Seat of the week: Goldstein

Covering established areas of southern coastal Melbourne, the electorate of Goldstein doesn’t swing much, and has provided a safe base for Andrew Robb’s parliamentary career since 2004.

Created with the expansion of parliament in 1984, Goldstein covers coastal southern Melbourne starting from Brighton, located about 10 kilometres from the city centre, and proceeding southwards through Hampton, Sandringham and Black Rock to Beamaris. The northern part of the electorate extends inland beyond the Nepean Highway to accommodate Caulfield South, Bentleigh and surrounding suburbs. The more inland areas are naturally marginal, but the affluence of the coastal suburbs has kept the seat in Liberal hands by stable margins ranging from 5.5% in 1993 to a new high of 11.0% in 2013.

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate size of two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The area now covered by Goldstein was accommodated by the electorate of Balaclava in the years immediately after federation, and then by the new seat of Henty when Balaclava was pushed northwards by a redistribution in 1913. Brighton was put back into Balaclava after 1937, and the new seat of Higinbotham covered the remainder after parliament was expanded in 1949. When Higinbotham was abolished in 1969, the area was divided between Balaclava, Henty and the new seats of Hotham and Isaacs. Beaumaris and Black Rock remained in Isaacs after Goldstein was created in 1984, at which time the new electorate extended northwards to St Kilda East. It assumed a more familiar form when it absorbed Beaumaris in the redistribution of 1996, which greatly reduced the Liberals’ competitiveness in Isaacs.

The various electorates which dominated the modern area of Goldstein were at all times in conservative hands, with the partial exception of Labor’s win in Isaacs at the 1974 election. Don Chipp held Higinbotham for the Liberals from 1960 to 1969, at which time he moved to the new seat of Hotham. Balaclava and then Goldstein were held from 1974 to 1990 by Ian Macphee, who emerged as the figurehead of the party’s moderates. Macphee was ultimately defeated for preselection ahead of the 1990 election by David Kemp, an intellectual leader of the party’s rising neo-liberal tendency, an event that provided a catalyst for Andrew Peacock’s successful challenge to John Howard’s leadership in May 1989. Kemp went on to serve in the Howard cabinet from October 1997 until his retirement at the 2004 election, as Education Minister until 2001 and Environment Minister thereafter.

Goldstein has since been held by Andrew Robb, a former Liberal Party federal director who had long been spoken of as a potential candidate for safe seats in New South Wales, where he had lived for two decades. However, Robb had originally hailed from Victoria, having been raised in a working-class Catholic family that supported the Democratic Labor Party. He came to the Liberal Party via student politics and a job at the newly established National Farmers Federation, which was an assertive voice for labour market deregulation during his period as executive director after 1985. As federal director of the Liberal Party, Robb oversaw the 1990, 1993 and 1996 election campaigns, after which he set up the marketing company Acxiom for Kerry Packer. His first term in parliament was the last of the Howard government, in which he was promoted to parliamentary secretary in January 2006 and thence to the outer ministry as Vocational and Further Education Minister in January 2007.

Robb nominated for the deputy leadership after the 2007 election, but was defeated by Julie Bishop. He instead became Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, and was briefly discussed as a leadership candidate when Malcolm Turnbull was embroiled in the “Utegate” affair in the middle of 2009. Shortly afterwards he made the surprise announcement that he was moving to the back bench owing to a depressive illness. He returned to the front bench in the finance portfolio in March 2010, from which he was resassigned to trade and investment after the 2013 election victory.

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.

845 comments on “Seat of the week: Goldstein”

  1. [So, does anyone know where this idiot idea actually came from??]

    Only someone who has little or no idea of running a business could have dreamt up the 40 applications a week idea. Politicians live in a bubble.

  2. “@ABCNews24: .@StephenMcDonell: The entire situation has dramatically changed over recent hours. There’s a major offensive on now from Kiev Govt troops.”

  3. Imacca

    [And once businesses put up “no entry to jobseekers” signs on their doors (so that they can actually get something done rather than spending half the day signing off peoples activity diaries) then how do people who are only getting the dole 6 months of the year (so they cant afford phones) actually apply for more than 1 job per day??]

