Seat of the week: Murray

The northern Victorian seat of Murray is one of a number of seats in rural New South Wales and Victoria which have drifted from the Nationals to the Liberals after long-serving sitting members retired, Sharman Stone having secured the seat once held by Jack McEwen in 1996.

Blue numbers indicate size of two-party majority for the Liberal Party. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Murray covers central northern Victoria including a 200 kilometre stretch of the river that bears its name, from Gunbower east through Echuca to Yarrawonga and Bundalong. From there it extends southwards into the Goulburn Valley region as far as Inglewood in the west and Nagambie and Euroa in the east. Its largest population centre by a considerable margin is Shepparton, home to about a third of its population, followed by Echuca, which accounts for about 10%. The electorate was created with the expansion of parliament in 1949, but its boundaries resembled those of Echuca which existed from federation until its abolition in 1937, when its territory was divided between Bendigo in the west and Indi in the east. Its dimensions have not substantially changed at any time since 1949, apart from a slight reorientation westwards when the electorate of Wimmera was abolished in 1984.

The area in question was the domain of the Country Party from its formation in 1920 until 1996, when Sharman Stone won Murray for the Liberals upon the retirement of Nationals member Bruce Lloyd. John McEwen began his federal parliamentary career as the member for Echuca in 1934 before moving to Indi when it was abolished the following term, then transferred to Murray in 1949 and remained there until his retirement in 1971. McEwen served as leader of the Country Party after 1958 and, for three weeks following Harold Holt’s disappearance at the end of 1967, Prime Minister. McEwen was succeeded on his retirement in 1971 by Bruce Lloyd, who held the seat until 1996. In a sadly typical outcome for the Nationals, the seat fell to the Liberals when Lloyd retired in 1996, Sharman Stone outpolling the Nationals candidate 43.2% to 29.7% and prevailing by 3.7% after the distribution of preferences. The Liberals had intermittently fielded candidates against Lloyd throughout his career, but always finished third behind Labor.

Sharman Stone served as a parliamentary secretary from after the 1998 election until January 2006, when she was promoted to the junior ministry as Workforce Participation Minister. After the 2007 election defeat she assumed environment, heritage, the arts and indigenous affairs, the first named being shared with shadow cabinet member Greg Hunt, before being promoted to shadow cabinet in the immigration and citizenship portfolio when Malcolm Turnbull became leader in September 2008. However, she was demoted to the outer shadow ministry position of early childhood education and childcare when Turnbull was replaced by Tony Abbott in December 2009, having supported Turnbull during Abbott’s leadership challenge, and relegated to the back bench after the 2010 election. In February 2014, Stone accused Abbott of Joe Hockey of lying about union conditions for workers at the SPC Ardmona cannery in Shepparton after the government’s rejection of a bid for $25 million in assistance put the future of its 2700 jobs in doubt. When asked at the time if she intended to remain in the Liberal Party, Stone said only that it was “to be seen how things pan out”.

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.

598 comments on “Seat of the week: Murray”

Comments Page 11 of 12
1 10 11 12
  1. psephos
    Broadly I would agree with much, nearly all in fact, of your #461 but …

    The first mention of Israel accepted by the orthodox wisdom is that of the Egyptian Merneptah Stele dated c 1200 BCE by Flinders Petrie.
    In fact the translation of the strange word on the stele as “Israel’ owes much to the religious beliefs of Petrie and his translator and is not in fact anywhere near as solid verification of the existence of a group or place that is today called Israel.
    Wiki has an excerpt from his biography describing the discovery of the Stele.

    Similarly the only archaeological evidence for a local chieftan named David in the Jerusalem region is far from solid and extremely controversial.
    The discovery of ‘bytdwd’ on the Tel Dan inscription has been dated fairly solidly some 200 years later than the purported time of David despite earlier more optimistic attempts to relate to David the form of the word and its context render it probable that it does not refer to the David but is more likely a temple to a local non Israelite or Judean deity.
    At this stage there is no strong credible basis for an assumption of the historical existence of David and therefore his son and certainly not as described in the OT.
    As you are probably aware archaeology in the region, even today, is strongly influenced by political factors.

