Seat of the week: Makin

Held by the Liberals throughout the Howard years, the north-eastern Adelaide seat of Makin swung heavily to Labor in 2007 and 2010, and remains firmly in the party fold despite the 2013 election defeat.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The north-eastern Adelaide seat of Makin extends from Pooraka near the city to Tea Tree Gully and Greenwith at the limits of the metropolitan area. Labor is especially strong in the areas nearer the city, from Walkley Heights north to Salibsury East, beyond which are generally newer suburbs with more mortgage payers and families, who have helped keep the Liberals competitive or better for most of the seat’s history. Together with Kingston in the south of the city and Wakefield in its outer north, Makin is one of three Adelaide seats which the Liberals held in the final term of the Howard government before blowing out to double-digit Labor margins at the 2010 election, and which remain securely in the Labor fold despite the 2013 election defeat. In Makin’s case the Labor margin reached 12.0% in 2010, before the 2013 swing reduced it to 5.1%.

Makin was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 from an area that had mostly formed the southern end of the safe Labor seat of Bonython, the majority of which was in turn absorbed by Wakefield when it was abolished in 2004. It was held for Labor by uncomfortable margins from 1984 to 1996 by Peter Duncan, a former Attorney-General in Don Dunstan’s state government. A 4.8% swing put Duncan on the Keating government casualty list in 1996, and he returned to the headlines in 2007 after being charged with fraudulently obtaining government grants for his plastics recycling company. The seat was then held for the Liberals by Trish Draper, who emerged as a prime ministerial favourite after strong performances at the next two elections. A swing against Draper of 0.2% in 1998 compared with a statewide swing of 4.2%, and she consolidated her margin by 3.0% in 2001. Draper hit trouble in the lead-up to the 2004 election when it emerged she had breached parliamentary rules by taking a boyfriend on a study trip to Europe at taxpayers’ expense, but she survived by 0.9% in the face of a swing that was not reflected in neighbouring seats. Draper retired at the 2007 election citing an illness in the family, before unsuccessfully attempting a comeback in the state seat of Newland at the March 2010 election.

The seat was then won for Labor on the second attempt by Tony Zappia, who had been the mayor of Salisbury since 1997, a councillor for many years beforehand, and was at one time a weightlifting champion. Zappia was widely thought to have been a victim of his factional non-alignment when the Right’s Julie Woodman defeated him for preselection in 2001, and a repeat performance appeared on the cards when a deal ahead of the 2004 election reserved the seat for Dana Wortley of the “hard Left”. The arrangement displeased local branches as well as party hard-heads concerned that a crucial marginal seat should be contested by the most appealing candidate, and Premier Mike Rann successfully prevailed upon Wortley’s backers to throw their weight behind Zappia. The move appeared a dead end for Zappia in the short term as he proved unable to win the seat, whereas Wortley was elected from the number three Senate position she was offered as consolation. However, Zappia performed considerably better with the electoral breeze at his back in 2007, demolishing the 0.9% Liberal margin with a swing of 8.6%. This was achieved in the face of a high-impact publicity campaign by Liberal candidate Bob Day, housing tycoon and national president of the Housing Industry Association who has since been elected as a Senator for Family First.

The once non-aligned Zappia is now a member of the Left, and is believed to have been a backer of Kevin Rudd’s leadership challenges, and of Anthony Albanese over Bill Shorten in the post-election leadership contest. After spending the period in government on the back bench, he won promotion after the election defeat to shadow parliamentary secretary for manufacturing.

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.

1,400 comments on “Seat of the week: Makin”

Comments Page 27 of 28
1 26 27 28
  1. I read yesterday that the world’s richest 85 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5bn.

    It’s often the case in discussions of the merits or otherwise of capitalism or ostensible socialism, one sees a fair bit of fuzziness about the category boundaries and an almost complete refusal to grasp that as with every social practice or one of its tools, a social system also arises in specific contexts.

    One of the paradoxes of history has been that when social systems begin to collapse due to their failure to produce a sufficiently coherent ruling group, one form of authoritarain collectivism or another has often been the result. Whatever one makes of these regimes, one should not call them ‘socialism’ merely because control over property has acquired a collective or communitarian character.

    Socialism, for Marxists, describes a classless society which, by definition, can only arise when material scarcity has been overcome and that on a world scale. Everything this side of that will be a class society of one kind or another, because in the view of Marxists, class society is a consequence of scarcity — and there with the need for wage labour.