    In the 1980s this would have been a huge ask, but these days with email and word processing you can ‘apply’ for half a dozen in about 30 minutes at your local library. My elder son, who was keen to move out of being a chef and into being an electrical apprentice sent applications to 123 employers he turned up in research over the course of 3 weeks and thereafter followed up each with a phone call.

    Few returned his calls, but had he been doing a work test he’d have passed easily. Sadly, his efforts to get a job as an electrical apprentice and his offers to work at a very basic wage were 100% a waste of his time, which is the real problem with the model.

    It’s really about demonising the unemployed in much the way that the regime demonises asylum seekers. It’s just cheap political grandstanding with ruling class malice thrown in.

  4. Where are people getting these reports of the AFP pulling out of MH17 crash site from?

    I thought it was only announced this afternoon that AFP officers would be sent there. How can they be pulling out only hours after this announcement?

  5. Just listened to ABC’s Steven McDonnell who is in Donetsk. He says a major deterioration with Ukrainian troops trying to recapture land held by the rebels. No AFP or crash investigators going in to area while this is happening.

    It would appear the Ukrainian government has led the international community up the garden path? Or maybe they see a quick win.

  6. Seriously, I think it was mean’t to be 40 applications a year.

    Flooding employers with applications from people not interested in the position on offer but compelled to apply only compromises those who really want the job.

  7. [Where are people getting these reports of the AFP pulling out of MH17 crash site from?
    I thought it was only announced this afternoon that AFP officers would be sent there. How can they be pulling out only hours after this announcement?]

    Whatever it is, the ABC will be able to reassure us that Mr Abbott has kept more MH17 promises than he has broken.

  8. guytaur
    Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm | PERMALINK
    Good watermark by the Guardian on its footage of Asylum Seekers arriving at the Cocos Island.

    They looked more like POW’s.

  9. [Dutch experts have cancelled plans to head to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, OSCE officials say.]

    Ah, those European surrender monkeys. Looks like Generalissimo Abbott *VC will have to put some steel into their backbones by ordering the AFP and SAS to run the insurgents not only off the crash site, but all the way to Moscow. Putin is no doubt already soiling his pants at the prospect.

    * Vainglorious Crackpot

  10. [812
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm | PERMALINK
    Good watermark by the Guardian on its footage of Asylum Seekers arriving at the Cocos Island.
    ]

    The Guardian has no business on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. They should have the good grace to give these people some privacy while they are processed.

    This is just “misery porn” — apparently MH17 wasn’t enough for these ghouls.

  11. DL

    I get where you are coming from and would normally agree. However the misery porn may just work for the good of the AS themselves this time and is in the public interest as it stops Abbott’s mob saying what AS on Australian Soil?

  12. [and is in the public interest as it stops Abbott’s mob saying what AS on Australian Soil?]

    I am not sure what this means.

  13. From the Daily Telegraph:

    [Aussie bid to reach MH17 stalls
    HOPES Australian police would be deployed to the MH17 crash site are on ice again tonight after the mission leaders said it was too dangerous.]

    Couldn’t they just shoot their way in, grab the bodies and then be helivacked to a waiting RAAF C-17, thence to the nearest “Bring Them Home” military node in time for tomorrow’s “We are lucky to have Tony Abbott as our Prime Minister” (by Simon Benson) headlines?

  14. The media of course also has an ethical duty to not pay too much attention to the these recent arrivals, lest their MO be shared in the region and encourage more boats, which is in no-one’s interests, except maybe lawyers’.

  15. DL

    That may apply to instructions received from Sauron for some. Not for the rest. They report facts and let the chips fall where they may.

    Most complaints about MSM here are when they do not do that,

  16. [ HOPES Australian police would be deployed to the MH17 crash site are on ice again tonight after the mission leaders said it was too dangerous.]

    Okay, so maybe it’s an evolving story.

    But how can this be only hours after ABbott uses yet another staged media appearance to inform Australians that we’d be sending AFP officers to the site?

