Federal election watch – timing and candidates so far – and 2 Hawkesbury councillors in the race…
During the Federal Election campaign - the Prime Minister has chosen May 21 as the election day for the 2022 poll - we’re covering our electorate closely, giving you all the information you need to make the right choice on the day.
What does it mean for us in the Hawkesbury?
We’re in the Macquarie Federal electorate, and that covers both Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.
Our current MP is Labor’s Susan Templeman and this election will decide whether the MP, or a newcomer, represents us in Canberra at the national Parliament.
Macquarie is the most marginal seat in the Federal election, with Ms Templeman voted in at the 2019 election by a majority of just 371 votes.
This is not a vote for the State. Our State Hawkesbury MP is Liberal Robyn Preston, who faces a separate election for State Parliament on March 25, 2023.
Everyone over the age of 18 and on the electoral role has to vote in the Federal election and may be fined if they don’t.
We’ll also be looking at promises made throughout this campaign and looking into those promises and questioning, rather than just putting candidates’ media releases up.
Let’s look at the dates first:
April 10 – postal vote applications opened. Here’s where you can apply.
April 18 – close of electoral rolls. This means if you are not on the electoral roll yet – the list of eligible voters – you need to apply soon. Here’s where you apply.
April 21 – close of candidate nominations. We know most of the candidates – details below – but more could raise their heads up to and including April 21.
May 9 – early voting begins. This is when you can go along to a voting booth – there will be a couple of booths in the Hawkesbury, details when we have them - and vote early. The aim is to ensure anyone not in the area on election day gets to vote early.
May 18 – close of postal vote applications
May 21 – the day when you vote for the candidates of your choice at voting booths.
No less than two sitting Hawkesbury councillors are after the MP’s seat and if one of them gets it that means a new councillor will arrive in the Council chamber when this is all finished.
The two councillors standing for the Federal seat are Liberal Sarah Richards and Small Business Party’s Eddie Dogramaci. Both of them have lost before – Cllr Dogramaci when he took a run at the State MP position in 2019 and Cllr Richards when she lost her tilt at Federal Macquarie in the same year.
In our electorate the reality is one of two potential candidates will become MP and voting preferences by voters will definitely come into it but this is a fight between Labor and Liberal, with a strong supporting cast of left-facing Greens and several mostly right-facing groups, including One Nation, United Australia Party and Liberal Democrats.
Where preferences go will be important but here’s the really important bit:
You have to number every single candidate in order of your preference for your vote to count.
Begin with a 1 in the box next to your first choice and 2 in the box next to your second choice, and so on until you get to the end of the choices, with the final one the candidate you’d least like to hold the post of our MP.
Your vote feeds into the final preference, the final choice of candidate, so the way you number the voting card is important. If you feel it will likely come down to just two candidates and you have a preference for one of them over the other, mark your first choice 1 and your least favourite choice the final number - at this stage that would be number 9.
Once the initial votes are counted and allocated to each candidate, then the preferences you have chosen are worked through to give a final total for each candidate.
In the last election in 2019 the votes were:
Sarah Richards Liberal 43,487
Susan Templeman Labor 37,106
Kingsley Liu Greens 8870
Tony Bryan Pettitt United Australia Party 3877
Greg Keightley Animal Justice 3611
2019 two-party-preferred result
Susan Templeman Labor 48,661
Sarah Richards Liberal 48,290
Let’s look at the candidates briefly now, and we’ll have more in-depth reports rolling through as the contest gathers pace.
The sitting MP is Labor’s Susan Templeman. She beat long term incumbent Louise Markus in the 2016 election, overturning many years of Liberal representation. Ms Templeman was up against Liberal Sarah Richards in the 2019 election, and she won again, albeit with a very slim margin of 371 votes in an election which saw the Coalition (Liberals and Nationals) returned to power with a 2.0% swing to the Coalition.
Ms Richards takes a second tilt at the job – she narrowly lost last time. She lists her occupation as politician and is a Hawkesbury councillor.
Mr Jackson stood as an independent Hawkesbury councillor candidate in the December 2021 election under the banner of Councillor Nathan Zamprogno’s independent group. Cllr Zamprogno was elected, but Mr Jackson didn’t get enough votes to be elected. Still, who knows this time…
Mr Dogramaci is a first-term Hawkesbury councillor and he is currently standing as an independent but has also been in talks with Katter’s Australian Party, so that could change. Cllr Dogramaci has also previously stood as an independent in the Hawkesbury State election in 2019 and was not elected.
United Australia Party
The UAP is the party set-up and funded by billionaire Clive Palmer, and in Macquarie their candidate is Nicole Evans whose family moved to their hobby farm in the Hawkesbury during the peak of the 2019 bushfire season. “Vote for the UAP to remove all mandates, passports & abolish National Cabinet,” says one of Ms Evans’ social media posts around Covid vaccinations.
Animal Justice Party
Mr Keightley is the AJP candidate, and he’s back again after scoring 3611 votes last time, when he saw a swing to the AJP of 0.9. The party line is; “for too long, animal issues have been ignored by the major political parties. The Animal Justice Party was created to address these issues – to give a political voice to animals. Whether it’s through amending and strengthening laws in local government areas, state, or federal parliament – we seek to bring positive change to the way animals are treated”.
Mr Hickey lives in the Blue Mountains and replaces Joel MacKay who was the party’s first pick but who has stood aside to concentrate on a medical issue. Here’s a link to a story on the new candidate we put up a week ago.
Informed Medical Options
A Blue Mountains resident, Ms Palmer is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and singer. Her pitch is: “Michelle’s concerns are that the COVID vaccines are experimental and that the trials are conducted by the vaccine manufacturers only, not by independent and unbiased organisations. She is also concerned about the psychological and economic damage being caused by mandates and lockdowns. Every Australian should have the right to choose how they want to protect themselves – NOT be coerced into medical experiments, nor become casualties of business management decisions made as a result of government persuasion.”
What would a Hawkesbury election be without Tony Pettitt? Having said that he did give the December 2021 local council election a miss after initially saying he would run, but that was an unusual lapse. Mr Pettitt has stood many times for many positions, and has previously been a United Australia Party candidate in the 2019 Federal election, and before that a candidate with Australia First, as well as the Liberal Democrat candidate for various positions, but this time around he’s standing for One Nation.
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