Tag Archives: Menzies

Menzies stays blue despite Labor, Green gains

THE FEDERAL ELECTORATE of Menzies bucked the trend and was retained by the outgoing Liberal government after an otherwise landslide election of the Albanese Labor Government.
A massive 6.1 per cent swing to Labor in Menzies was not enough to take the seat from Liberal hands, so Keith Wolahan has claimed victory in the seat that Kevin Andrews has held since 1991.
Liberal Party retains Menzies Mr Wolahan released a statement following Naomi Oakley conceding the seat almost a week after the polls closed.

“I want to begin by thanking each of the other candidates (Naomi Oakley, Bill Pheasant, Greg Cheesman, Nathan Scaglione, John Hayes, and Sanjeev Sabhlok), their families, and their volunteers.
Thank you to the people of Menzies who have put your trust in me.
My commitment remains the same: I will fight for our community, put the national interest first, and give my all to represent you in our federal parliament.
Thank you to my dedicated party members, volunteers, and supporters for your efforts, your belief in our cause, and your faith in me.
For over 12 months, we have been out in our community, listening to their hopes, aspirations, and concerns.
I never have, and will never, take the people of Menzies for granted. To my party, there is no sugar-coating what happened on May 21.
The loss of Josh Frydenberg, Tim Wilson, Katie Allen, and Gladys Liu is a devastating blow.
As a party, a movement, and a family, we must listen, learn, and regroup.
If we do that work and draw upon our core beliefs, we will come back stronger for it.
Finally, can I thank my family, especially Sarah, Leo, Eva, Mum and Dad.
I wouldn’t be here without you, and I love you.”

Mr Wolahan gave a special mention to the community of Warrandyte, telling the Diary:

“There is nowhere else quite like Warrandyte.
“I could think of no greater honour than to be your voice in our nation’s parliament”.

Labor comes close

While Menzies remains a Liberal seat, it may not be as safe as it once was.
At the Warrandyte booth, with support from Greens preferences, Ms Oakley was the front runner, 878 — 669.
Likewise, in North Warrandyte, Labor won 504 — 272. The newer booths in Menzies, in the Whitehorse Council area that were included after redistribution, also favoured the Labor candidate.
While there was solid support for Mr Wolahan in Wonga Park, Doncaster, Templestowe and Bulleen to tip the Liberals over the line, at one stage, Ms Oakley was within 45 votes of Mr Wolahan in early counting before the margin became unassailable.
She conceded defeat a week after polls were closed, as the gap nudged 2,000 votes.
Ms Oakley sat down with the Diary to discuss the result.

“I really wanted to get it over the line; it was a six per cent swing, which is pretty much unheard of, but it would have been great to get it over the line.
“My dad said to me; it’s going to be a very difficult seat to win.
“I think there was the consensus from some of the oldest parts of the party that we’re never going to win it — it was sort of unwinnable, and of course, when the results started to come through, they were pretty shocked as well,” she said.

She said the redistribution to include Box Hill and Blackburn into the seat added to the unknowns.
“It’s a marginal seat now.”
Being a safe Liberal seat going into the election, her party did not focus its efforts on the seat.

“My energy went into phoning people — because I only had a limited budget, but I also had a limited crew.
“And obviously, they were volunteers — I just did the best I could with what I had.
“And, you know, I think the phoning was a huge part of getting through to people.
“But also, once they started to understand my backstory, it resonated with a lot of the Menzies community.
“The people of Menzies want someone who is grassroots who can relate to the many issues the community faces.”

She said it was rewarding calling people over those six weeks, “I was able to help several family violence survivors by doing that and families struggling with mental health issues as well”.
She said there were several unexpected events during the campaign.

“I had Kevin Andrews turn up to one of the booths, congratulate me, and wish me luck.
“A couple of his supporters voted for me as a protest [at Mr Andrews losing preselection].

Ms Oakley said that despite the loss, she enjoyed the campaign and said this is not the last we will see of her.

“It was great to be a part of it — and it is great that it is not unwinnable anymore.
“My political career is probably not over; I’m going to try and see if I can run for the State election; I think I’m going to give it a crack because I think there is an opportunity there for me [to be a local voice] — and I think people would like that.
“I think there’s definitely room for more women — that’s coming through loud and clear.
“I put everything on hold to run — to do my best.
“I’m happy with how I went here, it would have been great to get the prize, but that didn’t happen.
“Dad ran for Deakin under Gough Whitlam, and he missed out by 400 votes.
“Dad’s been amazing support just as a mentor — as well as Sonja Terpstra.
“To have that support of people who have been there or are doing that.
“And hopefully, Keith can actually deliver on his promises, like Five Ways.”

