Andrews holds Mulgrave and takes Victoria

Andrews holds Mulgrave and takes Victoria

MATILDA MAROZZI Labor leader, Daniel Andrews, has held his seat and taken the office of Premier after the party’s convincing win in yesterday’s election. ‘The people of Victoria have given us the greatest of gifts,’ Mr Andrews told Labor faithful as he claimed victory shortly after 10pm last night. ‘We will not let them down.’ With two-thirds of the vote counted, Mr Andrews has gained a 2.4 per cent swing towards Labor in the seat of Mulgrave, doubling his notional hold on the electorate. Despite concerted campaigning, Liberal candidate and local councillor for Mulgrave, Robert Davies, attracted only 41 per cent of the primary vote, a 2.4 per cent swing against the Liberal party. The Greens attracted approximately 7 per cent of the vote, ahead of Family First (2.4 per cent) and Rise Up Australia (1.5 per cent). Greens candidate, Josh Fergeus, says he is feeling ‘pretty good’ despite early figures indicating a slight swing against the Greens in Mulgrave. ‘I think we’ll have essentially have retained our vote from the last election, which, given the redistribution and the addition of a few more conservative areas, is a pretty good result,’ Mr Fergeus said. According to Mr Fergeus, the Greens’ historic win in Melbourne, as well as promising figures in the upper house, show the party has cut through with voters. ‘We’ve well and truly broken through now,’ Mr Fergeus told UniPollWatch. ‘We are in contention in a few contests in the Legislative Assembly and I think we’ve achieved our goal of putting Nina Springle right in there with a chance … in the Legislative Council.’ Mr Davies was contacted for comment...
Council swamped with cash for housing lots

Council swamped with cash for housing lots

By Tim Carroll. Exclusive. A developer has promised to pay Frankston Council about $450,000 to approve an increase in housing developments alongside an environmentally sensitive area earmarked for a reserve, according to a contract released under a Freedom of Information search. Local environmentalists said developers would help pay for development, rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of the 52-hectare site if the council agrees to recommend the project and obtains state government approval. ‘The council has a serious conflict of interest in this matter in that it involves the payment of a substantial amount of money in return for a favourable decision,’ said Barry Ross, secretary of the Defenders of the South East Green Wedge. Individual Frankston councillors, such as Glen Aitken, said they were unaware of the development meeting prior to a meeting earlier this month that sent a request to the state government to seek public views. The 11-page contract was drawn up by leading law firm Maddocks and includes an offer from P & A Burdett Enterprises to pay $450,000 to the council upon it agreeing to increase residential lots from 25 to 36. Development potential of the area increased after a 2006 announcement by the Victorian state government that 50 hectares of bush at the former Burdett’s Quarry site in Langwarrin would be protected. Under the arrangement, the land was rezoned into a rural conservation area within the South-East Green Wedge and removed planning controls that allowed extractive industries, such as quarrying. It included a land swamp where more than eight hectares of remnant bushland now zoned residential will be included in the Green Wedge. It is...