Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives

Western Australia

Division of Cowan


Liz Prime (ALP)

Her ALP website

Luke Simpkins (Lib)

His Liberal Party
and his
campaign website

Martin Firth (CDP)

His Christian Democrats website

Rhonda Hamersley (FF)

Her Family First website

Johannes Herrmann (Grn)

His Greens website

Ken Lee (LDP)

His Liberty and Democracy website
Location: Perth: Ballajura, Girrawheen, Kingsley, Wanneroo
Division named for: Edith Cowan, first woman member of an Australian Parliament, 1921
Median weekly family income: $993 (53th highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 16.3% (47th highest)
Persons born in the UK and Ireland: 12.5% (9th highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 19.0% (128th highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 7.3% (139th highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 45.7% (17th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 45.4% (2nd highest)
Sitting member: Hon Graham Edwards (Labor), elected 1998, 2001, 2004. Retiring 2007.
1996 two-party majority: Liberal 02.4
Effect of 1998 redistribution: 02.0 shift to Liberal
1998 two-party majority: Labor 03.6
Effect of 2001 redistribution: 00.5 shift to Liberal
2001 two-party majority: Labor 05.6
2004 primary votes: Labor 43.9, Liberal 44.4, Green 5.6
2004 two-party majority: Labor 00.8
2004 enrolment: 85,393
2007 enrolment: 93,407 (+09.4%)
Cowan was created in 1984, occupying a block of Perth's rapidly expanding northern suburbs. The Labor vote is in the south of the seat, in suburbs around its stronhgold of Girrawheen, while the Liberal strength is in the more westerly suburbs such as Kingsley and Wanneroo. Cowan is a typical mortgage belt seat, with the second-highest of proportion of dwellings being purchased of any electorate, and a high proportion of families with dependent children. Like all the Perth seats, it also has a large number of immigrants from the UK, and also a fairly large number from non English speaking countries. In 2004 Labor polled 71% of the two-party vote in Koondoola, 69% in all three Girrawheen booths, and polled over 60% in the two Marangaroo booths, while the Liberal vote hit 60% in Tapping and Wanneroo West. Graham Edwards, a former WA state minister who lost both legs in the Vietnam War, has held the seat since 1998, but is retiring in 2007. Edwards is one of the most highly respected members of the House and has a large personal vote. Nevertheless he came very close to defeat in 2004 as outer suburban voters rejected Mark Latham. Had the seat been vacant then it would certainly have gone to the Liberals. A local poll in June showed the Liberals narrowly ahead, but in August another poll suggested Labor was ahead.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Ken Lee (Liberty and Democracy) is a call-centre operator.
  • Roger Blakeway (CEC) is a pump-fitter.
  • Johannes Herrmann (Greens) is a PhD student in mathematics at Curtin University.
  • Luke Simpkins (Liberal) was an Army office for 15 years, before resigning in 2004 as a Major to contest Cowan at the 2004 election. He is an adviser to the Minister for Justice and Customs.
  • Martin Firth (Christian Democrats) is a biostatistician and is currently completing a PhD.
  • Norm Ramsay (Independent) is an auto electrician.
  • Dave Tierney (One Nation) is retired.
  • Rhonda Hamersley (Family First) is a teacher.
  • Liz Prime (Labor) is Director of Nursing at Joondalup Health Campus and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Curtin University.


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

    Two party swing by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Members for Cowan

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