monday.

    The CFMEU’s former national secretary, John Maitland, is staying out of the public eye at the moment and has cancelled today’s public auction of a $1.6 million farm near Kempsey on the NSW north coast.

    However the former union veteran still has $5-million-worth of property on the market, including a $3 million property in Victoria owned through his family company, Jonca.]

    There are a lot of rotten apples in this barrel, and the Liberals will keep drawing them out one at a time from now till Election Day. Again, shame on the rest of NSW Labor for tolerating this for too long, and doing nothing to stop it. This sort of story will also make the passing of Workchoices II so much easier for PM Abbott.

  19. Sprocket,

    They don’t get it

    This is why their sales are falling

    This is why we need strong media laws,

    Its the same old boring brainwashing stuff

    Its similar to seeing the same old tv programs over and over

    Some people,e sit through mindless numbing stuff

    Most don’t

    I hope

  20. This sounds familiar.

    Next Previous Blog home
    Cameron, the editors’ press freedom hero, versus ‘draconian’ Miliband
    The majority of nationals lauded the prime minister for his opposition to statutory underpinning for a new press regulator
    Share 104


    The Daily Mirror’s headline on Friday.
    Prime minister David Cameron might have enjoyed his national newspaper coverage this morning. It was predictable that his opposition to statutory underpinning for a new press regulator would be greeted by headlines in his favour.

    Three examples: Cam showdown to save our free press (The Sun), Cameron refuses to introduce press laws (Daily Telegraph) and Cameron fights for press freedom (Daily Express). The Daily Mirror, no friend of Cameron, portrays him in its headline as a champion of freedom: PM faces Commons battle to stop newspapers being shackled by tougher law.

  21. Morning all

    Meanwhile in state of Vic, we have our new Premier now hiding behind “legal advice”. Ffs!

    [PREMIER Denis Napthine has refused to answer any questions about the secret tapes scandal, citing legal advice.

    He also would not rule out that more of former premier Ted Baillieu’s staff would be given marching orders]

  22. Sprocket

    So what is exactly taught in journalism

    These days

    Are they instructed to stick to the facts

    Is there a pledge taken like dr. And lawyers

  23. Interesting that PVO includes Tony Burke in his list of leader possibles…my choice for the new leader after the bollocking has been Burke for a long while now.
    He and Combet are the only two with any chutzpa. Bur Greg’s a bit too volitile.

  24. 48-52

    In the normal course of events, a 4 % deficit by an incumbent six months out from an election would seem like a good bet for re-election.

    Howard was further behind and yet we were told again and again that he was going to win.

    The OM usually loves to make even a no-contest look tight, as it appears more exciting. Not this time. They have too much invested in Gillard losing- the NBN especially.

    The latest round of leadershit seems directly coming from the Lib side, for a change. It makes it even more difficult to believe.

    The Gillard strategy, to announce the election date, has really upset the applecart. The polls are improving, the 457 issue has shown that Labor can still cut through, the NDIS has passed, Gonski is on its way, and the PM seems focussed on the next poll.

    Surely PVO, a PROFESSOR of politics could appreciate that a 48/52 at this stage (given the 50/50s we saw late last year) means there is at least SOME chance of a Labor victory? Surely? But no, we are told there is no chance, its all over. No campaign necessary, just give the keys to Abbott.

    And posters like TP and Bemused continue to demonstrate Labor’s internal problem- a morbid fascination with flogging a dead horse, even (or maybe especially) if it means PMJG loses.

    FWIW, a change to a new third candidate would be suicide. The OM desperately want the PM gone. The chaos/instability theme would be run to death.

  25. Things looking up in the UK, with a Murdoch insider turning Crown witness.

    And I wish The Guardian would set up local operations ASAP – provide some balance into our media

    [Detectives are examining an estimated 600 fresh allegations of phone-hacking incidents at Rupert Murdoch’s now closed News of the World on the back of fresh evidence obtained by the Metropolitan police from a suspect turned supergrass.

    Further details are expected to emerge on Monday morning at the high court during a hearing relating to the existing litigation by hacking victims against Murdoch’s News International (NI) – hours before MPs are due to vote on joint Labour and Liberal Democrat amendments that would introduce a backstop law to stiffen regulation of the press.

    Sources say Scotland Yard detectives believe they can identify as many as 600 new incidents after obtaining the phone records of an insider who is now being lined up as a crown witness. As a result of the new information, the force’s Operation Weeting is recalibrating the timetable for concluding its investigation, which had been due to be completed with the conclusion of trials this year. Police now expect their work to continue into 2015.]

  26. A policy where
    No costing is invlvolved

    So is this This the go
    Love me, becauce

    I tell you like u
    G ive me your vote
    I care for you,

    No treasury costing involved

  27. ‘Howard was further behind and yet we were told again and again that he was going to win.’

    Because Howard was one savvy tricky little man.
    Julia Gillard is more Chauncy Gardener.

  28. Crikey Whitey

    Sorry to alarm you, but as I have said before, NSW Labor will sink Gillard and any other leader without decisive action. I fear the next election will be like a soccer game with a final score of Liberals 3 Labor 2, with NSW Labor defenders having conceded three own goals.

    How could the CFMEU have been so administratively incompetent to permit Maitland to do this and not notice until it is too late? So there are two problems here. One is possible corruption/conflict of interest by an individual. Two is a union and a Labor government with completely inadequate internal audit and control processes. The term “union organisation” is comparable to “Liberal social justice” for irony value.

  29. [ Meanwhile in state of Vic, we have our new
    Premier now hiding behind “legal advice”. Ffs! ]


    Yeah, what a lame one. However, this has legs. There has to be some sort of inquiry, surely.

  30. Ah! we have a new meme this week. From: (paywalled)

    [ THE numbers inside Labor’s federal partyroom are now such that Julia Gillard couldn’t call a spill to end leadership speculation even if she wanted to. ]

    So there is no spill – but not because Rudd would win – oh no! Julia wanted to call one, but is now afraid to because she would only win 60-40!

    Talk about having your cake and eating it too! PvO is a master! Rudd doesn’t have the numbers, but Gillard can’t win either! And the ultimate proof of all this is … (wait for it!) … that nothing happened this week!

    It’s brilliant!

    And just in case you were in any doubt what a piece of dreck this was, and why it was written, PvO thoughtfully lets you know:

    [ In other words, there is no way of ending leadership speculation between now and the September 14 election date if you are Gillard. ]


    [ Speculation that Rudd should be reinstated as leader will finally cease once the formal month-long campaign ahead of the election begins. But after that, Labor MPs should expect the campaign to be dogged by speculation about what could have been. Which MPs might have been doing better if Rudd had been in charge? How much better might things have been under Rudd’s leadership? It will be never-ending. ]

    but here’s the kicker, in case anyone really couldn’t read figure it out:

    [ A Rudd return would surely put an end to the media reforms Conroy has been advocating. ]

    So it’s Ruddstoration! all the way to the next election! Yay!

    The PB trilobites will be pleased!

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