Seat of the week: Bowman

Covering Brisbane’s coastal outer south, Andrew Laming’s seat of Bowman came within 64 votes of falling to Labor under Kevin Rudd in 2007, before going dramatically the other way as part of the statewide backlash three years later.

Bowman covers Brisbane’s coastal outer south from Thorneside through Capalaba and Sheldon to Redland Bay, and extends across the southern part of Moreton Bay to North Stradbroke Island. It has existed in name since 1949, but did not include any of its current territory until 1969, instead being based in Brisbane’s inner south-east. The 1969 redistribution caused the redrawn electorate to extend from the mouths of the Brisbane River in the north to the Logan River in the south, the latter also marking the Bowman’s southern extremity today. The area now covered by Bowman began to acquire its suburban character at around this time. With the redistribution of 1977, the southern part of the electorate came to be accommodated by the newly created electorate of Fadden. Bowman’s present dimensions were established when its northern neighbour Bonner was created to accommodate the Wynnum-Manly area at the 2004 election, setting Thorneside as the northern extremity of Bowman.

Bowman in its various permutations has been a marginal seat for most of its history, having been held by the Liberals throughout the Menzies and Holt years outside of a win by Labor as part of its near-victory at the 1961 election. It next changed hands with the big swing to Labor under Gough Whitlam’s leadership in 1969, and would henceforth go with the government of the day until 1998. Leonard Keogh held the seat for Labor from 1969 to 1975 and again after 1983, and also contested unsuccessfully in 1977 and 1980. Keogh was defeated for preselection in 1987 by Con Sciacca, who lost the seat to Liberal candidate Andrea West in 1996 before winning it back again in 1998. The Liberal member during the Fraser years was David Jull, who re-emerged as member for Fadden in 1984.

The reorganisation caused by the creation of Bonner in 2004 boosted the Liberal margin in Bowman by 4.4%, prompting Sciacca to unsuccessfully try his hand in Bonner. Bowman meanwhile was won by Liberal candidate Andrew Laming, an ophthalmologist and World Bank health consultant who added a solid 5.9% to the notional Liberal margin of 3.0%. Laming spent much of 2007 under the shadow of the “printgate” affair, in which he was investigated for allegedly claiming $67,000 to print campaign material for state election candidates, before being cleared two months before the election. After rumblings that the affair might cost him his preselection, Laming survived an 8.9% swing to Labor at the 2007 election to hold on by 64 votes. He had a much easier time of it in 2010, his 10.4% swing being strong even by the standards of Queensland at that election. There was a correction in Labor’s favour of 1.5% at the 2013 election, going slightly against the trend of a 1.3% statewide swing to the Liberal National Party.

Laming was promoted to the position of shadow parliamentary secretary for regional health services and indigenous health after the 2010 election, but was dropped after the Abbott government came to power.

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.

1,053 comments on “Seat of the week: Bowman”

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  1. William Bowe@4

    News Limited, which I’m just sure is acting from the best of motives, provides prominent and favourable coverage to a tobacco industry report into the many, many ways in which “plain packaging for legal cigarettes has failed”.

    This line stood out for me when I read that report:

    [The KPMG report was commissioned by big players in the legal tobacco industry.]

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Surely the Tax Commissioner has the power to deem a fair value for this spurious transaction and levy an appropriate level of tax and duty.
    What will our “Infrastructure PM” say about this?
    Surely the Liberal voting captains of industry would not stoop to such depths!
    This will be an interesting legal and social journey.
    If this happened in Labor there would be leadershit headlines all over the place! Anyway, nice wedge, Malcolm.
    Message to destitute Eddie – piss off!!!
    Not so easy is it Mesma?
    And unsurprisingly Pell has adopted the Credlin silence approach.
    If this explosion of fringe candidates does occur in a WA Senate election rerun it may well provide sufficient impetus for a review of the electoral system.
    Once it becomes apparent that there is a significant difference in the value of a home depending on the presence or otherwise of fibre NBN connection Labor will have something really concrete to run with.
    Peter Martin with a very good look at carbon pricing and Direct Action equalling “no action”.

  3. Section 2 . . .

    David Pope on the running of the Dept of Foreign Affairs.
    Pat Campbell puts more onto Mesma’s lap.
    And Alan Moir completes the trifecta.

    Ron Tandberg with a triumphant Murdoch.

  4. BK

    Bishop has failed yet again?

