Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives

New South Wales

Division of Page


Chris Gulaptis (Nat)

His website

Janelle Saffin (ALP)

Her ALP website

Benj Beatty (LDP)

His Liberty and Democracy website

Theo Jongen (Grn)

His Greens website

Julia Melland (Dem)

Her Democrats website
Location: North Coast: Ballina, Casino, Grafton, Lismore
Division named for: Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, Leader of the Country Party 1920-39 and Prime Minister of Australia 1939
Median weekly family income: $658 (144th highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 2.6% (142nd highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 24.6% (81st highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 17.8% (8th highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 33.8% (125th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 20.3% (125th highest)
Sitting member: Hon Ian Causley (National), elected 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004. Retiring 2007
1996 two-party majority: National 04.3
1998 two-party majority: National 02.4
Effect of 2001 redistribution: 01.0 shift to National
2001 two-party majority: National 02.8
2004 primary votes: Labor 33.1, National 48.5, Green 10.8
2004 two-party majority: National 04.2
Effect of 2006 redistribution: 01.3 shift to National
2007 notional two-party majority: National 05.5
2004 enrolment: 85,019
2007 enrolment: 93,426 (+09.9%) (new boundaries)
Page was created in 1984 from parts of the federation electorates of Richmond and Cowper, and based on the regional centres of Grafton and Lismore. It has one of the country's lowest levels of median family income, reflecting its economic base of farming and low-wage tourism jobs, plus its large population of retired over-65s. Its ageing population is also shown by its low levels of families with dependent children and of dwellings being purchased. These factors make Page more politically marginal than most rural seats are these days. In 2004 the Nationals polled more than 60% of the two-party vote in most of the small rural booths, polling 78% in Southgate - but not in the hippy capital of Nimbin, where Labor polled 81%. More importantly, the Nationals carried every booth in Grafton, Ballina and Casino. Apart from Nimbin and a few other rural booths, Labor polled best in Lismore, carrying five of the seven booths. Page's first member was Ian Robinson, a National Party veteran who had held Cowper since 1963. Like many country members, he stayed on too long, and in 1990 he was unexpectedly defeated by Labor's Harry Woods, who was greatly helped by the aftermath of the National Party's "Joh for Canberra" fiasco. Woods hung on in 1993, but was predictably defeated in 1996 by the Nationals candidate, former state minister Ian Causley. (Woods then stood for the by-election caused by Causley's resignation from the state parliament, and won.) Causley had reasonable expectations of ministerial office in the Howard government, but has had to be content with the dignified post of Deputy Speaker. He is now retiring. The National Party candidate was expected to be Larry Anthony, who was MP for Richmond 1996-2004, but in March he announced that he was not a candidate. In April the Nationals endorsed Clarence Valley councillor Chris Gulaptis. National Party seats are always vulnerable when sitting members retire, and having to run with a new candidate will further weaken their prospects. Nevertheless Page remains a long-shot for Labor.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Doug Behn (Independent) is self-employed.
  • Mirian Vega (Family First) is a businesswoman.
  • John Culverwell (CEC) is a tour guide.
  • Julia Melland (Democrats) describes herself as a politician.
  • Theo Jongen (Greens) works in healthcare services, as well as being an artist and sculptor.
  • Janelle Saffin (Labor) was a member of the NSW Legislative Council from 1995 to 2003. She is a lawyer and a former teacher.
  • Rhonda Avasalu (Christian Democrat)
  • Ben Beatty (Liberty and Democracy) is a geologist.
  • Chris Gulaptis (National) is a surveyor and works as a consultant for a local firm. He is a former Mayor of Maclean and current Clarence Valley shire councillor.

    Campaign news
    Gulaptis out of touch on IR, Saffin claims
    Gulaptis not about to fall into "union trap" on IR laws


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

    Two party swing by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Members for Page

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