Greens make headway

Garnering a 3.5 per cent swing, Warrandyte resident and Green’s Candidate Bill Pheasant made a creditable showing in the polls, earning 13.7 per cent of the primary vote.
With most Green preferences flowing to Labor, it was a significant factor in almost delivering the seat to Labor. Bill Pheasant told the Dairy:

“I am pleased to have run for the first time as a Greens candidate, helping make Menzies a marginal seat — one that will now benefit from increased attention.
As a Warrandyte resident, I wanted to push for more decisive action to protect this incredible ecosystem that sustains us and reimagine politics as a profoundly important activity: where facts are important, where everyone in the community matters where incompetence is not rewarded.
I congratulate Keith Wolahan as the new representative for Menzies.
It was great to spend time with all the candidates — well done all for giving many voices a chance to be heard.”

Other candidates on the Menzies ballot could not breach the 4 per cent threshold, with the Liberal Democrats Greg Cheesman and United Australia Party’s Nathan Scaglione each taking 3.5 per cent of primary votes. One Nation’s mystery candidate, John Hayes, took 2.2 per cent of the vote, while Federation Party’s Sanjeev Sabhlok received 0.9 per cent.

New electoral boundaries

VICTORIA’S ELECTORAL Boundaries Commission (EBC) has released new State electoral boundaries to come into operation at the next State election in November 2022.

The EBC report, tabled in Parliament in October, includes the boundaries of each State district and region, and an explanation of how and why each change was made.

The EBC took account of the 127 written and 25 verbal submissions received from the Victorian community when preparing the final boundaries, which led to several key changes from the proposed boundaries.

The boundaries for Warrandyte have changed with the eastern boundary taking in more of Wonga Park uniting the electors of Park Orchards within Warrandyte District, while in the west, areas of Doncaster East have been incorporated into the district of Bulleen.

The Report noted that Warrandyte District was well under quota, at 10.69 per cent below the district average.

The Commission decided to extend Warrandyte District east to gain 4,091 electors in Chirnside Park from Evelyn District, south-east to gain 4,241 electors in Ringwood North and the remaining share of Park Orchards from Croydon District, and south to include 4,853 electors also in Ringwood North from Ringwood District.

The EBC said it also considered it appropriate to retain Warrandyte North within the district, “as the community ties of Warrandyte North tend to face south towards the locality of Warrandyte and its surrounds”.

These additions took the electorate over quota, but this was balanced by the loss of electors to Bulleen District, which brought Warrandyte District well within quota at 5.47 per cent above the district average.

The EBC is an independent statutory agency made up of the Chief Judge of the County Court, the Electoral Commissioner and the Surveyor General.

The Victorian Electoral Commission provides administrative and technical support to the EBC.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said he was pleased with the level of engagement in the process.

“Redivisions are a key part of Victoria’s electoral system, as they ensure fair representation and an equal voice for all voters in State elections,” Mr Gately said.

Comparing the existing boundaries with the new boundaries, a total of 910,384 electors (21.28 per cent of all electors) have been transferred to different districts.

The redivision has also replaced nine existing districts with nine new ones.

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Earlier this year, the augmented Electoral Commission for Victoria announced the outcome of its deliberations on the names and boundaries of the 39 Federal Electoral Divisions in Victoria.

The Hon. Justice Susan Kenny AM, the presiding member, thanked the individuals and organisations who contributed to the redistribution.

“All written objections and comments, as well as the information presented at the online inquiry, have been carefully considered in deciding the final names and boundaries,” Justice Kenny said.

The Division of Menzies covers Warrandyte and surrounds, and shares boundaries with the proposed Divisions of Casey, Chisholm, Deakin, Jagajaga, Kooyong and McEwen.

In 2025, the Division of Menzies is projected is 112,720 electors, which is less than the minimum number of projected electors required by the Electoral Act.

Menzies therefore had to gain at least 289 electors, or up to 8,485 electors, for it to fall within the permissible range for the maximum and minimum number of electors in an electoral division at the projection time.

The ECB has moved the southern boundary of Menzies to incorporate areas of Blackburn, Box Hill and Mitcham, while to the north areas of Kangaroo Ground, Research and Eltham will be folded into Jagajaga.

