• Held by: Geoff Shaw, elected as a Liberal but sitting as an independent since March 2013
  • Since: 2010
  • Swing at 2010 election: +5.3 per cent to Liberal
  • Redistribution details: The Seat of Frankston has changed to include North Frankston and a portion of Seaford. Assuming this will be a two way competition between Labor and the Liberals, the changes have made the seat an ultra-marginal with a pro-Liberal buffer of just 0.4%
  • Size of electorate: 39.1 sq kms

KEY COMMENTS: This is the seat with everything; a maverick Liberal, turned rogue independent, in the form of Geoff Shaw, a parade of interesting candidates, a redistribution that makes the seat ultra-marginal (and a likely pickup for Labor) and all the bread and butter issues of employment, health, education and transport being debated under the glare of media attention.

The fight for Frankston

Frankston is one of the most marginal seats in the state election. Perhaps best known as the electorate of maverick MP Geoff Shaw, it is also the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula and sits at the end of the Peninsula link, by the bay, distant from Melbourne city where the debates around the East West link seem irrelevant. Given Frankston’s history of following the shifting tectonic plates of Victorian politics, the lack of a sitting member from either of the two major parties and a plethora of local issues such as public transport, education, crime and improving local facilities to campaign on, it looks set to send a jolt up the spine of Spring St.

Gabriela Gonzalez-Forward and David Ross from RMIT University take us on a tour of this electorate to watch on election night.



Frankston 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

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

A No Frills or Premium Station on the Frankston Line?

Construction of a new railway station on the Frankston line is finally underway but the budget for the station is still being debated by the Coalition and the Labor party. The Coalition wants to build what it calls a ‘no frills’ station at Southland and has allocated $21 million. However, Labor wants to create a ‘premium’ station and is prepared to spend $45 million on facilities for the expected 4500 commuters. Either way, the station is predicted to become the fourth busiest on the Frankston line as Samantha Cornehls... read more