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The Concise Eastern Beaches Election Round Up

By Madeleine Gray on July 1, 2016 in News

One for the books: A very cute, innocent, little Malcolm

One for the books: A very cute, innocent, little Malcolm

It’s that time of the year again. Another federal election. More campaign slogans, money spent, promises made.

In The Beast’s distribution area there are two federal seats up for grabs: Wentworth and Kingsford Smith. Wentworth is the home of current PM Malcolm Turnbull, and despite its literally unblemished record as a safe Liberal seat, Labor and the Greens are still valiantly putting up contenders.

Kingsford Smith, conversely, has been in Labor hands for its entire existence, though the safety of the seat has been diminishing of late as the area’s demographics have shifted.

Labor’s candidate for Wentworth at this election will be Evan Hughes, the son of the Hughes Gallery’s Ray Hughes. Mr Hughes has worked in art dealing and finance, and while he lacks political experience, he doesn’t believe that will hold him back.

“The only qualification for a contest in federal politics is a heart,” Mr Hughes said. “I am running against a party who long ago lost sight of their principles and a leader who once knew the bearings of his moral compass.”

“I haven’t met a Wentworth voter yet who has said to me, ‘I want direct action not an ETS, I don’t want gay marriage, I want hardline border rhetoric and the language of cruelty’,” he said.

The Greens’ candidate for Wentworth is Dejay Toborek. Mr Toborek is of the belief that local constituents have lost faith in the prime minister.

“The people in Wentworth no longer trust Mr Turnbull to deliver on his previously stated positions,” he said. “They are now looking to the Greens.”

While Wentworth is likely to remain safe in Liberal hands, Kingsford Smith is set to be another dog fight, as sitting Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite again goes head to head with Liberal candidate Michael Feneley. Mr Thistlethwaite was lucky to hold on to the seat in 2013 after a strong swing in the Liberal Party’s favour.

While Mr Thistlethwaite wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on the closeness of the race, he reinforced that he is “born and bred in Maroubra” while criticising the Liberals Party’s environmental record with respect to the recent tree chopping in Randwick and its attempt to “sell off Malabar Headlands to developers”.

Mr Feneley said that his motivation for contesting the seat again was “the fact that I live in the area and I want to see it progress”. This will be Mr Feneley’s third time contesting the Kingsford-Smith seat and he’ll be hoping that it’s a case of ‘third time lucky’.

The Greens’ candidate for Kingsford Smith is data scientist James McDonald. Though Mr McDonald said that he’s aware that a Greens win is unlikely, he believes that it is still important that they contest the seat.

“As Greens it is our responsibility to highlight the concerns in the community that get glossed over,” he said, before stressing that the Greens are about “taking decision-making out of the hands of well-connected insiders and (putting it) back into the hands of communities”.

The election will be held on Saturday, July 2, so get down to your local school or community hall and be sure to make your vote count.