A small area of Warranwood will be incorporated into Deakin.

The changes were gazetted at the end of July, and the new boundaries will be used at the next Federal Election, which is due to be held before August 2022.

The full report and an interactive map of the new State electoral boundaries are now available to view on the EBC website ebc.vic.gov.au

The new Federal boundaries can be viewed on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website aec.gov.au.

Volunteers recognised in Community Awards

SOME WONDERFUL volunteers have been recognised in various Australia Day awards across the country.
Our own local volunteers were recognised in ceremonies held in Menzies, and in the electorate of Menzies, which incorporates Manningham.
Federal Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews awarded 20 individuals for their contribution to their local communities.
“They are people who just selflessly go about their own quiet ways of contributing to the community —people who don’t seek recognition, but deserve recognition — and I believe this is an important day for us as a broader community to recognise those people who quietly build the community in which we live,” Mr Andrews said.
He said over the almost 20 years of holding the awards, there have been almost 1,200 people recognised.
The Menzies Awards also recognise community groups who enhance the lives of the people of Menzies.
“It is through those community groups that we are such a strong place, such a wonderful place to live, because of that unseen work that so many people do, which is the glue of the local community that we build together,” he said.
Cr Andrew Conlon, Mayor of Manningham, which makes up a large part of the Menzies electorate, said that it was wonderful to be able to express gratitude to those in the community who have selflessly served the greater good and have made a positive difference to someone else’s life.
Cr Conlon said they were “great examples of what it means to be an Australian”.
The individual awards went to; John Barnes, Steve Buys, Gee Wing Chung, Colleen Danaher, Ross Dawson, Zakir Fakhri, Malcolm Ferguson, Ila Franklin, Trish Hargreaves, Sue Hudson, Alston Jerome, Tony Louey, Adrian Mullins, David Ryan, Christian Sharkey, Liz Stewart, Stuart Steiner, Ron Twining, and Cheryl Watt.
The 2021 Community Organisation Award was presented to the Women’s Friendship Group, who was presented with an Australian Flag, which had previously hung at Parliament House in Canberra.

Captain Adrian Mullens
Warrandyte CFA

Captain Mullens has given over 36 years of volunteer service, including eight years as Captain and over 25 years as a senior officer in the CFA.
Captain Mullens has responded to and commanded numerous life-threating emergency situations resulting in the protection of life and property, including the Warrandyte Fire in 2014, for which Captain Mullens was the Incident Controller and successfully contained the fire, which had great potential of causing devastation across Warrandyte.
Adrian commenced with the CFA in 1984, has attended numerous fires throughout the state and indeed Australia, his strong and experienced leadership style ensures his crews are well able to protect the Menzies community.
Adrian told the Dairy he was humbled to accept this award, but stressed that it is a team effort, and the award acknowledged the work of the whole brigade.
“We have seen with the different leaders over the years, the brigade has got bigger and stronger — it is a matter of us working as a collective team,” he said.

WO1 David Ryan
Warrandyte RSL

David Ryan deployed as an active Regimental Sergeant Major with the Victorian Army engineers during the 2019/2020 bushfire crisis.
Utilising the experience gained in a 32-year career in Army Reserve including in East Timor, border protection operations and numerous exercises in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, he produced outstanding results, helping to coordinate relief operations for the Victorian community.
As President of the Warrandyte RSL for the last four years, David has excelled in providing remembrance and social activities for the Warrandyte and Menzies community.
Following the ceremony, David told the Diary he felt it was good to have people recognised for the contribution they do to the local community.
“But it is always humbling and hard to accept, but it is an honour to be recognised for the work you do over the years.”

Christian Sharkey
Wonga Park Scout Group

Christian joined Wonga Park Scouts as a volunteer in 2013, since this time he has been supporting young members actively encouraging them in their endeavours.
Christian assists with numerous activities, ensuring the smooth running of the group, does a great job in planning and running events for the Youth members, and often fills in for other leaders when they are not available.
Each year, Christian plans and leads the families in assisting at several local community activities including Anzac Day ceremonies, he provides significant time and commitment to the group.

