June 10, 2016
Dear Menzies campaign supporters,
First up today, check out out our Mayne4Menzies Facebook page.
Nominations closed less than 1 hour ago for the Federal election, so "Fake Liberal" Kevin Andrews is locked in as the official but soiled Liberal candidate, despite being an open opponent of Malcolm Turnbull, running a branch stacking operation and having 1950s views about women.
That means this "true liberal" independent challenger is now going all out to take the seat, support Prime Minister Turnbull and Make Menzies Matter after 25 years of neglect.
Support is coming in from a wide variety or sources. Former Democrats leader Lyn Allison has donated $100 to the campaign and agreed to publically explain her reasoning as follows:
"In the absence of a Democrats candidate in this electorate, I would really like to see Stephen Mayne take the seat, firstly to drive accountability which is so desperately needed at the Federal level, and secondly to remove Kevin Andrews whose extreme conservative agenda is problematic, especially for women".
Melbourne Liberal Lord Mayor and Town Hall colleague Robert Doyle has agreed for this statement to be distributed on our campaign material:
“Stephen Mayne has done a terrific job bringing a fresh perspective, transparency and good governance practices to the City of Melbourne.”
Senator Nick Xenophon has said: "I need Stephen in Canberra with me to help shake up the cosy duopoly of Australian politics."
This long weekend is the best opportunity for volunteers to step up with no kids sport. We've got flyers and more corflutes arriving tomorrow, so please just reply to this email if you are available to assist.
Early voting commences on Tuesday morning, so if you fancy a shift over the first week at the United Church at 152 Andersons Creek Rd, Doncaster East, please let us know.
Funding a successful campaign to kick out Kevin
We've received great support so far from more than 60 donors, such that a serious $40,000 campaign is now locked in, as The Age reported earlier this week. It's all come from individuals with no unions, corporate or shadowy lobby groups getting involved. For instance, after an intelligent engagement on email, Doncaster-based doctor and Menzies resident John Evers kindly contributed $200 earlier today and was happy to be disclosed on our real-time register of donors.
However, the difference between winning and losing will be things such as funding a second $5000 flyer that gets delivered to all households and reaching more than 50,000 voters with telephone messages. Just a $27 donation will fund almost 500 phone calls. This is what we've committed to so far with all your contributions:
* $5000 full page ad about "Fake Liberal" Kevin Andrews in this week's edition of The Manningham Leader
* $5000 full page ad about the "true liberal" independent alternative on page 4 of next week's Manningham Leader
* Two full pages ads in The Warrandyte Diary.
* Corflutes, t-shirts and buttons for volunteers on polling day.
* 50,000 how to vote cards
* 50,000 flyers
* Boosting relevant stories on Facebook focused on voters in Menzies.
* Polling to better understand how the vote is tracking and which issues are resonating.
If you can help, donation details are explained at the top of our register of contributors or at the bottom of this update after the most interesting essay from a Liberal insider explaining why Kevin Andrews should be removed.
Fighting the pokies through City of Melbourne
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the pokies industry is funnelling more money to the Kevin Andrews campaign again in 2016.
Fairfax reported this week that the pokies industry is targeting Nick Xenophon and given that Nick and I are both trying to defeat a pokies industry favourite, logic would suggest the Kevin Andrews campaign is back in the pay of organisation like Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association.
But not all politicians are like that.
It was great to have a big win at Town Hall on Tuesday when councillors unanimously endorsed this motion on Tuesday night encouraging AFL clubs to exit the pokies industry:
1. That the Future Melbourne Committee:
1.1 Notes Council is a Tier 1 member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform.
1.2 Commends the North Melbourne Football Club for being the only AFL club based in Victoria (and the City of Melbourne) which has no poker machine operations.
1.3 Requests the AFL to develop a funding support plan to encourage all AFL clubs to transition away from reliance on poker machines.
1.4 Authorises the Chief Executive officer to write to the AFL and the individual Victorian clubs with poker machines informing them of Council's position and the desirability of exiting the industry.
1.5 Request management to include a condition on all future City of Melbourne funding arrangements with AFL Clubs which seeks to reduce their reliance on poker machines.
The last point was an amendment on the night by Cr Cathy Oke and has become known as "the Collingwood clause" given that we are presently negotiating a $3 million 10 year access agreement with the Pies for the community to use their Olympic Park training facilities.
Details are not clear yet but it might involve something like a review at the 5 year mark based on whether Collingwood has exited its two remaining pokies venues.
You can listen to the 12 minute Town Hall pokies debate starting at the 2 hour mark of Tuesday's meeting. The Herald Sun is also to be commended for its strong coverage on this issue.
Finally on the pokies, listen to this campaign speech from the 2008 Woolworths AGM for a solid example of straight-talking pokies activism which has seemingly had little impact on our biggest pokies operators which happily keeps pouring big dollars into favoured politicians and pro-pokies parties through the AHA.
A true Liberal explains why Kevin Andrews is a fake
A guest columnist and long-time Victorian-based Liberal explains why the member for Menzies is really a "Fake Liberal"
Liberals used to be focused on practical policies. They were all about getting things done. They were concerned with creating the conditions where the economy could grow and families prosper while ensuring there was a strong safety net that caught anyone who fell behind.