    Self-evidently, while there have been many substantially collectivist societies, none of them has been a socialist society. Some have been populist societies run by either conservatives or reactionaries or even occasionally, by those avowing ‘socialism’ in one form or another. In the most famous example of all, the Bolshevik Revolution followed the collapse or the Russian feudal autocracy. Here, people who genuinely embraced Marxism, were obliged to carry out a revolution in circumstances where the closest precedent was the Paris Commune of 40+ years prior. In that episode the Communards had simply been murdered and their bodies put on display. Russia was a land where literacy and numeracy was the exception rather than the rule and a war was still on foot, with agriculture in ruins. Nothing like democratic usage had ever obtained and much of the land mass was not even in something like realtime contact with any potential governing centre. If ever there was a “hospital pass” to an incoming regime, 1917 was it. The Bolsheviks were almost certainly less prepared to move from being revolutionary agitators to rulers of a proletarian Russia and possibly, in their minds, Europe, than was Abbott’s party to do the modest equivalent in 2013 here.

    Equitable and inclusive governance cannot be designed and implemented by those who have neither the time to reflect nor the capacity to do so. It’s a thing of human device and we humans learn by trial and error and if we are wise, the trials and errors of those who have preceded us.

    The only thing the Bolsheviks of 1917 could do was to initiate a kind of authoritarian populist collectivism over so much of the jurisdiction as they could control, in order to stave off invading armies, civil strife and starvation. With hindsight, I’d say they made some very grave errors, which even at the time they ought to have spotted, but of course, I have the advantage of knowing how the story goes, and many other stories somewhat like it. In a situation where all the options were unpalatable, they failed to choose the least unpalatable and were destroyed by it in under a decade. A new and even more auhoritarian collectivist autarky arose in their place hunting down and disposing of all those who had authored 1917 who did not die before that time — with the exception of the chief disposer.

    It became a pattern, and it should underline for us that the quality of the culture as expressed in the grasp of the conception of the burdens most humans feel they owe others is foundational to progress. People who suddenly grasp that they have been denied a part of their humanity may well be angry, but unless they have some coherent and humanity-affirming paradigm within which to set that outrage, they are not going to be able to achieve much but be angry and at times fearful and iraational. That’s the price working humanity always pays for being ruled by those protecting unwarranted privileges.

    What humanity needs to do in the immediate term is to work towards a far more equitable and inclusive approach to governance — one that will more equitably and productively distribute the burdens and benefits of work. Vacuous finger-pointing at collectivist societies as exemplars of the dangers of too close a collaboration between human beings just delays the arrival of social justice.

    Those 85 people may be happy enough with that, but one supposes that quite a few more than those poorest 3.5bn should seek something better, for nearly all our sakes.

  2. Victoria 1280 I suspect that the learned judges will not take long with this one … here are the current members of the ICJ

    Peter Tomka (Slovakia)
    Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor (Mexico)
    Hisashi Owada (Japan)
    Ronny Abraham (France)
    Kenneth Keith (New Zealand)
    Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)
    Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation)
    Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)
    Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)
    Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
    Xue Hanqin (China)
    Joan E. Donoghue (United States of America)
    Giorgio Gaja (Italy)
    Julia Sebutinde (Uganda)
    Dalveer Bhandari (India)

  3. [1257….guytaur]

    This is the best explanation of the differences between capitalism and communism:

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism it’s exactly the other way around.

  4. mari

    If Australia gets the thumbs down it will be quite an achievement. I think Richard Ackland said we’d be the first country to be “convicted” for such a breach.

  5. Mari 1304 … I’d be most surprised if the court does not rule in favour of the Timor L’Este application and order that the seized documents and data are returned. At that point the Attorney General, as the principal author of the action, should resign, but of course he wont.

  6. dave:

    [It amounts to ‘Look over there’ to try and get the focus away from the AHA.]

    The O’Farrell govt is tying itself in knots trying to avoid the ‘Newcastle solution’. The AHA has him by the short and curlies.

  7. [The Abbott government is preparing Australians for an overhaul of the welfare system, with Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews indicating too many depend on the government for their incomes.

    “More than five million people now are in receipt of one form of welfare or another,” Mr Andrews told ABC radio on Tuesday.

