New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Liberal 8.6%
Region: Illawarra Region
Federal: Gilmore (73%)/Throsby (27%)

Candidates in ballot paper order



No Land Tax

Liberal (top)

Labor (bottom)

Christian Democratic Party





Two-party preferred booth results from 2011 state election showing Liberal majority in blue and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

Kiama covers the southern edge of the Illawarra region around Kiama itself on the coast and Albion Park further inland, from which it extends south along the coast to Shoalhaven Heads and inland to Bomaderry and North Nowra, along with rural territory further to the north. The Illawarra has traditionally been a stronghold for Labor, but the effect of the 2011 tidal wave was to cost it the seats at the southern and northern edge of the region, namely Kiama and Heathcote, whereas Labor had enough fat on its margins to retain the central seats of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Keira. The swing in Kiama’s case was 19.4%, easily accounting for an 11.9% Labor margin. The redistribution has given the Liberals a further 1.1% boost by removing Illawarra territory at Shell Cove, where around 3000 voters are transferred to Shellharbour, and adding Nowra and surrounding areas, home to around 3750 voters formerly in South Coast. It also loses rural territory around Robertson inland of the Illawarra, transferring over 2000 voters to Goulburn.

Prior to the 2011 defeat, Labor had held Kiama without interruption since its creation in 1981, although its position was weakened when the 2007 redistribution transferred Illawarra territory to the new seat of Shellharbour and compensated it with rural territory around Bomaderry, cutting 3.7% from the margin. Labor’s member from 1999 to 2011 was Matt Brown, who won promotion to Housing Minister after the 2007 election and then to Police Minister in September 2008. Just three days into the latter role, his ministerial career ended ignominiously when it emerged he had danced in his briefs during a late-night party in the office of Wollongong MP Noreen Hay, made lewd remarks to her daughter, and – so it was claimed, though denied by both – simulated a sex act on Hay.

Brown went on to defeat in 2011 at the hands of Liberal candidate Gareth Ward, who had previously been the deputy mayor of Shoalhaven. Ward’s new Labor opponent is Glenn Kolomeitz, who has been a police prosecutor, military police officer and adviser to then Shadow Defence Minister Robert McClelland from 2005 and 2006, and has more recently been principal of his own law firm.

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