Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the election will be held on September 7, 2013. Writs will be issued today (August 5), and unenrolled voters have until August 12 to get on the roll.
Here’s how the fields look in Throsby and Hume as the campaign officially gets underway. Note: Nominations officially close on 15 August, and all candidate names will be released the following day.
This seat is currently held by Labor member Stephen Jones with a nice 12% margin. Unless there is an extreme swing, Mr Jones looks safe. The seat covers large parts of the Southern Highlands and some Illawarra suburbs like Port Kembla, Warilla, Albion Park and Dapto.
There is a monster field of nominees for this seat. Besides Stephen Jones, other contenders are Larissa Mallinson (Liberal), Peter Moran (Greens), Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson (Nationals), Brian Boulton (Democratic Labor Party), May King (Palmer United), Glenn Turner (Katter’s Australian Party), and Wayne Hartman (Non-Custodial Parents Party).
- Mallinson is a retail worker from the Wollongong area. She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science and Geophysics and volunteers for the Rural Fire Service.
- Anderson is a well-known Australian rocker from his time as frontman of Rose Tattoo. He has also been a long-time political activist and is standing for Throsby after having shopped around for other seats.
- Moran is a regular contender for this seat, and is currently a Shellharbour City Councillor. He is a truck driver. Moran received over 10% of the vote in 2010.
- King is served on Wingecarribee Shire Council for four years from 2004-2008 and has a good profile in the arts community. She is studying a Bachelor of Applied Social Science.
- Turner is a Highlands businessman who now works in community services and education. He wants to focus on infrastructure projects.
- Boulton has a long history of community services and volunteering work including Red Cross Disaster support.
- Jones is the serving member for Throsby, first elected in 2010. He was a union official before being elected to Parliament.
- Hartman is making another tilt at Throsby, afetr drawing 2% of the vote in 2010. The party has a libertarian philosophy.
The race for Hume is dominated by the Liberal candidate Angus Taylor, who has been on the ground for some time. Taylor is replacing retiring member Alby Schultz as the Liberal candidate in the seat.
Like Throsby, there is massive interest in Hume. Other contenders are Bruce Nicholson (Katter’s Australian Party), Adrian Van Der Byl (Christian Democratic Party), Zaza Chevalier (Greens), James Harker-Mortlock (Independent), Michael Pilbrow (Labor), Lindsay Cosgrove (Citizens Electoral Council), Lynette Styles (One Nation).
- Taylor is the thoroughbred in this race. He comes to Hume with the endorsement of John Howard, Tony Abbott, Barry O’Farrell and Malcolm Turnbull. Taylor has worked in agri-business.
- Pilbrow is a businessman who has contested other seats previously before coming to Hume in 2013. He lives in Yass.
- Chevalier is a very young candidate, contesting the seat for the Greens from her hometown of Crookwell. As the Goulburn Post pointed out, Chevalier is the only “non-white” candidate, and the only one from a non-English speaking background. She is a student at Sydney University.
- Van Der Byl is a regular campaigner for the CDP. He has fairly standard far-right positions such as anti-gay marriage, pro-life/anti-abortion, and increasing “Christian” immigration.
- Cosgrove is a wool grower and shearer from Taralga who is anti-environmentalist and disagrees with deregulation.
- Styles lives in Tahmoor at the northern end of the Hume electorate. She runs a garden centre in the town and founded the Wollondilly Residents and Ratepayers Association.
- Bruce Nicholson is a long-time community activist from Hill Top, who now lives in Tahmoor. He is a foster parent and has worked in construction and hospitality.
- Harker-Mortlock is a former Nationals member who is standing as an independent partially because the Nats were blocked from nominating under the Coalition Agreement. He lives on a sheep farm near Yass.