Prahran

  • Held by: Clem Newton-Brown (Liberal)
  • Since: 2010
  • Swing at 2010 election: 7.8 per cent to Liberal
  • Redistribution details: Seat’s western boundary advances from St Kilda Rd to Queens Rd to take in excess numbers from Albert Park population boom; in the east, Toorak is lost to Malvern. In the south, the electorate contracts from a Carlisle St. to an Inkerman St. boundary, with those living between the two now transferred to Caulfield.
  • Size of electorate: 12 sq. km.

KEY COMMENTS: Inner south-eastern Prahran is the state’s smallest electorate, uniting Prahran, South Yarra, Windsor, the southern approach to the CBD, St Kilda East and Toorak. In 2010 the Liberals, who had made small inroads against sitting Labor MP Tony Lupton at the 2006 poll, turned a two-party-preferred deficit of just over 2200 votes in a majority of almost 3000.
A classic swing seat since 1889, Prahran was held in turn by all the major parties, including emergent Labor, in the late-Victorian era. Since 1945 it has in Liberal hands almost twice as long as in Labor ones, but when the ALP has held sway in Spring St., it has tended to rule the roost in Chapel St. as well.

It’s party time in old Prahran, but no one’s dancing in the streets

Think Prahran the suburb, and your age will probably determine what you think next.

Over-60s will remember one of Melbourne’s poorer, rougher neighbourhoods, home to Housing Commission high-rises, second-floor pool parlours – cue violence, or the ever-present threat of it – and late-Victorian shopping emporiums.

The dank oppressive smells of the Depression lingered in its old-pub air long after prosperity had driven them out of most other suburbs.

Many forty- and fifty-somethings had their first whiff of the illicit in a South Yarra nightclub or a Greville St. jazz cellar. Back in the early ’80s, gay sex was already being advertised along aptly named Commercial Rd; and freely available in nearby Porter St. just on the other side of the tracks.

> Read the full electorate profile here

Candidate profiles

SAM HIBBINS
AUSTRALIAN GREENS

They say politics creates some strange bedfellows, but a Greens candidate’s initiative to advertise himself on a gay hook-up site may not be what those who say that generally have in mind. All the candidate wanted to pick up were votes, but…
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ELEONORA GULLONE
ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY

Voters in the state’s most crowded electorate will have the chance to speak up for its most powerless residents if a new micro-party candidate has her way. Animal Justice Party member Eleonora Gullone has added her name to what was looming…
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Prahran news

Prahran’s mentally ill suffer the unkindest cuts

By Michael Ryan. A Melbourne University professor has lashed out at the Napthine Government’s cuts to mental-health funding, blamed for August’s closure of a Prahran drop-in centre for the mentally ill. Professor Tony Jorm – a fellow in the university’s School of Population and Global Health – has told UniPollWatch that this state ‘has a crisis-based system’ and added: ‘There is no rational mental health planning in Victoria.’ Professor Jorm is a colleague of Professor Pat McGorry, the 2010 Australian of the Year, who last month called for a radical overhaul of Victoria’s mental health services. Dr McGorry has continued his public campaign over the past few days, speaking out on a community survey finding that mental health was now the number one concern for Victorian voters. This was despite heavy media emphasis on public transport, the economy and education, to the comparative neglect of mental health as an election issue. Professor Jorm – who has written more than 20 books and monographs, and had more than 480 articles published in academic journals – called on the Government to adopt the national mental health planning framework. Under this framework, he said, the Government would revive its support for community mental health services such as the Prahran Mission’s drop-in centre, which was forced to close because of 2014-15 state budget cuts. It would also support early intervention to prevent mental illness developing in the first place, he said. A member of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Dr Jorm has made mental health literacy his own research specialisation, defining it as ‘public understanding of, and attitudes to, mental illnesses’.... read more