Greens increasing pressure on Thomson in Wills reports @takvera

By John Englart 4 September 2013 I was recruited by Margo to cover the election in the safe Labor seat of Wills (Seat Profile) in mid July. After writing 21 articles I suspect I have put in far more time and work than some of the candidates. We are at the point in Wills where the Green vote may overtake the Liberal vote for the first time. The Greens are beginning to challenge Labor. The campaign was marked by the absence of Liberal candidate Shilpa Hegde from all public forums and interviews. Surely the Liberal Party doesn’t expect people to vote for a candidate who doesn’t even attempt to engage […]

Public transport versus east-west link tollroad issue in Melbourne electorates reports @takvera

By John Englart 30 August 2013 The Victorian Government is proceeding with the East-West link tunnel tollroad which would connect up the Eastern Freeway and Alexandra Parade to Citylink severely impacting Royal Park and Moonee Ponds Creek. It is an $8 billion project with high impacts on the seat of Melbourne, but also traffic and environmental impacts in Wills. It comes at a time when several rail infrastructure projects need to be built to upgrade and renew the ailing public transport network to cope with Melbourne’s booming population. Population boom: why we need Doncaster rail, Mernda ext, + more PT, not east-west link @Vic_Premier #trainsnottolls http://t.co/GFqDBDRF7t — Frere Tak (@takvera) […]

Most candidates in NBN-connected Wills reckon Labor got it right: @takvera interviews

By John Englart 27 August 2013 The Wills suburb of Brunswick was the first metropolitan pilot site for Labor’s NBN in 2011. The world is changing rapidly with large movements of digital information, requiring faster internet speeds to deliver content to meet our needs (see Steve Jenkins and Lachlan Hinds article on Why is fast, reliable Internet so appealing?. Kelvin Thomson and Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a successful launch at the completion of the pilot project at Brunswick neighbourhood House a few weeks ago. It was wonderful to have @AlboMP @KelvinThomsonMP @Jane_GarrettMP Visit BNH today & switch on more homes to #NBN. — Brunswick NH (@Brunswick_NH) July 24, […]

Food and agriculture debated by Labor and Greens in Wills: @takvera reports

By John Englart 25 August 2013 Discussing Food and agriculture policy may seem a little bit incongruent in an inner urban electorate, but the forum held in Wills at the Coburg Farmers market on Saturday highlights that city people are concerned with farming and agricultural practices that affect everyone from farmers to city consumers. The public forum was organised by Transition Coburg, initially with sitting Labor member Kelvin Thomson, Liberal candidate Shilpa Hegde and Greens candidate Tim Read. Shilpa Hegde withdrew with no reason given and Margarita Windisch from the Socialist Alliance was added. Questions followed short presentations. About 70 people attended the forum, quite a large number given the […]

Wills candidates agree on climate but differ on urgency and the coal menace, reports @takvera

By John Englart 22 August 2013 On a cold and rainy Monday evening in Wills, in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, voters gathered at the concert hall in Coburg Town Hall to hear what candidates had to say on climate and sustainability issues. The hall was full with about 140 people in attendance. Climate Action Moreland, a local community group active on climate issues, started organising the event in July, and other community groups endorsed it.  The date was set before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd named the election date. All the candidates who had declared their intention to stand were invited. Come the night, Kelvin Thomson, the sitting Labor MP, Tim […]

Equal Love and gay marriage law reform: Wills candidates talk to @takvera

By John Englart 18 August 2013 Gay marriage law reform, equal love, is about ending a disrciminatory practice presently enshrined in law. It would be something so easy to do and to move on to much bigger issues. Yet it lingers as an issue at another Federal election. This week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised that if re-elected, he would introduce a bill on the issue within 100 days and allow Labor party members a conscience vote. Tony Abbott this week labelled gay marriage as “the fashion of the moment” in a radio interview. He has refused so far to similarly allow a conscience vote on the issue by the […]

The ballot draw ritual: @takvera reports Wills

By John Englart 16 August 2013 At the declaration of nominations in Wills (See Seat profile), Dean O’Callaghan, running as a Save the Planet independent, drew the top spot on the ballot paper. Greens candidate Tim Read took second position, with Liberal and Labor candidates at the bottom of the ticket. Kelvin Thomson, the sitting Labor member, has a comfortable margin in this electorate, so the real battle is between the Liberal Party and the Greens for second and third place. Tim Read in second spot will benefit from any donkey vote flowing down the ballot paper, which will help in the battle for second place in Wills. I had […]

Economy, education and climate are key issues, says Wills Labor MP Kelvin Thomson

14 August 2013 Wills Labor MP Kelvin Thomson identifies economic stability, education and climate change as key issues and outlines his background as a defender of the local environment, in an interview with Wills citizen journalist John Englart. Kelvin has been the member for Wills (See Seat profile) in Melbourne’s north since 1996. He has a legal background, has served in many shadow portfolios and as parliamentary secretary for trade, and is now parliamentary secretary for schools. He is said to be an effective politician in his portfolio areas and has been a dedicated local member. As the local MP, in 2000 he wrote a basic pro-forma character reference for a local businessman, […]

Socialists launch election campaign in Wills and Corio: @takvera reports

By John Englart 11 August 2013 Socialist activists launched their election campaign on Saturday night in support of candidates in two ‘safe’ Labor seats in Victoria: Margarita Windisch in Wills, based on Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, and Sue Bull in Corio centred on the regional city of Geelong. The electorate of Wills (See Seat profile) still has a radical tinge, with many socialist, social justice and union activists making it their home. The event was held at the Anatolian Cultural centre on Sydney Road, Coburg. Leftwing Turkish migrants established this social centre 20 to 30 years ago. If you judge by voting patterns, Socialists have had a small resurgence in […]

Veteran citizen journo @takvera reports radical Wills

View Larger Map Seat Profile for Wills By John Englart 21 July 2013 The Federal seat of Wills is generally considered a safe Labor seat, but history shows it has elements of radicalism and electoral unrest which in the past have upset it’s pure Australian Labor Party pedigree. The long term trend shows the Labor primary vote slowly decreasing and the Greens slowly increasing. While sitting Labor member Kelvin Thomson is likely to comfortably hold the seat on preferences in 2013, the trend to watch on election night will be whether the Green vote continues to increase and the Greens achieve more than their 20.60% 2010 primary vote. The electorate […]