    And, finally, when Yahweh has a consort named Asherah [his missus], is one of the sons of El the supreme Canaanite god of a particular city I forget which one, probably Tyre, there is a company of lesser deities in attendance, ‘the people of the land’ at the time are known to have worshipped Baal and other local deities as is evidenced by numerous discoveries in modern Judea, then to call the Judaism or Yahwism of the time ‘monotheistic’ would be inaccurate and they certainly did not invent monotheism as such was known in Egypt many centuries prior.

    Other than that I agree.

  2. @Mod Lib/499

    I don’t follow your logic at all, to suggest that Liberals and Labor playing nice, after both parties calling each other’s horror budgets?

  3. Talk about violating the norms of common decency. This place becomes akin to a particularly bad episode of Q&A when twaddlefest, psephboss and Nothing domiate proceedings. All egregious bores in their own way.

  4. People on higher incomes don’t necessary have a greater level of job security, they in many cases need to be open to moving around.

  5. I agree about WwIi and earlier I characterised the US interventions as a failure since WWII. The reason it worked following WWII was because Germany and Japan were and are nations that are nations first, so not a loose collaboration of groups. Also they faced complete destruction and had experienced incredible destruction.

  6. Friendships across the chamber can potentially be a positive thing, people usually do enter politics with good intention so while they might have different views on how to achieve it.

  7. @Mod Lib/506

    And that’s why they fail as political parties, being too coasy to protect their own turf.

    Forgetting ordinary people in the process.

  8. […well thank goodness you are here adrian to save the day with your wit and wisdom.]

    Not to mention cheery disposition and superior spelling ability.

  9. [twaddlefest, psephboss and Nothing domiate proceedings. All egregious bores in their own way.]

    I quite agree, so now I’ll return to more useful pastimes.

  10. Ordinary people gain more from both sides working together than against each other.

    The Hawke/Keating government was highly successful due to the Liberals willingness to support good policy

  11. @MB/515

    Except this goverment is claiming Labor’s policies, rather than supporting good policy.

    They also think that Medicare, Labor’s NBN, Gonski, NDIS, Carbon Pricing, MRRT are not good policies.

    Hawke/Keating are not the same as current bunch, again, 20 years ago.

  12. Maybe 4 Corners was just too depressing. Child prostitution, drug addiction and extreme poverty in the shadow of the World Cup glitter.

  13. mexican:

    It’s hilarious that a question about friendships across the aisle is being asked now after the bullshit from the coalition in the last parliament.

  14. I think there is too many people who are too fond of politics 20 years ago, and continue to think it’s the same game.

  15. Zoidy

    I am not sure what policies this government is claiming from the previous government besides some of the budget cuts it had announced.

    Working together is not the same as totally agreeing with each other.

  16. Obama and Climate Change
    Obama’s response to Abbott on this subject and his recent statements in the USA…will certainly have been influenced by the terrible drought… now in it’s 7th year…. over much of the central valley of California

    Last year travelling in the USA were were shocked at the damage in Central Cal’s great fruit producing area between LA and San Fran… and seeing many trees and vines dead in the fields,and where many townsnow how have strict water rationing,and no sign of any relief

    Having visited the region some years back the effects of the drought were memorable…areas once covered in vegie farms and strawberries,were niow dustbowls and little sign of agricultural activity

    In Cal. there is now general acceptance of the facts of climate change.and the Republican maddies seem to have been silenced by this event
    Oddly while the last few summmers havve seem massive cnowfalls in the Eastern states, little heavy snow has fallen for some years in the Californian Sierras

  17. Fessy

    True for there was once upon a time when Tone and Gillard appeared to have been friends although the way Tone has behaved in recent years that quickly went out the window.

  18. The Americans have probably got better things to do with their troops than leave a couple of hundred thousand in every crappy country.

    That policy would bankrupt them eventually. There is a huge price to pay for trying to impose your will on countries that hate you.

    You’d think they would have learnt by now.

  19. It is absolutely right that female Uni students in my field (medicine) are doing brilliantly.

    The guys better watch out in a decade or so….

  20. The educated population is doing pretty well, the only ones struggling are the ones just out of Uni.

    Zoidy I would rather support the parliament than be pig-headed.

  21. @Mod Lib/529

    So it’s a debt living beyond their means then?

    Something that Joe Hockey keeps sprouting on the budget?

