#MarriageEquality on the never never: @burgewords on the politics of hope

It’s clear marriage equality will remain just a high hope TONY Abbott has knocked Australian progressives and moderate Liberals into motionless disappointment on marriage equality. The biggest political football of his government has been booted around by parliament again. There’ll be a few free kicks when the cross-party marriage equality bill comes before parliament, but Abbott’s moved the goalposts already, so none of the players will score. The Australian with the highest hope for the Liberals on this issue – and at the greatest risk of being disappointed by her party – is Tony’s sister Christine Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney. She optimistically submits to interviews […]

Voyage to the new news world: @burgewords #CreatingWaves on online media

Margo Kingston asked me to kick-off a new series on No Fibs about the experiences of citizen journalists working with professional journalists in online media. Here is my response. A WEEK after the 2013 federal election I was driving to my casual sub-editing job on a Fairfax weekly newspaper when I let a brilliant photo opportunity go. During the campaign I’d had to pass a vast billboard of our electorate’s returned sitting member, Andrew Laming, along that route. But on that day, Laming’s face was burning into black ash as a farmer torched his latest crop’s stubble. It was one of those moments when your mind takes the shot, writes the story […]

#Griffithvotes citizen journo @Griffithelects live twitter reports of Libs ‘group call’ and campaign launch

[clear] By Jan Bowman @GriffithElects Mass Teleconference in Griffith On Wednesday February 29 the LNP ran a mass virtual ‘town hall’ teleconference with voters in Griffith. Apparently Labor used this technology recently in Griffith to link party members with Opposition leader Bill Shorten and is planning something similar in the last week of the campaign. I arrived home from work on Tuesday to see my voice mail flashing. I rarely use my landline and had expected one of the usual wrong number messages. Instead there was a recorded message from Dr Glasson inviting me to join, on the following evening, a virtual town hall meeting with himself and Foreign Minister […]

Pie in the sky in Redland City: @burgewords reports Bowman’s first candidates forum

Despite some expectation that our sitting member for the LNP, Andrew Laming MP, would be a no-show like so many of his party colleagues across the nation, all candidates submitted themselves to questions from voters in the Redlands this week, in the Queensland division of Bowman. The Cleveland District State High School Language Centre was a bit over half full. Bayside Bulletin journos, and me, were up the back tweeting to a wider audience via #bowmanpol, and, down the front, our candidates sat in a line which perfectly expressed their place on the ideological spectrum. Stage left was Penny Allman-Payne for the Greens, rubbing shoulders with Darryl Briskey of the […]

Trolls, tweets, cheats and Bowman’s new hashtag: @burgewords reports

We’ve had a bit of a dark time in politics here in the southeast Queensland seat of Bowman, with a storm erupting on social media over campaign tactics. It all began when one Redlander went to the Cleveland Farmers Markets last Sunday morning and tweeted about having to avoid a number of supporters of the sitting Liberal National Party member, Andrew Laming MP. After chuckling in acknowledgment – I also hate having any political supporter shove leaflets in my face when I am shopping – I recalled a tweet from Bowman’s Greens candidate Penny Allman-Payne notifying supporters that The Greens would not be at the markets after the organisers had […]

Bowman election wrap-up by @burgewords

It’s been an interesting year for voters in the Redlands, the federal division of Bowman in south-east Queensland. A few key incidents have put this region on the political map, but unfortunately none of these was a result of good political representation for residents. First and foremost were the infamous tweets from our sitting federal member for the LNP, Andrew Laming MP, the first of which defined a family dispute in a suburb outside this electorate as “Mobs tearing up Logan”. Mobs tearing up Logan tonight. Did any of them do a day's work today, or was it business as usual and welfare on tap? — Andrew Laming (@AndrewLamingMP) January […]

The Greens face in Bowman: @burgewords reports

The first time I became aware of Penny Allman-Payne was from a flyer on the Coochiemudlo Island Progress Association noticeboard at the jetty on my way to the mainland. This teacher, lawyer, and Greens candidate for Bowman was coming to my island. I couldn’t make it to that meeting, but Penny agreed to meet me recently at a cafe in her home town of Cleveland, where she quickly identified a specific challenge faced by candidates in the smaller parties: being visible to voters. “If you’re not an incumbent with access to large sections of the electorate in a range of ways, or you’re not an ex state member who has […]

Briskey’s back in Bowman: ex state MP riled by Qld sackings says locals are for turning

By Michael Burge August 2, 2013 Not long after I moved into the southeast Queensland electorate of Bowman in late 2012, I spotted a man sitting in a plastic chair on Redland Bay Road, next to a rather fetching retro caravan emblazoned with bright red lettering. The local media confirmed the fellow’s identity as the member for the state seat of Cleveland until 2006, the ALP’s Darryl Briskey. I overtook him once at Victoria Point; I nearly stopped to meet him at Raby Bay but didn’t indicate in time; I swept past him on the roadside at Chandler; and I eventually caught up with him on busy Shore Street West, […]

Bowman owned by @AndrewLamingMP: @burgewords reports

View Larger Map Bowman Seat Profile At the 2010 federal election, the Queensland division of Bowman was retained by Andrew Laming MP for the Liberal National Party with a whopping swing of 10.4 per cent, making a notionally safe Liberal seat out of a highly marginal one. Many in the electorate remember the 2007 election, when Laming took the seat by a mere 64 votes, a percentage which made Bowman, for a time, the most marginal division in the nation. Such memories may have contributed to the early fielding of 2013 candidates – former ALP State Member Darryl Briskey, Penny Allman-Payne for The Greens, 21st Century Australia Party’s Fernando Alba, […]