Legislative Council: Northern Victoria
Northern Victoria extends from the South Australian border to the upper reaches of the Murray River in Victoria’s north-east, without touching the coast. The redistribution has compensated it for the abolition of the lower house electorate of Swan Hill by adding Yan Yean at Melbourne’s north-eastern fringe, while other adjustments to its constituent electorates have cost it Sunbury. These changes have made little difference to the relative strength of the main parties. The results at both the 2006 and 2010 election were two seats for the Liberals, one for the Nationals and two for Labor, although the Liberals and the Nationals ran separate tickets in 2006. The Country Alliance narrowly failed to win a seat at the expense of the Coalition in 2010, and strong preference arrangements give them a good chance of going one better on this occasion.
The Coalition agreement grants the Nationals the second spot on the ticket in Northern Victoria, with Liberals occupying the safe top position and the loseable third. The top three positions on the ticket are all occupied by incumbents, with the number one position going to Wendy Lovell. Lovell was elected from top of the Liberal ticket in 2006, having entered parliament as a member for North Eastern province at the 2002 election, and has been the Coalition’s number one candidate both in 2010 and 2014. She attained a place in shadow cabinet in May 2006, and has served as Minister for Housing and Childhood and Early Development since the 2010 election victory.
The position designated to the Nationals goes to Damian Drum, a former coach for the Fremantle Dockers and player for Geelong in the AFL. Drum entered the upper house at the 2002 election in North Western province and was elected from top of the Nationals ticket in 2006 and 2010. He became parliamentary secretary for regional development with the election of the Baillieu government in November 2010, and won further promotion to Minister for Sport and Recreation and Veterans Affairs in March 2014.
The Liberal member at number three is Amanda Millar, a former human resources adviser at the University of Melbourne who filled a casual vacancy in mid-2013. This was created when Donna Petrovich, the successful number three candidate from 2010, abandoned her seat for what proved to be a narrowly unsuccessful run at the Labor-held seat of McEwen at the 2013 federal election. Petrovich is now seeking to return to state parliament in the marginal Labor lower house seat of Macedon.
Labor goes into the electorate without a sitting member on its ticket, following the retirements of Kaye Darveniza, a member since 1999, and Marg Lewis, who filled a casual vacancy created by the retirement of Candy Broad in June. Darveniza was a former state secretary of the Right faction Health Services Union, while Lewis is a member of the Socialist Left. Daniel Andrews had hoped that Broad’s vacancy would be filled by Daniel Mulino, who was an adviser to Bill Shorten in his capacity as a Gillard/Rudd government minister and boasts a doctorate in economics from Yale University. But as John Ferguson of The Australian put it, Andrews was rolled by the Left faction forces aligned with Senator Kim Carr, who were reportedly concerned that he was too close to the socially conservative Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Ferguson described Lewis as an elderly female party member (her parliamentary biography does not divulge her age), who was not considered a long-term parliamentary prospect and so it has proved, with her political career ending after six months. Mulino will now stand at the election as the second candidate on the Labor ticket in Eastern Victoria.
Labor’s ticket will now be headed by Steve Herbert, a Socialist Left faction member who has held the marginal lower house seat of Eltham since 2002. In keeping with the factionally fraught manner of Labor’s preselection process, James Campbell of the Herald-Sun has reported a widespread belief among Labor sources was that he will retire mid-term if Labor loses the election, making his casual vacancy available to Emma Walters, a lawyer and organiser for the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union. Walters parliamentary ambitions have been a headache for Daniel Andrews owing to her connections with the union, and in particular her relationship with its controversial state secretary John Setka. An upper house casual vacancy could give her a path to parliament away from the glare of an election campaign.
Second on Labor’s ticket is Jaclyn Symes, a former adviser to Rob Hulls who sought preselection to succeed him in his seat of Niddrie following his retirement in early 2012, but was defeated by Ben Carroll.
Other candidates: The lead candidate of the well-placed Country Alliance is Robert Danieli, Italian-born owner-manager of D&M Stockfeeds. The Greens candidate is Jenny O’Connor, an Indigo Shire councillor.
Simplified preference tickets
Excluded from consideration: the top two Coalition and first Labor candidates.
DLP: Country Alliance; Liberal Democratic; Rise Up Australia; People Power; Shooters And Fishers; Family First; Coalition; Labor; Palmer United; Cyclists; Animal Justice; Sex Party; Greens.
Palmer United: Shooters And Fishers; Coalition; Cyclists; Animal Justice; Rise Up Australia; People Power; Greens; Labor; Sex Party; Family First; Liberal Democratic; Country Alliance; DLP.
Sex Party: Liberal Democratic; Animal Justice; Cyclists; Shooters And Fishers; People Power; Greens; Labor; Country Alliance; Palmer United; Coalition; DLP; Family First; Rise Up Australia.
Shooters And Fishers: Palmer United; Sex Party; Liberal Democratic; Country Alliance; People Power; DLP; Rise Up Australia; Family First; Cyclists; Coalition; Labor; Animal Justice; Greens.
Family First: Country Alliance; Shooters And Fishers; DLP; Rise Up Australia; Palmer United; Coalition; Labor; Liberal Democratic; People Power; Animal Justice; Cyclists; Greens; Sex Party.
Cyclists: Sex Party; Shooters And Fishers; Animal Justice; Liberal Democratic; Greens; Country Alliance; Labor; Coalition; People Power; Family First; DLP; Palmer United; Rise Up Australia.
Animal Justice: Cyclists; Sex Party; People Power; Greens; Labor; Coalition; Family First; Palmer United; DLP; Country Alliance; Liberal Democratic; Rise Up Australia; Shooters And Fishers.
Country Alliance: Liberal Democratic; Rise Up Australia; Shooters And Fishers; Coalition; People Power; DLP; Sex Party; Family First; Labor; Cyclists; Animal Justice; Palmer United; Greens.
Coalition: Shooters And Fishers; Family First; Country Alliance; Liberal Democratic; People Power; Palmer United; DLP; Sex Party; Cyclists; Animal Justice; Labor; Rise Up Australia; Greens.
Greens: Animal Justice; Cyclists; Sex Party; People Power; Palmer United; Labor; Coalition; Liberal Democratic; Family First; DLP; Shooters And Fishers; Country Alliance; Rise Up Australia.
People Power: Shooters And Fishers; Country Alliance; Animal Justice; Cyclists; DLP; Rise Up Australia; Liberal Democratic; Greens; Family First; Sex Party; Labor; Coalition; Palmer United.
Liberal Democratic: Country Alliance; Sex Party; Shooters And Fishers; DLP; Family First; People Power; Rise Up Australia; Coalition; Cyclists; Labor; Palmer United; Greens; Animal Justice.
Rise Up Australia: Country Alliance; DLP; Family First; People Power; Shooters And Fishers; Coalition; Liberal Democratic; Labor; Animal Justice; Palmer United; Sex Party; Cyclists; Greens.
Labor: Country Alliance; Palmer United; Greens; Cyclists; Animal Justice; People Power; Sex Party; DLP; Liberal Democratic; Shooters And Fishers; Family First; Coalition; Rise Up Australia.