    Wasn’t the necessary ground work done wrt the dangers of the mission before making an announcement?

    What is going on?

  17. [783
    confessions

    >There’s no point worrying about who might come to your funeral — by definition, you will be dead!

    A funeral isn’t for the person who’s dead – they’re dead. It’s for the people left behind.]

    The dead don’t need reminding.

  18. As I’ve said before, if they bring in a 40 jobs a month requirement, I’ll be actively encouraging anyone in that position to apply for jobs at MPs electorate offices.

  19. [gloryconsequence
    Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm | PERMALINK
    Newspoll will report a big shift. I predict 50-50, Abbott’s dissatisfaction down and level on PPM.
    ]

    It seems we can always depend on you Glory to put the worst possible slant on everything. What are you predicting for the polls after all this blows over and Abbott has to get back to the real world of trying to get his despised budget through the senate.

  20. Centre
    [So all the unemployed will need to work for the dole?

    Great news…I’m sure the Greens will be ecstatic.]
    Reported in the msm no less.

    The Greens Party support evidence-based policies.

    [The Greens has condemned plans by the federal government to force all jobseekers to work for the dole, saying there’s nothing to prove it’s effective.

    Greens family and community spokeswoman Rachel Siewert says in a statement today the tough new rules fail to address barriers to employment such as lack of available jobs and training or discrimination.

    Ms Siewert says the announcement is all about punishing people and that it’s nonsense to say people have to apply for at least a job a day if jobs aren’t available.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greens-blast-work-for-dole-for-jobseekers-20140727-zxdc3.html#ixzz38fhzK900

    Siewert’s media release: http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/work-dole-expansion-continues-governments-attack-job-seekers

  21. To be blunt, Mr Abbott needed MH17 to have been brought down by Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates to get enduring political benefit. What happened is a complete tragedy, but one which really can’t be made to resonate with any of the more enduring recent themes of Australian politics.

  22. DL

    [The media of course also has an ethical duty to not pay too much attention to the these recent arrivals, lest their MO be shared in the region and encourage more boats, which is in no-one’s interests, except maybe lawyers’.]

    This is a bizarre claim on a number of grounds.

    1. It’s not an ethical duty of the media to become part of the existing regime’s policy narrative — well not in a country said to have n accountable government. If the media can be said to have an ethical duty at all, then that duty lies in offering accurate, intellectually rigorous reports on matters that people might want to consider when forming views about the integrity and conduct of government.

    2. During the last regime, IMAs were front page news, accompanied by hectoring editorials. Plainly, this ethical duty you posit, if it existed at all, was ignored. Perhaps they thought it was the opposite then.

    3. I disagree with you that ‘boats’ are in nobody’s interest apart from lawyers’. Plainly, in the opinion of asylum seekers, they serve their interests. This is not the result of some silly poll, but a vote by people willing to risk death and worse at the hands of Australia, and it seems willing to pay for the risk trade. You can’t argue that their calculus is wrong because you don’t and can ‘t know their circumstances.

    I’m also not aware that lawyers do all that well financially out of asylum seekers. As I understand it, much of the work is pro bono. Doubtless, many are giving up more lucrative work to do this, because they believe in the issue. If you have figures that could show the contrary, you should adduce them.

  23. confessions @ 832

    [But how can this be only hours after ABbott uses yet another staged media appearance to inform Australians that we’d be sending AFP officers to the site?

    Wasn’t the necessary ground work done wrt the dangers of the mission before making an announcement?]

    Very good question. At 7am this morning breakfast TV was showing footage of many civilians fleeing Donetsk because the Ukrainian army had fought its way to the outskirts of the city. That was more than 15 hours ago. The offensive would have begun perhaps 24 hours ago

  24. If he cant get AFP in there, Abbott should threaten to send Crocodile Dundee in to get the remains of MH17.
    Im sure his mate Rupert has some contacts over there to sell the story.

  25. very tired tonight, I just drove from Lizzie’s place to
    warnabool and we are staying at a dog friendly B and B for the night. It was a long drive so I am saying nite dint let the bedbugs bite.\\

Leave a Reply

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