This was the approach of Sir Robert Menzies. It's the direction Henry Bolte took in developing the state economy and providing Melbourne with infrastructure from the West Gate Bridge and Tullamarine Airport to Monash and Latrobe Universities in the decades after the Second World War. It's the direction Rupert Hamer followed and updated in the 1970s when Liberals realised policies such as strong environmental protection and good planning laws or public transport projects like the city loop were as important to quality of life as a strong economy. It was the Victorian way.
But over the past two decades a new type of Liberal has emerged, Liberal politicians who are too distracted by the buzzing of bees in their bonnets to focus on what really matters. It's what drives them to enter politics. And while they might look like Liberals on the outside they don't prioritise practical projects and policies in the way traditional Liberals in Victoria have. They follow different agendas. For them, politics is all about the clash of ideas. They focus on their own ideological agendas at the expense of what matters to electors. In fact, you could say that they're not Liberals, but conservatives with often extreme social views.
Kevin Andrews was one of the first of this new breed. He's already had 25 years as an MP. Bob Hawke was still prime minister when Mr Andrews became Member for Menzies back in 1991.
He's served across a range of different portfolios, but after being dumped from the ministry by Malcolm Turnbull last September it's hard to see him ever serving on the frontbench again. He's had his shot. And his time as a minister has been mired in controversy in almost every portfolio he's held.
Mr Andrews was the minister who bought WorkChoices, the extreme industrial relations legislation that helped destroy the Howard government.
When their impact became clear he was shifted to the Immigration portfolio, where he presided over the Haneef affair; the arrest, detention, cancelling of the visa and attempted deportation of an Indian doctor falsely accused of aiding terrorists; a fiasco that ended with a judicial inquiry that found the evidence against Dr Haneef was “completely deficient” and that ASIO had reported to the government two days after his arrest that there was no information to suggest he was guilty of any crime.
As minister for social services under Tony Abbott, Mr Andrews was responsible for some of the harsher cuts in the disastrous 2014 budget, such as making unemployed youth wait six months for Centrelink benefits.
At the end of that year he was moved to Defence where he failed to adequately address political concerns Australian industries such as Victoria's shipyards would get their fair share of multi-billion dollar defence contracts at a time when the looming closure of the Holden and Ford facilities in the state are likely to drive up unemployment and have a major impact on our economy.
But now that he's returned to the backbench, Mr Andrews is unlikely to focus on what matters to the electorate of Menzies.
To begin with, he's not even a local. He lives in the neighbouring seat of Jaga Jaga. And all the evidence from his past record suggests that Mr Andrews will be more interesting his pursuing his own conservative agenda than standing up for local voters.
While his constituents suffer from one of the worst public transport black spots in Melbourne and have been crawling up and down the Eastern Freeway or stuck in the car park that is the top of Hoddle Street (even on weekends), Mr Andrews has been busy with other matters.
Back in 1996 he used the federal parliament's power to override the laws of the territories to overturn the euthanasia legislation that had been passed by the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.
Mr Andrews pushed for an end to trials of the morning after abortion drug RU-486 and opposed legislation that would have removed the power of the federal health minister to block applications for its use.
He has been a constant opponent of stem cell research and not only constantly argued against marriage equality but last year even suggested he would ignore community sentiment if the plebiscite supported a change to the law that would allow same sex couples to marry.
And outside the parliament he's involved in a whole range of groups and organisations that push a hardline, socially conservative position, both here and overseas.
While he's ignored the electorate to pursue his moral crusades Mr Andrews has found time to play a crucial role in Liberal leadership shenanigans.
Back in 2009 he led the first moves to topple Malcolm Turnbull over his support for climate change, challenging him for the Liberal leadership. Mr Andrews failed to get enough support to force a vote. He challenged Julie Bishop for the deputy leader's job last September only to be comprehensively defeated 70 votes to 30.
Kevin Andrews has done his dash. He's held a safe Liberal seat for over quarter of century but he hasn't used the position to pursue the traditional Liberal concerns of a better quality of life and a stronger economy. He's used to pursue his own conservative agendas, agendas that are out of step with his constituents.
The residents of Menzies have come off second best out of this. For the past 25 years they've had a member who has argued for his own interests, not theirs. The electorate has missed out. Mr Andrews has been too busy with his ideological crusades to pursue the projects Menzies needs; better roads, better public transport, better schools, better health care, better sporting facilities and better access to government services.
He's had his chance. It's time to replace a fake Liberal with a real one; one with strong roots in the community, a strong attachment to the area, one who shares the values of the great majority of the people in Menzies and understands what they need – one that will provide them with a voice in parliament, not pursue his own agendas.
Mr Andrews won't be coming back to the frontbench. He's marginalised himself and destroyed what little effectiveness he had as a local member with his fringe agendas.
After a quarter of a century it's time for a change. It's time to put the people of Menzies first.
HOW YOU CAN HELP DEFEAT SERIAL CANDIDATE AND SOCIAL EXTREMIST KEVIN ANDREWS
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Mayne Report Pty Ltd
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