Buninyong

  • 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…

> Read the full electorate profile here

Candidate profiles

GEOFF HOWARD MP
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

With over 25 years experience as a Ballarat councilor, Mayor and local Member of Parliament, Mr Geoff Howard is an assured speaker who responds quickly to questions on Labor policies and his vision for Buninyong.
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SONIA SMITH
THE NATIONALS

Ms Sonia Smith, the National Party candidate in the key goldfields marginal electorate of Buninyong is what many people might call a maverick, an unorthodox or independent-minded person.
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BEN TAYLOR
LIBERAL

Mr Ben Taylor, the Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Buninyong, is clearly a busy man. Last week he was on the run from media over comments he made concerning ‘rolling back abortion laws’ and now his party has also reportedly ‘muzzled’ him.
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TONY GOODFELLOW
AUSTRALIAN GREENS

With his first child due to be born on election day Mr Tony Goodfellow, the Greens candidate for Buninyong, has a particular reason to focus on the future. He wants the community to understand that they can…
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KEITH GEYER
FAMILY FIRST

Mr Keith Geyer is something of an enigma, and a person of puzzling character. It’s hard to sort out the puzzle of Mr Geyer because Family First candidates across Victoria aren’t talking to the media.
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JAMES KEAYS
AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY ALLIANCE

Apparently Mr Keays lives in Smeaton, Victoria. Like most Country Alliance candidates, he’s not talking to UniPollWatch and he has provided no contact details on the Victorian Electoral Commission website.
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Buninyong news

Green Drinks forum quizzes local candidates

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.

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