You wouldn’t happen to be participating in a Victorian state election soon, would you?
Some time round say, November?
Oh, you are!
You don’t by any chance reside on a large peninsula famous for fine wines, good footy, choice waves and a rockin’ blues train, do you?
Well, if you do, you should probably become acquainted with all the basic deets about your electorate (just in case you were thinking about making an informed vote this time around – we hear there are people out there that are into that kinda thing). Luckily for you, we’ve compiled all the key facts and figures and they’re just waiting below, ready for a good-ol’ fashioned perusal. Enjoy, and watch out for further news and analysis!
The Bellarine District sits southwest of Melbourne, occupying most of the peninsula which shares its name. The rough geographical heart of the district sits around 55km from Melbourne CBD. It is partly bordered by the major waters of Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay.
Size (does it matter?)
She ain’t the biggest, but she ain’t the smallest neither. The Bellarine Electorate measures out at 367 km²
We Need to Establish Boundaries
The electorate is separated from its neighbours in the East at Coppards Road, Blackrock/Staceys Road and the Barwon River, but otherwise it’s encompassed by the waters of the bays and the strait. You could say it’s 3/4 girt by sea; you probably shouldn’t, though. People might look at you funny.
Do you live in one of these towns? If so, congratulations – most likely you’re legally required to vote in the Bellarine Electorate at the approaching state election (how exciting!)
- Barwon Heads
- Clifton Springs
- Indented Head
- Ocean Grove
- Point Lonsdale
- St Leonards
Didn’t see your sweet place of residence? Perhaps you’re from somewhere more sparsely populated, like:
- Marcus Hill
- Swan Bay
- Swan Island
Current Sitting Member
Lisa Neville MP (ALP) – Neville has held the seat since first winning it in 2002.
Upper House Region
Western Victoria Region
There are two councils that function within the boundaries of this seat.
The Bellarine Ward of the Geelong City Council accounts for most of the electorate (except for Queenscliff and Swan Island). There are three representatives from the Bellarine Ward on the council.
Queenscliff and Swan Island are part of the Borough of Queenscliffe, which has five elected councillors.
This seat was first created before the 1967 election, but didn’t last long before being replaced by the South Barwon and Geelong East electorates in 1976. It was re-established for the 1985 election, at the same time that Geelong East was scrapped and population growth meant that South Barwon shifted further West.
While Bellarine has remained with Lisa Neville and Labor since 2002, the seat has always been a marginal one, recording significant swings both for and against its incumbent MPs since 1992.
Since 1985 Bellarine has changed hands from Labor, to Liberal, and back again.
Name three bigger swingers… I’ll wait
The last state election in 2014 saw Neville retain Bellarine, with a big swing towards her. Here is the data for you stat cats out there:
43.56% Lisa Neville ALP
40.61% Ron Nelson Liberal
9.42% Brenton Peake Greens
Results after redistribution of preferences
54.84% Lisa Neville ALP
45.16% Ron Nelson Liberal
Labor Margin = 4.8% Swing = +7.3 towards Labor
The win was a significant one, coming despite concerns over electoral boundaries redistribution prior to this election that cut out areas which were strong Labor.
There were 42,541 enrolled voters in this election.
This election was won by Lisa Neville and Labor, but only after the allocation of preference voting. Liberal Candidate Kurt Reiter actually won 43.1% of the primary count, attracting a -7.5% swing against Labor. Reiter would go on to receive a three month jail term in 2017 for posing as a lawyer before dealing with proceeds of crime, and obtaining documents and financial advantage through deception.
There must have been something in the water, because Independent Stephen Juhasz also polled 1.3% of the primary vote in his campaign to stop the fluoridation of local town H₂0.
Enough history – You need to know who you’ll be voting for this November!
IN THE RED CORNER:
Australian Labor Party
Lisa Neville has served as the Member for Bellarine since 2002, when she was elected in a large swing towards Labor following the retirement of the Liberal Party’s Garry Spry. Neville currently also serves as Minister for Police and Minister for Water in the Andrews Government. She previously held the role of Minister for Environment and Climate Change. Educated in News South Wales and Queensland, she attended Griffith University and became president of the National Union of Students. She has an extensive background in public service and cites interests in health, community services and women’s issues.
IN THE BLUE CORNER:
Brian McKiterick has served as mayor of the Surf Coast Shire twice. As a police officer for over 40 years, his campaign focuses heavily on community safety and local engagement. He has lived in the Bellarine/Surf Coast area with his family for 25 years.
IN THE, AH, GREEN CORNER:
The Australian Greens
Rachel Semmens is a social worker from Point Lonsdale.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST:
Animal Justice Party
Naomi Adams is a psychologist who has worked both as a counsellor in community health on the Bellarine Peninsula as well as in Geelong.