Stuart Steiner
Wonga Park Scouts

Stuart joined Wonga Park Scouts as a volunteer in 2013.
During this time, he has worked tirelessly assisting young members mentoring them in a variety of different skills and knowledge.
He provides guidance and support to youth in reaching their potential.
Stuart is also instrumental in maintaining the scout hall, providing
significant time and commitment to the group.
Each year Stuart plans and leads several family hikes for the entire group ranging from day hikes to weeklong hikes.
He ensures all of the aspects of these hikes, from gear to transport, food and navigation all run smoothly.

Ron Twining
Templestowe RSL

A Templestowe resident for more than 30 years, Ron Twining has served as a Justice of the Peace in Manningham since 1983 and has attended to the needs of local residents for more than those three decades.
A former criminal investigation branch squad detective of Victoria Police, Ron is currently President of the Templestowe RSL and has conducted Anzac and Remembrance Day services for the past 18 years.
A much-loved neighbour and member of the local community Ron’s commitment to Manningham in many areas has been outstanding.
Spending 13 years in Victoria Police as a senior detective, he also made great contributions in commerce in 20 years as national general manager of an Australian transport company.
Ron has been a proud recipient of the Victoria Police Medal, the Australian National Service and Australian Defence Medal, and in 2017 he was the Manningham Citizen of the Year.

Cheryl Watt
Doncare

Cheryl’s connection with Doncare commenced close to 30 years ago when it was a much smaller organisation, in her typical capable style she looked after administration and finance.
As the organisation grew, she introduced the idea that in the better interest of Doncare, the growing complexity of the business required an accountant, Cheryl remained to support the accountant.
Close to 10 years ago, Cheryl made the transition to social support for seniors’ program and very quickly became integral in the many lives of Manningham seniors, arranging opportunities for them to enjoy hundreds of social activities, assisting them to make friends and avoid social isolation and loneliness.
She has an amazing ability to organise and run the programs, encourages the people around her, has an amazing sense of humour, and is a great listener.
Cheryl was not able to attend the Ceremony, but the award was accepted on her behalf.

Nillumbik awards

Nillumbik announced their Australia Day awards at a ceremony in Eltham on January 26.
Mayor Peter Perkins said the award recipients and their achievements — and those of others nominated — underlined a strong legacy of community service in Nillumbik.
“Today’s award recipients highlight the strength of commitment to helping others that exists in our community,” Cr Perkins said.
“While their ages and backgrounds may be diverse, this unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of those around them is the thread that draws them together.
“It is also a reflection of an attitude among the broader Nillumbik community.
“I congratulate and extend my heartfelt thanks to today’s award recipients — and to all those in our community who work so selflessly to help improve the lives of others.”
Cr Perkins said the theme of this year’s ceremony resonated strongly with the community.
“Today is an opportunity for us all to reflect, show respect and to celebrate as we are all part of the story – and this is especially so after the year we’ve just been through.

Josh Allen
Nillumbik’s 2021 Citizen of the Year

Through his work with the CFA as a member of the Diamond Creek Fire Brigade, Josh has been involved in the response and recovery from significant events including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the Christmas Day flash floods of 2011.
A member of the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek, Josh’s work in the community has been notable for his energy and enthusiasm, along with his ability to collaborate with various local groups and services, including the Men’s Shed, Lions Club and Diamond Creek Traders’ Association.
He was instrumental in securing the W-Class Tram, which now occupies such a prominent place in the new Diamond Creek Regional Playspace and operates as a community café.

Peter Talbot
Volunteer of the Year

An active member of Community and Volunteers of Eltham (CAVE) for 20 years, he has also been Liaison Officer for Eltham High School and Eltham Lions Club President.
Over this time, he has been tireless, despite his own health setbacks and challenges, in driving fundraising efforts for various important community causes.

Jan Aitken
Senior Citizen of the Year

Jan Aitken has been fundamental to the development and success of the Nillumbik Reconciliation Group.
For 13 years as President, she has worked to connect communities through passion, warmth and a commitment to Reconciliation.
Numerous other community organisations, including schools and individuals have also benefited from Jan’s dedication to giving over the years.

Finn Deacey
Young Citizen of the Year

Over the past year Finn has balanced the completion of his Year 12 studies with his commitment to volunteering for a variety of community organisations.
These include the Eltham CFA, Nillumbik’s FreeZa Group, Nillumbik Unplugged and Eltham Life 3095.

The Rotary Club of Diamond Creek
Community Group of the Year

Despite all the challenges of 2020, the club managed to push ahead with a range of initiatives and projects to help those in need of support.
These included the Second Bite project (providing food to the disadvantaged) as well as a range of arts and education initiatives.

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