    To mount his case for tough changes to welfare, Mr Andrews is using a new “10-year review” given to the government by the Department of Human Services. Mr Andrews said the review shows that more than five million Australians, or about one in five, now receive income support payments]

    I congratulate the Abbott Government on its decision to take farmers off the tit, saving an immediate $420,000,000 and, over the longer term, the 2-4% of farm income that is derived from government subsidies of one sort or another.

    I also note that the Abbott Government is going to be especially thorough about it by insisting that the $20,000 being spent on 50m of shelf space for anothery on the government tit will now be paid by Brandis himself.

    Looking at Operational International Pariah in the Hague, it is not as if Brandis is achieving his KPIs.

    ‘We’ll skin him. What is good for the goose is good for the gander,’ chuckled Mr Andrews.

  8. briefly

    [This is the best explanation of the differences between capitalism and communism: Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism it’s exactly the other way around.]

    Hmm … that’s a nice joke, but it adds nothing to a grasp of the boundaries between the two and the things shaping one form or another of class rule.

    It reminds me however of that old joke attributed to the High Anglican-turned-conservative-Catholic GK Chesterton, who said that whereas it was the role of progressives to invent new mistakes for society to make, it was the role of conservatives to prevent old ones being remedied.

    Actually, as pessimistic as is Chesterton’s view here, I find it more amusing and useful than that hoary old anti-communist jibe.

  9. Interesting Map –

    [Shares in emerging markets


    Just how tiny is apparent from the map below: in many emerging markets, the value of all the freely traded shares of firms that feature in the local MSCI share index (which typically tracks 85% of local listings) is equivalent to a single Western firm. Thus all the shares available in India are worth roughly the same as Nestlé; Egypt’s are equal to Burger King]

  10. Poroti and Rossmore

    This is what I think too so here’s hoping.Of Course Brandis should resign if court rules in Timor’s favour. But he won’t and the MSM will say nothing

  11. “It would the voters in the seat of Griffth arent perturbed by the Abbott govt. ”

    Sportingbet has Labor at $1.16 (from $1.18 last week) to LNP at $4.50.

    It would appear that the voters in the seat of Griffith are underwhelmed by Abbott and the LNP.

  12. Getting seriously angry with ex-Albo supporters (and my anger is vented at people on twitter, not here —) who are busily undermining Shorten.

    Oh, they’re not doing that, mind you. No, no. They’ve accepted the democratic vote, they tell you. It’s just Shorten isn’t doing a good job, and it’s their duty to point that out (and it’s pure coincidence that they supported Albo…)

    Disunity is death. We know lots of Liberals distrusted/disliked/loathed Abbott — but they did that behind closed doors, so to speak. In public, they fronted up to tell us what a great job he did.

    Labor needs to overcome the idea that it’s disunited, unstable, more interested in fighting internal battles over the leadership than it is about anything else.

    We’ve only just elected a new leader. Attacking him now creates a number of problems.

    Firstly, it suggests that it doesn’t matter who the leader is, Labor and its supporters are never going to unite behind them.

    Secondly, it puts the democratic election stuff under threat. It’s not part of the rules yet. We had a democratic election because caucus decided to let us have one.

    If we can’t make it work – if the impression is created that letting the rank and file have a say engenders division rather than suppressing it — than the factions will approach the next leadership contest with the attitude that they tried it, and it didn’t work.

    There’s already a discernible backlash against the idea of rank and file votes coming from the factions (and creating problems for us here in Victoria). Rank and file votes are a real threat to their ‘authority’. Give them a reason to get rid of them, and they will.

    Of course, the greater concern is that, by not uniting behind the leader, we let the Liberals win the next election.

  13. Poroti
    Yes Fishnet stocking Downer should be shown up for what he is. BUT he won’t either

    Re Ray H what did he say to the whinger re NBN?

  14. The growth in recipients of so called ‘welfare payments’over the last decade amounts to a modest 3.6%.

    The bulk of that growth is accounted for by increased numbers of recipients of the Age Pension (25.5% growth).

    When Aged Pension recipients are excluded from the count, the number of ‘welfare’ recipients has actually fallen by 9.6% over the last decade.


    Is Andrews really suggesting that recipients of the Aged Pension should be cut back

  15. Zoomster 1318

    Yes I have noticed that on twitter too, have had a couple of stern words with a couple asking if they really want LNP in next time as well? One has unfollowed me because he though unquote I would be upset at him bucketing Bill Shorten, just before he unfollowed me. I told go ahead and enjoy another 3 years of LNP and he had better watch out working in the higher education field.

