Wendouree

  • Held by: Sharon Knight – Australian Labor Party
  • Since: 2010
  • Swing at 2010 election: 5.5 per cent to Liberal
  • Redistribution details: Renamed Wendouree from Ballarat West. Lost the Labor-voting suburb of Sebastopol which gives the Liberals a notional slim lead of 0.1 per cent.
  • Size of electorate: 114.3 sq. km

KEY COMMENTS: Covering Ballarat’s central business district and the area to the north of the lake that gives the electorate its name, Wendouree includes both rich and poor Ballarat. Major issues are the Liberal’s proposal to relocate the VicRoads headquarters to Ballarat and Labor’s promise to bring AFL to the city.

Heart attack central: health and jobs the key issues in Victoria’s most marginal electorate

Premier Denis Napthine travels to Ballarat almost every week to campaign because the survival of his government depends on it. The metropolitan seat of Wendouree, covering the town’s centre, is the most marginal seat in the state and the Liberals, who lead with a notional margin of 0.1%, believe it is vital to winning the election.

In 2010 Labor’s Sharon Knight won the old seat of Ballarat West by a slim margin over Liberal candidate Craig Coltman, but last year’s boundary changes excised the working-class, Labor-voting suburb of Sebastopol. A Labor insider told UniPollWatch that Knight’s office was deeply disappointed by that loss.

Coltman now stands a better chance against his old foe and can help the government compensate for seats it is predicted to lose in Melbourne.

There is a stark wealth gap in the electorate. Victorian houses and elite private schools dotted around Lake Wendouree strike a sharp contrast to the humbler timber bungalows in Wendouree West, a drug-affected community and one of the poorest suburbs in Victoria…

> Read the full electorate profile here

 

Candidate profiles

SHARON KNIGHT MP
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Caring for her son, who has autism and an intellectual disability, is what drove Ms Sharon Knight into politics. Apart from being a full-time carer for her son, who is now 25, Ms Knight has had a number of jobs.
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ALICE BARNES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS

The Greens candidate for Wendouree, Ms Alice Barnes, gets decked out in 1850s period costume daily. Apart from campaigning, she works as an education officer at Sovereign Hill teaching students about…
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CRAIG COLTMAN
LIBERAL

Dark clouds bellow over the Ballarat Racecourse as jockeys canter past on their horses to provide footage for a local television crew. In the media conference that follows the Liberal candidate for Wendouree…
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SHEILA O’SHEA
RISE UP AUSTRALIA PARTY

Rise Up Victoria lower house candidates are a mixed bag of interesting people. They range from busy mums, to charity volunteers, foster carers, teachers, disability support workers, maternal nurses and counsellors.
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LIAM HASTIE
SEX PARTY

Mr Liam Hastie wants you to know that both he and the Sex Party Australia, ‘give a f**k.’ He says he running as the candidate in Wendouree, because he wants to give the Sex Party a ‘voice in regional Victoria’.
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JOHN BUCHHOLZ
AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY ALLIANCE

John Buchholz is passionate about his recreational sports. UniPollWatch was unable to interview Mr Buchholz, and the information used has been drawn from publically available sources…
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CIELO FENN
FAMILY FIRST

Family First candidates have been more or less invisible and have avoided media interviews.
Read more about Family First in our feature article.

Wendouree news