Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives

New South Wales

Division of Cook


Scott Morrison (Lib)

His Liberal Party website

Mark Buttigieg (ALP)

His ALP website

Naomi Waizer (Grn)

Her Greens website
Location: Sydney: Caringbah, Cronulla, Miranda, Sylvania
Division named for: Captain James Cook, explorer of the east coast of Australia
Median weekly family income: $1,299 (18th highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 9.3% (76th highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 29.2% (44th highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 15.3% (32nd highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 36.4% (101st highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 23.3% (92nd highest)
Sitting member: Hon Bruce Baird (Liberal), elected 1998, 2001, 2004. Retiring 2007.
1996 two-party majority: Liberal 12.3
1998 two-party majority: Liberal 08.9
Effect of 2001 redistribution: 00.5 shift to Liberal
2001 two-party majority: Liberal 14.1
2004 primary votes: Labor 27.7, Liberal 58.0, Green 6.9
2004 two-party majority: Liberal 13.8
Effect of 2006 redistribution: no change
2007 notional two-party majority: Liberal 13.8
2004 enrolment: 82,675
2007 enrolment: 93,396 (+13.0%) (new boundaries)
Cook was created in 1969, based in the southern suburbs of Sydney between Botany Bay and Port Hacking (there was an earlier seat of Cook in inner Sydney, which was abolished in 1955). It is a solidly middle-class area with a high proportion of people in professional occupations. In the 1970s these were fairly new suburbs with a high level of families with children and people paying mortgages. Today the population is mainly older home-owners, with a low proportion of people born in non English speaking countries. Cook was politically marginal when it was created, but grew steadily safer for the Liberals in the 1980s and '90s. Today, like other high-income areas, it is slowly drifting back towards Labor as issues like refugees and climate change influence middle-class voters. Nevertheless it is unlikely that Cook will be seriously at risk for the Liberals on its current boundaries. The seat's core suburbs, Carringbah, Cronulla, Gymea and Sylvania, are solidly Liberal, although Labor holds the state seat of Miranda. In 2004 the Liberals polled more than 70% of the two-party vote in Burraneer Bay, Cronulla, Lilli Pilli and Sylvania Waters, while Labor polled best in Bundeena and Maianbar, on the southern shore of Port Hacking. Bruce Baird, a former NSW Liberal state minister, has held Cook since 1998. Baird expected to be a minister when he came to Canberra, but was disappointed, and joined Petro Georgiou in becoming a back-bench rebel, especially on immigration issues. He announced his retirement in April. The Liberal preselection turned into a nasty brawl, from which businessman Michael Towke emerged as the candidate. Towke's candidacy, however, was derailed by serious allegations of branch stacking and of making false statements about his career. In early August he was disendorsed by the NSW state Liberal Party.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Graeme Strang (Independent) is a taxi driver.
  • Ari Katsoulas (Family First) is a student.
  • Patricia Poulos (Independent) is director of a legal practice.
  • Naomi Waizer (Greens) is a trainee chef.
  • Beth Smith (Christian Democrat) is a teacher.
  • Mark Buttigieg (Labor) has degrees in arts and economics, and is a trainer of electrical system operators with Energy Australia.
  • Scott Morrison (Liberal) is a consulant. He is a former NSW director of the Liberal Party and head of Tourism Australia.
  • Richard Putral (One Nation) is retired.

    Campaign news
    It's time to win voters' confidence in Cook


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

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

    Members for Cook

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