  16. Victoria,


    Youtube Tones is catchy. I reckon Labor could use it. :)]

    Thanks, Victoria.

    I hear on good authority that Scott Morrison and Kevin Andrews are jointly working on a project that will take Tones’ YouTube innovation a step further.

    According to my sources, they are adapting Tones’ YouTubes so that, when you watch them, they can monitor you, just like the telescreens in Orwell’s 1984. I am told that if you give Tones the middle finger, this will be observed and you will be carted off to Nauru toot sweet. Lawyers will be monitored the closest, as there is a shortage of them up there.

    Be alarmed, but as Tones trustingly said, not surprised.

  17. [Scott Ludlam on 24 talks of the unfolding disasters of the Abbott Governent.

    I agree with him of course. The interesting thing is he is saying this on national television.

    It is both true and an important narrative to get imbedded.

  18. Fortunately, nobody actually gives a shit what a bunch of crumb-covered malcontents on Twitter think.

    One of the only valid observations made by Sean Tisme is the Twitter is the home of political irrelevancy.

    I would also add that a lot of the vocal people on Twitter are keyboard/armchair activists. They’ll tweet, retweet and sign petitions but never actually lift a finger to do anything practical to pursue their political beliefs. This makes them extremely non-influential in the realm that matters. So I wouldn’t worry too much about them.

  19. briefly

    I was pointing out that socialism is a different beast to communism.

    All the systems work well as a model in the academic office of the theorist.

    The reality is very different.

    My view is that in realty capitalism is the best system ONLY when regulated to address the very real social inequities it delivers.

  20. mari

    The poor thing had been promised a connection months ago .But for some reason since ,about the last election time 🙂 , she can’t get anything from them.

  21. zoomster@1318
    I agree with your sentiments but you really should not be surprised.

    Shorten was intimately involved in the overthrow of 2 leaders and hence carries baggage.

    Some unfortunately ‘maintain the rage’.

    It will be the next generation of leaders that is unencumbered by that sorry past.

  22. [Of course, the greater concern is that, by not uniting behind the leader, we let the Liberals win the next election.]

    That is a tough call becoming a mindless cheer bot (so like many of the libbots) or letting Abbott win again. I’d have to go for Abbot winning again in a tight race. Having said that shorten hasn’t done much wrong or right yet. On balance keeping mostly quiet is probably the right tactic.

  23. Having said that, you will have to be prepared for the possibility that Shorten may not work out as leader and that the criticisms arising could be actual genuine observations, not just undermining from Albanese or Coalition supporters.

    Right now, he is doing adequately. However, a lot of his current good run is due to the Coalition doing badly. If they shape up and improve their standing, Shorten will need to demonstrate that he can adapt and be competitive and not just a “not Abbott”

  24. “@BreakfastNews: Bill Shorten: Age pensioners do not deserve to be on the chopping block & should be off-limits to the Govt’s Commission of Audit cuts”

  25. zoomster

    What bemused said. Also partly sour grapes of having Caucus decide the leader despite the member vote being seen as same old ALP practise.

  26. Rossmore@1320

    The growth in recipients of so called ‘welfare payments’over the last decade amounts to a modest 3.6%.

    The bulk of that growth is accounted for by increased numbers of recipients of the Age Pension (25.5% growth).

    When Aged Pension recipients are excluded from the count, the number of ‘welfare’ recipients has actually fallen by 9.6% over the last decade.


    Is Andrews really suggesting that recipients of the Aged Pension should be cut back

    The solution to the growth in welfare recipients is obvious but not easy.

    A huge number of welfare recipients would like to work but can’t get work.

    Fix that and a lot of Newstart and Disability Support recipients would just disappear into the workforce. And so would a significant number of old age pension recipients, as many more mature citizens would like to continue working.

    Working into your sixties and beyond in meaningful and rewarding jobs appears to be a privilege reserved for the Maurice Newman’s of the world.

  27. bemused

    Any attack on disability pensioners is easy to answer. That is what the NDIS is for. Making it more possible for those that want to work able to do so.

  28. guytaur@1332


    What bemused said. Also partly sour grapes of having Caucus decide the leader despite the member vote being seen as same old ALP practise.

