Informal Vote Declines In Federal Election; Sydney Again Records Highest Rates

The percentage of informal votes in the 2016 House of Representatives elections dropped by 0.86% to 5.05%.

The informal vote is the lowest since 2004, when it was 5.2%. Informals declined in every State and Territory, apart from the Northern Territory, which has recorded the highest rate of 7.35%, an increase of 1.05%.

Other than NSW and the NT, all States and Territories recorded an informal vote of less than 5%. In NSW, the informal percentage was 6.17%.

Whilst the highest informal vote in an individual seat outside NSW is 8.84% in Murray (Vic), NSW has 9 seats with an informal vote above 8%. As in previous elections, these are all Labor-held electorates in Sydney with high proportions of non-English speaking residents.

The highest informal vote in an individual electorate was recorded in Lindsay, where it reached 11.77%. The seat of Blaxland, once held by former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, had 11.55%, the second highest.

The Victorian seat of Kooyong recorded the lowest informal vote of any of the country’s 150 electorates – just 1.99%. Kooyong was once held by former Liberal prime minister Sir Robert Menzies. [Read more…]

Gillard Offers Western Sydney Motorway Funding With Conditions

On the first full day of her week-long campaign in western Sydney, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised funding for the western Sydney motorway network, provided the state government comes up with an acceptable business plan.

Speaking beside a noisy motorway with Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor MPs from western Sydney, Gillard stipulated several conditions for her government’s support for WestConnex project. [Read more…]

Ed Husic (ALP-Chifley) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Ed Husic, the ALP member for the New South Wales electorate of Chifley, in the House of Representatives.

Created in 1969, the Chifley electorate is in western Sydney and has only ever been held by Labor members. Husic succeeds Roger Price, who held it from 1984 until 2010.

Husic suffered a 7.34% swing against him in the 2010 federal election, reducing Chifley’s two-party-preferred margin to 62.34%. Nevertheless, the ALP won the seat on primaries with 51.58%.

Husic, 40, has a background as an adviser to the Minister for Communications, Arts and Tourism (1994-96) and Chief of Staff to a NSW State government minister (2005-06). He worked for the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (1996-99) and was the union’s National President (2006-10).

He is the first Muslim member of the Australian Parliament. [Read more…]