Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives


Division of Bendigo


Steve Gibbons (ALP)

His ALP website and
his campaign website

Peter Kennedy (Lib)

His Liberal Party website

Toby Byrne (Grn)

His Greens website

Clinton Gale (LDP)

His Liberty and Democracy website

Edward Guymer (AD)

His Democrats website

Terry Jarvis (FF)

His Family First website
Location: Central Victoria: Bendigo, Castlemaine, Heathcote, Maryborough
Division named for: The City of Bendigo, founded 1851 and originally named Bendigo's Creek after an employee on a local property who was nicknamed "Bendigo" after the famous English prize fighter William "Bendigo" Thompson
Median weekly family income: $749 (130th highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 2.6% (143rd highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 24.4% (83rd highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 15.0% (38th highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 36.2% (105th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 28.4% (55th highest)
Sitting member: Steve Gibbons (Labor), elected 1998, 2001, 2004
Born: 11 September 1949, Melbourne. Career: Union official, small business proprietor
1996 two-party majority: Liberal 00.9
1998 two-party majority: Labor 03.5
2001 two-party majority: Labor 03.7
Effect of 2004 redistribution: no change
2004 primary votes: Labor 43.5, Liberal 45.4, Green 6.9
2004 two-party majority: Labor 01.0
2004 enrolment: 94,295
2007 enrolment: 97,197 (+03.1%)
Bendigo has existed since Federation and has always occupied a block of territory in central Victoria around the historic goldfields city. Like most country seats, it combines a fairly low income level with a very low proportion of people born in non English speaking countries. From 1937 to 1949 it included Echuca and the Murray Valley and was a safe Country Party seat, but for the rest of its history it has been politically marginal. It was held by Nationalist Prime Minister Billy Hughes 1917-22. In recent times the seat has been trending towards Labor as the area is colonised by wealthy professionals from Melbourne: even in the Liberal landslide year of 1996, the Liberal majority was less than 1%. Labor's strength lies in the city of Bendigo and in Castlemaine and Maryborough. The Liberals win most of the smaller rural booths. In 2004 Labor polled 71% of the two-party vote in Sparrowhawk, a Bendigo booth, and more than 65% in Bendigo North, the two Castlemaine booths, Chewton, Eagelhawk North, Guildford and Long Gully, while the Liberals polled 63% in Elmore and over 60% some small rural booths. Bendigo's most distinguished member was Nationalist Prime Minister Billy Hughes, who held the seat 1917-22 before moving back to Sydney. John Brumby, now Premier of Vioctoria, held Bendigo for Labor 1983-90. Steve Gibbons won the seat for Labor in 1998. Gibbons's margin was sharply reduced in 2004 and in 2006 Labor was known to be worried about this seat. Given Labor's current high standing in the polls, however, Gibbons starts favourite.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Steve Gibbons (Labor) is the sitting member: see biography above.
  • Terry Jarvis (Family First) is an artist.
  • Clinton Gale (Liberty and Democracy) is an administrator.
  • Toby Byrne (Greens) is a primary school teacher in Castlemaine.
  • Edward Guymer (Democrats) is a high-school student.
  • Adam Veitch (Independent) is a student.
  • Peter Kennedy (Liberal) is a journalist and media communications consultant. A former chief of staff at the Bendigo Advertiser, he now runs a consulting business.
  • Eril Rathjen (Independent) is a farmer.

    Candidates on YouTube
    Steve Gibbons


    Two-party vote by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Two party swing by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Members for Bendigo

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