    The membership had its say but was not quite enough to overcome Caucus.

    We knew the rules, we participated, and should accept the result.

  29. guytaur@1334


    Any attack on disability pensioners is easy to answer. That is what the NDIS is for. Making it more possible for those that want to work able to do so.

    And that aspect is never mentioned.

    But I would say that while unemployment remains at its present levels, the disabled will suffer most.

    We need a govt that will pursue full employment as a high priority goal. I think the Chifley Govt was the last to do this although unemployment was low up until the mid 70s.

  30. bemused

    That is arguable. However reality is that if Shorten does not perform that background public rumbling will enter the front stage spotlight.

  31. [“During that time I conceived a deep affection and a high regard for that country, so it is saddening for me that in this case I’m obliged to confront Australia in respect of conduct which inexplicably falls so far short of the high standards that prevailed in my time,” he said.]

    Rossmore We can say thankyou honest John Howard and arrogant Downer for that!

    Lauterpacht sums it up well.

  32. In the alcohol fuelled violence discussions in the media, government circles, and here, the elephant in the room and the easiest solution is never mentioned (as far as NSW is concerned).

    This is the enforcement of the existing Responsible Service of Alcohol law.

    Every worker in venues where alcohol is provided must hold the RS of A qualification. Yet nowhere is the legislation enforced.

    Consider the very small cost of employing a handful of inspectors to identify breaches. Consider the effect of well publicised finings of a few high profile venues, repeated several times if necessary, to the tune of a few $K each time.

    Footage on TV last night showed hundreds of drunk youngsters, all of whom have been sold more grog whilst drunk, in breach of the RS of A laws.

    I heard this discussed a couple of years back on the radio, in the context of Newcastle’s then problems. One participant, a 56 year old lady who has worked for 30 years in hotels, stated that the RS of A laws are wilfully ignored, usually on the authority of young venue managers typically aged in their low 30s. The venue owners typically keep at arms length from day to day ops and can keep a clear conscience about any possible culpability.

    These are the jerks that the AHA protects. These owners need to be the target of action re RS ofA action. They need to be given the publicity they deserve.

  33. [@climatecouncil: El Ninõ set to double in frequency if global warming remains unchecked: via @guardian #climate]

    Guytaur To that I say ‘Ugghh!’ The creeks around here are so dry that we’ve had a water dragon walk up from the nearest one (500m or so away) to our small dam this morning. He’s pretty big and it’s a rare sight but the dam is shaded and he’s enjoying it. Not sure what the resident goanna will make of him tho.

    I need to start rain dancing 🙂

  34. bemused

    [Shorten was intimately involved in the overthrow of 2 leaders and hence carries baggage.

    Some unfortunately ‘maintain the rage’.]

    Indeed like some on here rage against Rudd.

  35. psyclaw

    Completely agree about the inspectors. The governments always say they will get tough and increase the fines for serving alcohol to people who are intoxicated but fail to mention they NEVER enforce that law because they are too scared of the alcohol lobby.

  36. O’Farrell is apparently going to have a news conference at 11.45am to release his response to the drinking problem in Sydney.

    Since he is in the debt of the AHA and the Liquor industry it will be very interesting to hear what he has to say.

  37. [ Psephos

    But what I wanted to say mostly is, WHAT a pity it was that Fran and Deblonay and Swamprat and various others here couldn’t come to Burma with me. They would have loved to see the fine fruits of 60 years of socialism, in which the heroic Burmese workers and peasants lived on rationed rice and anti-imperialist slogans, and not much else. Lucky Burmese, spared the horrors of capitalism all these years!

    I’ve leved and worked in Sweden, it seemed to be doing a whole lot better!

  38. A few talking points for Bill Shorten for the voters of Griffith:
    * The Government wants to dismantle Medicare. It won’t stop with a $6 co-payment. It’s what’s down the road that you need to worry about.
    * If you are an employee the Government and its backers think you have too much bargaining power, your working conditions are too good and you’re paid too much
    * The Federal Government wants to wind back public education to the point where it’s a second-rate safety net for those who can’t afford to pay school fees
    * The Federal Government will back out of its commitment to the NDIS. The opening shots have already been fired.
    * The Federal Government intends to cut back on support for your superannuation, unless you’re wealthy

Comments Page 27 of 28
1 26 27 28

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *