- Held by: Geoff Howard – Australian Labor Party
- Since: 1999
- Swing at 2010 election: 5.1 per cent to Liberal
- Redistribution details: This new electorate replaces Ballarat East. In 2010 Labor won the seat by just 1024 votes. The new electorate has lost the towns of Creswick, Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Kyneton but gained Labor-voting Sebastopol, Haddon and other areas to the southwest of Ballarat. It is estimated this has increased Labor’s margin slightly to 1.6 per cent.
- Size of electorate: 3,107 sq. km
KEY COMMENTS: Jobs are the main issue on voters’ minds, with unemployment higher than the state average and manufacturing in Ballarat in decline. Other issues include health infrastructure, drug problems, particularly ‘Ice’, transport, poor road conditions and stalled renewable energy projects, including wind farms.
Frustrations a dormant volcano in new electorate
The dormant volcano of Mount Buninyong looms over the sleepy historical town that gives this electorate its name. Buninyong was Victoria’s first inland town, proclaimed in 1842. It seems fitting that it has given its name to the redrawn former electorate of East Ballarat.
Buninyong is a pretty little town, like so many in this large new electorate. But the wide streets, historical buildings and well-kept gardens belie the tensions and anger beneath the surface of this region of Victoria. It is unlikely the community will remain dormant over the coming months…
By Keryn Reynolds. Buninyong National Party candidate Ms Sonia Smith has apparently back-flipped on her commitment not to hand out her party’s official how to vote cards.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. Nationals sitting member and candidate for the upper house seat of Western Victoria, Mr David O’Brien, was busy handing out how to vote cards that preferenced Buninyong Liberal candidate Mr Ben Taylor second at a pre-polling booth in Ballarat on Monday.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. At a Ballarat forum two weeks ago political candidates from Buninyong and Ripon pledged to improve rail services, protect forests, increase wind farms and push for renewable energy targets within the electorates.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. When Buninyong Liberal state election candidate Mr Ben Taylor, spoke about rolling back ‘abortion laws’ at an Australian Christian Lobby forum last week he probably didn’t expect his comments would create a local media furore.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. Rival candidates in the forthcoming state election have traded allegations about what one might think is a simple issue – a planned pedestrian crossing in Sebastopol.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. The National Party candidate in the key goldfields seat of Buninyong has declared she will not hand out her party’s how to vote cards after the decision was made to preference the Liberal Party ahead of the Greens.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. The Nationals candidate for the seat of Buninyong has declared on Facebook that she would cross the floor on issues of environmental importance, and that she was previously asked to run as a Greens candidate.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. The National Party candidate in the key goldfields marginal electorate of Buninyong has contradicted her party’s policy on coal seam gas mining, telling a forum in the electorate that she wants a ‘frack-free Buninyong’.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. Buninyong residents have been confused and shocked by recent residential zone changes in the small community that could, in theory, see housing lot sizes massively reduced and much denser development.read more
Buninyong Liberal candidate Mr Ben Taylor yesterday accused Labor’s Mr Geoff Howard of not fighting for the local community when it comes to the East West Link.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. Divisions have emerged in the coalition state government over the proposed new park on the former Canadian State Forest at Mount Clear, eight kilometers south of Ballarat.read more
By Keryn Reynolds. News Corporation newspapers ‘run a protection racket for the Liberal Government’ the former federal Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, told a Ballarat audience last night.read more