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The Melbourne byelection special

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 19 July, 2012 - 6:25 PM
Melbourne byelection, fiona patten, jennifer kanis, cathy oke,

The gloves are on for this weekend’s byelection for the state seat of Melbourne, but it’s a seat that the Baillieu government has opted not to contest.

In a move that will sound familiar to Niddrie constituents, the Liberal party has refused to field a candidate despite polling second with 10,281 first preference votes at the 2010 State election.

This afternoon, Derryn Hinch spoke with the seat’s key players, Labor’s Jennifer Kanis and Greens candidate Cathy Oke, along with Fiona Patten from the Australian Sex Party, who is projected to poll six per cent of Saturday’s votes.

Jennifer Kanis’ aim is to poll well with those disaffected with the Baillieu government, citing the recent Ford job losses, sick kids unable to receive treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and the closure of TAFE colleges as primary reasons to defect.

”My message to voters is simple: If you're not happy with what TB is doing in Victoria, if you're not happy with what he's doing in Melbourne, then you need to Labor and make sure that we can hold this government to account,” Jennifer Kanis said.

Jennifer Kanis said the Baillieu government’s decision not to contest the seat would be due to worry of poor polling numbers.

Despite tensions flaring between the ALP and the Greens at the top tier of government, Greens candidate Cathy Oke remained circumspect about whether the issues would filter down to this weekend’s byelection.

”It’s impossible to tell what effect the Federal issues or the negative campaigning will have on the result, but Melbourne voters are interested in policy and they’re interested in talking about the issues,” she said.

“They’re not interested in a negative campaign.”

Derryn Hinch disagreed: “I think some Melbourne voters are going to say, ‘we’re going to punish Labor here, we don’t like you federally, we’re going to give you a kicking’.”

Cathy Oke said voters should elect a new voice in parliament that was not like the “old parties”.

”We've got a positive vision and plan for Melbourne, we've released many policies - we haven’t heard any policies from the Labor candidate,” he said.

”We've been running a very good campaign. Our vision and plan for Melbourne is very positive and is talking about the issues that are important to Melbourne like transport, planning, and putting community services and infrastructure back at the centre.”

The Australian Sex Party polled nearly three per cent in the 2010 State Election, with their leader, Fiona Patten expected to poll twice that figure this weekend.

Fiona Patten told Derryn Hinch she was concerned by the anti-sex feminist movement within the Greens.

”In 2010 state election (the Greens) ran a candidate called Kathleen Maltzahn who wants to outlaw prostitution in Victoria, she wants to close down all the brothels, and make it a crime to be a client of a sex workers,” she said.

Fiona Patten said it was a concern that the Greens had chosen Kathleen Maltzhan to contest the seat of Richmond, a progressive seat.

The Melbourne byelection was triggered by Labor MP Bronwyn Pike’s resignation in May, the third senior ALP politician to quit since the 2010 election.

LISTEN: Derryn Hinch speaks with Melbourne candidates Fiona Patten, Cathy Oke and Jennifer Kanis:

Blog comments Your Say

  • steve thats when the misery will begin..

    garry Monday 23 July, 2012 - 5:03 PM
  • Ted Faillieus again. Has this guy got anything right in the last two years??

    mylene Sunday 22 July, 2012 - 12:14 PM
  • The Sex Party decided to give their preferences to Labor, after they learnt that the Greens had secret plans to tax cum at 23$ per ton .

    Eduardo Sunday 22 July, 2012 - 10:50 AM
  • So looks like labor have survived with help from other yet again. Can't even beat off the Greens on their own what a joke!

    Stephen Sunday 22 July, 2012 - 10:45 AM
  • @garry ,.behave just make sure you vote for Tony in the big one and you will be put out of your misery>..

    Steve Saturday 21 July, 2012 - 8:44 PM
  • finally i have had enough,im going to vote liberal.which candidate to i vote for ted?

    garry Saturday 21 July, 2012 - 10:22 AM

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