    I saw a replay of the footage of the capture of some of the Greenpeace 30. I noticed the sound of a rifle being fired and the footage showed quite clearly where the bullet hit the water – only metres from one of the small boats in the water – whether Russian or Greenpeace is not clear. As far as I know this has not been picked up by the MSM.

  5. Morning all. Funny thing about that Australian report on anti-smoking measures and their success – it is the exact opposite of the statistical evidence, which shows smoking rates in Australia are among the lowest in the OECD, and are going down further:

  6. Further to 15, the moral of the story is that plain packaging is working, with a lower take up rate of smoking among under 18s. It is precisely the group that take it up at this rate, when their adolescent brains are still developing, that are least likely to quit. So dropping smoking rates from 8-9% to 5-6% among under 18s is a great result for the long term.

    I have criticised some of the Gillard Labor education reforms recently as having failed. They have. But smoking measures like plain packaging were a great success.

  7. Boerwar

    Yes, shame on KPMG. The consulting firm I work for (a quite large player in the engineering world) has some policy on corporate social responsibility under which we decline working for big tobacco. They asked us to design a plant for them a few years ago and we did not submit an offer to do the work.

  8. HD television receivers are now ubiquitous in Australia.
    When travelling recently I was appalled by the fact that there is virtually NO 1080p content delivered free to air in Australia whereas there is a plethora of HD content available elsewhere. HD was the deliverer of marquee content and it was also available in SD on other channels.
    Here in Australia we are forced to watch things such as test cricket, AFL finals, etc in lousy 576/25hz.
    At the same time the commercial stations on their secondary channels do use the bandwidth to serve us up with crappy stuff from the US in bloody HD!
    I cannot understand it.

  9. Regarding the WA Senate result a side question – Ludlam has now won re-election but the Labor candidate (Pratt?) has not. This may yet be overturned and a fresh election held. In terms of qualifying for superannuation and various benefits, will both or only the latter count as being re-elected? Ludlam will be working as a Senator from today until the next poll.

  10. New report claims massive job losses if Australian car industry is shut down

    AS the manufacturing future of Holden and Toyota remain uncertain, the car industry has published a new report which claims the Australian economy would be $21.5 billion smaller if the automotive manufacturing industry died in 2018.

  11. Socrates

    current senator terms go through to 30 June 2014. Those elected in Sep 7 election take up their posts (or continue if incumbent) from 1 July 2014.

    Until then, they are senators-elect and do not draw any entitlements.

  12. Good Morning

    ABC 24 talking head was talking March for WA elections if they happen. That means probably May given how media seems to be barracking for sooner.

    I suspect this has to do with people seeing parliament not sitting.

  13. “@tim_chr: Boat person. RT @CanberraInsider: Happy birthday to Prime Minister Tony Abbott @TonyAbbottMHR , born in London on this day in 1957.”

  14. Guess who was at the Progressive Conference of the ALP yesterday.

    None other than the acclaimed Geoffrey Robertson and his father.

  15. [HD television receivers are now ubiquitous in Australia.

    When travelling recently I was appalled by the fact that there is virtually NO 1080p content delivered free to air in Australia whereas there is a plethora of HD content available elsewhere. HD was the deliverer of marquee content and it was also available in SD on other channels.
    Here in Australia we are forced to watch things such as test cricket, AFL finals, etc in lousy 576/25hz.
    At the same time the commercial stations on their secondary channels do use the bandwidth to serve us up with crappy stuff from the US in bloody HD!

    I cannot understand it.]

    HD, on average TV monitors is virtually undetectable from any distance except a few feet. That’s the reason.

    Human Angular Resolution – HAR – (the narrowest angle of view between two white lines separated by a black line that can be observed by average human vision) is about 1/60th of a degree in bright sunny conditions.

    Double that for the (relatively) dim light output of a TV- where the eye’s iris will be opened up a little, and hence natural optical aberrations in the eye will come into effect – and you get 1/30th of a degree to work with.

    My TV is a 102cm diagonal, making it 89 cm across. Squeezing 1920 HD pixels into that width gives us just about 0.5mm per pixel. Remember we need two white lines with a black line between them, so our HAR angle of 1/30th of a degree has to be across 2 x 0.5 = 1mm.

    Working it all out, the maximum viewing distance that an average human eye can distinguish between two white lines (with a black line between them) 1mm apart is 1.5 metres. That’s the maximum distance at which you can see those two white line as separate lines. Any further away and they’ll merge together.

    This is for a static image (e.g. a test pattern). For moving images that maximum distance is even closer.

    Effectively, high definition images are indistinguishable from Standard Definition (SD) images, assuming a 102cm (89cm width) screen… further than 1.5 metres away from the screen.

