• Held by: Donna Bauer
  • Since: 2010
  • Swing at 2010 election: 8.7 per cent
  • Redistribution details: Carrum stretched along the bay from Aspendale to Seaford. But the redistribution has removed its northern end and shifted it inland to include parts of Cranbourne. It has lost northern suburbs including Aspendale, Edithvale, Chelsea and Chelsea Heights to Mordialloc and gained others including Carrum Downs, Sandhurst and Skye from Cranbourne. The Liberal margin is cut from 2.0 per cent to an estimated 0.3 per cent
  • Size of electorate: 86.9 square kilometres

KEY COMMENTS:  Liberal backbencher Donna Bauer, who earlier this year revealed that she would undergo chemotherapy treatment for cancer, is expected to struggle to hold the electorate after electoral boundary changes reduced her estimated margin in a seat traditionally held by the ALP.

Electorate profile

Changes to electoral boundaries last year may help the ALP regain the south eastern seat of Carrum it has held most often since the electorate was created nearly 40 years ago.

Liberal MP Donna Bauer recognised the threat when the Electoral Boundaries Commission released its draft changes last year in which Carrum was to move east to take in parts of Labor-held Lyndhurst and Cranbourne. ‘If you look at what is proposed, Carrum would potentially become Victoria’s most marginal seat,’ Bauer she reportedly said . ‘It looks like they have cut the electorate in half.’

Bauer’s concerns at the implications for a seat that was already one of Victoria’s most marginal were later confirmed. The changes in electoral boundaries have cut her estimated margin to just 0.3 per cent.

> Read the full electorate profile here

Candidate profiles


Donna Bauer returned to Parliament late this year after a six-month course of chemotherapy for bowel cancer. The 44 year-old mother of four wrote on her blog in March that she had undergone surgery to…
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Sonya Kilkenny credits her feminist mother with giving her a ‘real sense of civic purpose’. While campaigning for the marginal seat of Carrum, she thought back to days when she letter-boxed with her mother for…
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Carrum news

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... read more

Super expensive golf course a development that might never tee off

EXCLUSIVE Caitlin Caldwell and Christine Brennan. A $10 billion union-backed industry superannuation fund has come under fire from Labor MPs and locals for paying more than two times the going price for a golf course bordering coveted green wedge land before seeking planning permission or rezoning for redevelopment. Industry Super Property Trust, the nation’s largest unlisted property fund manager whose 35 super fund members include representatives from the controversial building union CFMEU, paid $125 million for the Kingswood Golf Course that was valued at $52 million. ‘The price paid for the Kingswood Golf Club land seems very high, considering the land has not been rezoned and the claim by Kingston Council that no rezoning application has been received or considered,’ says Labor shadow state attorney general Martin Pakula, who previously described the deal as ‘extraordinary’. Shadow Planning Minister Brian Tee is warning that even if the City of Kingston votes to rezone the land he won’t ‘simply rubber stamp such a recommendation’ if elected this week. Local members of parliament have also questioned how the industry fund can be confident about approval for rezoning before applying and whether it has any idea about how many dwelling might be allowed on site, which will determine the profitability of the deal. ISPT declined to comment about purchasing the land, which is about 22 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, bordering hotly contested green wedge land and Dingley Village. But the fund has a history of buying golf courses and other sporting venues for residential redevelopment. The lower valuation for the purchase is based on it remaining a golf course with the higher believed... read more

Capturing Coalition votes in Carrum

The statewide redistribution of electoral boundaries has made Carrum perhaps the most marginal seat in the state. The Liberal Party, which currently holds it, has had its lead reduced from 2% to just 0.3% (notionally). Swinburne student Derek schlennstedt went to Carrum to find out how the Liberal party is seeking to win over voters in the new parts of the... read more

Grabbing marginal’s green wedge for amusement park

By Caitlin Caldwell, Catherine Brennan and Jared Brown. A 43-hectare amusement park is being considered by Chinese developers on land zoned “green wedge” near Dandenong, according to the local mayor, sparking concerns about development of the environmentally sensitive land. The $5.3 million purchase of the site in August by Meixin Australia has alarmed environmentalists, who want to turn development of Melbourne’s “green wedges” – land put aside in 1971 by premier Sir Rupert Hamer for farming and open space – into a state election issue. Meixin Australia, registered by two Chinese-born residents in July just before the land purchase was made, could not be reached for comment. But Dandenong mayor Jim Memeti, who was among those on a recent council trade trip to China, has indicated the company planned to turn the land into a theme park. Cr Memeti did not return calls, but was quoted last month in a local paper floating the idea. Fellow councillor Roz Blades said the council was expecting a report on the proposal soon. But opponents of the green wedge land being used for a theme park or other uses warned it set a dangerous precedent. “The green wedge is being sold to the development wolves,” claimed Alex Breskin, a Greens candidate for the seat of the Mordialloc, which requires a 1.5 per cent swing to Labor to unseat the Liberal Party’s Lorraine Wreford. Local residents and campaigners have called on all parties to reinforce their commitment to protecting the south-eastern green wedge, which covers about 93 square kilometres across the four marginal electorates of Frankston, Carrum, Mordialloc and Cranbourne. Julia Hamer, daughter... read more

Carrum candidate’s struggle

By Kyfer Yeo, Dominic Mulligan and Alastair Leong. WHEN Liberal backbencher Donna Bauer braved a chilly morning at Seaford railway station this week there was little to suggest her struggle with cancer. In a jacket, coloured the deep blue of her party, the Carrum MP was with the Premier in a section of a bayside suburb that was not part of her electorate until last year’s boundary changes. The former Deputy Mayor of Kingston won the “sand belt” seat in 2010 after an 8.7 per cent swing. But following the redistribution, the electorate’s estimated margin is a flimsy 0.3 per cent. Only the second Liberal to win in Carrum since it was created in 1976, Ms Bauer is on the hustings after a six-month course of chemotherapy for bowel cancer. Although experts say bowel cancer is the “second biggest cancer killer” after lung cancer, it can go unnoticed without side-effects such as hair-loss. “When bowel cancer patients go through treatment, there are not so many obvious symptoms,” says Julien Wiggins, CEO of Bowel Cancer Australia, for which she has helped raise funds in recent months. Ms Bauer and Speaker Christine Fyffe presented a cheque for more than $11,700 to Mr Wiggins in June from fines imposed on MPs by the Legislative Assembly. Ms Bauer returned to Parliament months later. She is campaigning against the odds in a seat that has shifted inland to take in part of Labor-held Cranbourne. According to the Liberal’s Carrum campaign manager, Simon Frost, its strategy is to make sure voters in the new parts “begin to know who Donna is”. With polls predicting a... read more

Carrum edges east

Last year’s changes to electoral boundaries may help the ALP regain the south eastern seat of Carrum, which  it has held most often since the electorate was created nearly 40 years ago. Liberal MP Donna Bauer recognised the threat when the Electoral Boundaries Commission released its draft changes. Under the plans, Carrum moves east to take in parts of Labor-held Lyndhurst and Cranbourne. ‘If you look at what is proposed, Carrum would potentially become Victoria’s most marginal seat,’ Bauer reportedly said . ‘It looks like they have cut the electorate in half.’ Read our electorate profile... read more

Ambos target marginal Carrum

Ambulance response times have increased since the Coalition came to power in 2010. Premier Denis Napthine is proposing a $3000 paramedic sign-on payment and an eventual 12 per cent wage increase, however the government claims that the ambulance union is now “blocking the deal”. Swinburne’s Christine Byllaardt... read more