Australian Capital Territory Election 2020


Kurrajong encompasses the city centre, the parliamentary district and the suburbs at the eastern end of central Canberra, from Lyneham in the north to Narrabundah in the south. This area was completely within the old seven-member of Molonglo in the pre-2016 electoral arrangement. The redistribution has cost it the area immediately west of the parliamentary district, including Yarralumla and Deakin, which have been transferred to Murrumbidgee. This area is distinctive an area for its high incomes and relatively low concentration of mortgage-paying families. It is the strongest of the territory's electorates for the Greens, and correspondingly weak for the Liberals.

Labor candidates






Both the Labor members in 2016 are seeking re-election, most notably Andrew Barr (centre left), who had previously held a seat in Molonglo since 2016. A former ministerial adviser, Barr polled 3.8% at his first election in 2004, which proved enough to get him into parliament when he filled the vacancy created by Ted Quinlan's retirement in 2006. This rose to 6.2% in 2008, fell to 4.2% when Katy Gallagher dominated the Labor vote in 2012, then shot to 21.3% when he led the party to the 2016 election. A member of the Right, Barr became deputy leader and Treasurer when Katy Gallagher succeeded Jon Stanhope as leader in 2011, and in turn succeeded Gallagher when she moved to the Senate in December 2014 while retaining the position of Treasurer.

The other Labor candidate elected in 2016 was Rachel Stephen-Smith (bottom right), a member of the Left and former chief-of-staff to Senator Kim Carr, who emerged the second strongest Labor performer with 5.7% of the vote. She was immediately placed in the ministry, and has served as Health Minister since July 2019.

Labor's new candidates are Judy Anderson (top right), works in government relations for AustCyber, a not-for-profit cyber-security concern; Jacob Ingram (centre right), a staffer to Andrew Barr and Right faction member who ran for federal preselection in the seat of Canberra; and Maddy Northam (bottom left), an official with the Left faction Community and Public Sector Union.

Liberal candidates






The two elected Liberals in 2016 were Elizabeth Lee and Steve Doszpot, the latter of whom died of liver cancer in November 2017, a month after announcing his imminent retirement as he entered the terminal phase of his illness. Prior to 2016, Doszpot was elected in Brindabella in 2008 and Molonglo in 2012, following a seat swap with then party leader Zed Seselja.

Elizabeth Lee (bottom left) is a former Australian National University law lecturer of Korean background who entered parliament as the best-performing Liberal in 2016 with 9.1% of the vote, ahead of 7.8% for Doszpot. She immediately assumed shadow ministry responsibility for environment and disability, to which education was added in February 2018. Lee has been identified as a moderate, and there were reports in November 2019 that up to four of the 11 Liberal MPs were in favour of her taking over as leader from Alistair Coe.

The Liberal who filled Doszpot's vacancy was Candice Burch (top right), a former assistant director in the Department of Finance who was the third strongest performing Liberal in 2016 with 5.9% of the vote. The non-incumbent Liberals on the ticket are Robert Johnson (centre right), an international trade adviser and president of Australia-China Youth Co-operation; Patrick Pentony (bottom right), an organic farmer who established the Southside Farmers Market in Phillip; and Rattesh Gumber (centre left), chief executive of IT Alliance Australia. Gumber was a late addition to the line-up after two earlier candidates fell by the wayside -- Vijay Dubey over a reported dispute with party officials, and Peter McKay after it emerged he had criticised “animistic” welcome to country ceremonies and the territory's “homosexual Chief Minister”.

Other candidates

Shane Rattenbury (left) is a former business director of Greenpeace International who has held a seat for the Greens since 2008, when he was elected in the old seven-member Molonglo district. He served as Speaker during his first parliamentary term, then emerged as the party's only survivor when it lost three seats in 2012. This was despite a drop in his own vote from 10.8% to 5.4%, and in the combined Greens vote for Molonglo from 18.2% to 13.2%. The result nonetheless left him with the balance of power, which he was able to parlay into a position in the ministry. He was comfortably elected in Kurrajong with 12.9% in 2016, secondly only to Andrew Barr, and retained his position in the ministry, in which he has since served in the climate change, corrections, justice and mental health portfolios.

The Greens' designated hope for a second seat is Rebecca Vassarotti (right), a consultant in the not-for-profit community and health sector. Also on the Greens ticket are Adriana Boisen and Michael Brewer.

Other parties in the field are the Progressives, Animal Justice, Sustainable Australia, Climate Justice, Community Action and two independents, Marilena Damiano and Bruce Paine.