  22. Iraq is now being dismembered by sectarian hatreds and ambitions – the conflict between the Shia and the Sunni – and by overlapping conflicts between the Arabs and Persians, their allies and clients and other ethnic, political and religious groups.

    It’s also worth noting that the insurrection in Syria, now a source of new revolt and violence, was first sponsored by and has been funded and armed all-along by official Saudi and Turkish powers, each with at least the tacit approval of the US.

    That this disintegration has become a complete nightmare is just stating the obvious. Equally plainly, it is a nightmare that can hardly be resolved at all even by the peoples who are living through it, and which almost certainly cannot be quelled by the re-imposition of western force.

    Even if, by some exercise of extreme conquest, the West were able to eject ISIS fighters and Assad and suppress the immediate fighting, there is no prospect this would offer a durable settlement. Before long the West would have to withdraw again and there would be another iteration of the “instability” that is now raking The Levant.

    Since it is also certainly the case that the US does not have the will to support another sustained, large-scale deployment, it is also relevant to ask what would be the point of a token deployment. Surely, there is no point at all in this. It would simply expose western forces to futile losses and lead to a new defeat and humiliation. The chance to achieve such a defeat would surely sustain extremist violence and, who knows, might lead both Sunni and Shia to combine against the West.

    Renewed mobilisation of western military force cannot by any means undo the errors of the past, errors that precipitated the destruction we are now observing. It is simply delusional to think the West can suspend the conflict by the addition of yet more violence to the field. To suppose renewed western military involvement on any scale is either possible or sustainable or likely to be effective is only to repeat the errors that are now so abundantly clear to all.

  23. Zoidy

    You wrote that I was an apologist for the political parties and I said that is better than being pig-headed.

    If you want to think I was referring to you then that is your call but I was only making a statement as I know there are good and bad in both political parties.

  24. [538

    ISIS could bring US and Iranian forces fighting side by side against a common enemy.


    What this describes is the utter impotence of America in the region. Unable to act on their own initiative, they now depend on a power they have sworn to overturn.

    Whodathunkit? Just about anyone back in 2001.

  25. Adrian and others re Rio
    Yes tonight’s program was depressing and in some ways horrible

    Some years ago I went to Rio for a week or soo on a trip around South America which I have visited twice and find fascinating ,though one needs to be alert and carefull..
    much crime in Rio

    Rio …for all its sins it is a remarkable city…just the location is breath-taking in its impact
    The great mountains and monoliths around the city,the lush tropical gardens and jungle and that immense harbour ,make Sydney ,one of the great maratime cities of the world
    but sometimes it is shocking…I recall going for a walk along Copacabana Beach one night before bed,and being shocked to see a mother and child sleeping in an alley way on an old couch there I gave her some money for food but how does one cope with this
    I understand that things have improved for the very poorest under the Workler’s Party Govt,but the vast favelas remain ,almost like mini-suburbs

    But then the beaches are stunning..and the varied people,blacks,euros.Japs and Asians of every kind..and many of the young men and woman dressed in the most minimal of beachwear,with great bodies,so you can’t tell the poor from the rich…and on the beaches they sell EVERYTHING..chairs/umbrellas/food /drink/condoms(??)clothes/books/ and sports equipment and music from strolling players…makes Bondi look rather tame
    …and Brazilian food has a vast range of just every cuisine yhou could name,all available on the beach___

  26. Not sure if real:

    Stephen Murray ‏@smurray38 1m

    Tomorrow’s #newspoll 2PP: ALP 53 (-1) Coalition 47 (+1) Primary vote: Coalition: 37 (+1); ALP 36 (-1); Greens 10 (-2); Others 17 (+2) #qanda

  27. Yes, its real. He seems to have access to papers early, and has done this before. Stephen is the old “Boiler Maker Bill” from Crikey years ago.

  28. [537


    It’s a bad sign that ISIS are too nasty for Al Qaeda. Even Al Zawahiri has been bucketing them.]

    It’s a bad sign for Al Qaeda too. It means they have lost their status as the sword of Islam. They’ve been gazumped.

  29. Everything, how much does a student pay now for a medical degree at your university and what will they expected to be after the fees are deregulated?

Comments Page 11 of 12
1 10 11 12

Leave a Reply

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