    Get a monster TV, double the width of mine, 180cm across and that maximum viewing distance becomes only 3 metres.

    Frankly, most viewers literally can’t see the benefits of HD once they’re more than a couple of metres away from their flat screen, watching a program.

    Try it out on SBS, which runs simultaneous HD and SD presentations of the same program across its several channels. You have to get up out of your seat and peer at the pixels to tell which is which.

    And if it’s a lousy movie, who cares? HD never really made a bad movie better.

    It’s why so many serious movie watchers plump for a home cinema: with screens as big as 4 or 5 metres across (with the “normal” screen being 3 metres), only then can the true virtues of HD be observed.

    It’s why Blu-Ray hasn’t really “taken off”. Most people can’t see the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD, if they’re just watching it on what amounts to an “ordinary” TV nowadays.

    4K screens will be an even greater waste of time. On my TV size, you’d have to sit 75cm in front of the TV to see the difference between 4K and 2K images.

    That’s not to say 4K won’t be sold. The manufacturers have to keep manufacturing “new” technology, and 4K will be great for PC use (especially in design etc.), but there ARE limits.

    OF course needing to sit up so close to get the benefits of 4K presentations means the angle between your eye and the edges of the screen will be so great you’ll have to swing your head from one side to the other to watch programs.

    For every technological roundabout there is a human swing.

  16. Morning all.

    On a WA Senate re-election timing:

    [The return of the election writ to Governor Malcolm McCusker, probably on Wednesday, opens a 40-day window for a candidate or any voter to petition the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, to order a new poll. The AEC may also petition the court.

    Unless the court opts for a special hearing, the case would not be heard until at least February because the court’s last sitting day of the year is December 13, before the 40-day deadline expires.]

    This may not be resolved quickly.

  17. The WA election issue may be delayed if the HC decides the Federal Court should hear the dispute and appeal from that decision is available.

    I would expect whichever court hears the matter to do so this year.

  18. Another dodged bullet revealed.

    [How a war game brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster

    Former classified documents show how close the Soviet Union came to launching an attack in 1983

    Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility.

    As Able Archer commenced, the Kremlin gave instructions for a dozen aircraft in East Germany and Poland to be fitted with nuclear weapons. In addition, around 70 SS-20 missiles were placed on heightened alert, while Soviet submarines carrying nuclear ballistic missiles were sent under the Arctic ice so that they could avoid detection.

    Nato and its allies initially thought the Soviet response was the USSR’s own form of war-gaming. However, the classified documents obtained by the NIS reveal just how close the Russians came to treating the exercise as the prelude for a nuclear strike against them.]

  19. The simplest solution would be for the HC to have a ten-minute sitting, hear no evidence, and order Pratt and Ludlam seated as the two candidates who got the most votes. The end. 🙂

  20. shellbell@26

    The offer of employment as a police officer in Port Moresby sans weapon is one I would pass on.

    And that would be from concerns about the actions of PNG Police who are regarded by many in the community as worse than the criminal raskol gangs.

    It doesn’t excuse Police violence and corruption, but they are very poorly educated to start with, receive poor Police training and the force are also poorly lead funded and resourced at all levels. Then there are very powerful tribal overlays on it all.

    They weren’t always like this though. Never brilliant but not like they are now.

    It was all going to pieces about the mid 1990’s but the ‘Riot Squads’ used in the Highland areas to quell tribal clashes had a bad reputation before that. They often made a bad situation worse.

  21. @sortius: Looks like local papers in Orange, Hervey Bay, & Maryborough are not happy with @TurnbullMalcolm after he canned the #NBN for them #auspol

  22. guytaur@41

    @sortius: Looks like local papers in Orange, Hervey Bay, & Maryborough are not happy with @TurnbullMalcolm after he canned the #NBN for them #auspol

    Voters once again used the baseball bats on themselves.

    Suckers. Lots more to come.

    Bend over…..

  23. [BB
    I beg to disagree
    Watching cricket or football in HD vs 576/25hz is like chalk and cheese.]

    Maybe so, BK.

    What’s the size of the screen you’re using and how far away are you from it when you view?

  24. O, yes please 😀
    Anything they do recommend will be ideologically based.
    [Perhaps the best way the Commission of Audit can discharge its role, which includes consideration of duplication, is to point to the existence of these bodies of review and to wind up its own operations before incurring any public expense.]

  25. A short hearing would require the parties to agree facts which in turn requires a degree of common sense and compromise. Not really Clive’s things.

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