Kevin locked in, so Make Menzies Matter campaign roars into top gear

June 11, 2016

Dear Mayne Report readers,

Greetings for the first time since last Saturday's email update. If you'd rather not receive these occasional email newsletters, click here to unsubscribe. Alternatively, share this online version with your friends.

Oakeshott enters race as prospect of Turnbull-led hung parliament soars

There was some great news today when sensible independent Rob Oakeshott nominated against hard right conservative Luke Hartsuyker in the NSW seat of Cowper.

This has significantly increased the prospect of a Turnbull-led minority government which is the dream scenario for the long-neglected people of Menzies: the forgotten seat.

If elected, I'm totally committed to backing a Turnbull government in the house for the next three years so the people of Menzies know it is a safe option to ditch Abbott-lover Kevin Andrews and not be left with some lefty representing them in a traditional Liberal heart-land seat.

It would be interesting to know if Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have access to an electronic copy of the electoral roll in their seats because I was shocked to be told at today's ballot draw that I'm only allowed a hard copy. What a joke.

This big party duopoly completely sucks. Have you ever heard of a more tilted playing field than denying certain candidates access to a useable copy of the electoral roll. That would be worth a High Court challenge on its own, if the result is close.

Kevin Andrews locked in, so let's move into top gear

Nominations closed yesterday and we had the ballot draw today so Kevin Andrews is locked in as the official but controversial Liberal candidate, despite being an open opponent of Malcolm Turnbull and having delivered very little for Menzies during the 25 years he's represented the people of Menzies/Manningham, whilst living near a train station in the City of Banyule on the other side of the Yarra.

That means this "true liberal" independent challenger is now going all out to take the seat, support Prime Minister Turnbull and Make Menzies Matter by delivering this $50 million package of long overdue federal sporting and infrastructure investments if Malcolm Turnbull is returned as Prime Minister in a hung parliament situation.

Support for the "Kick out Kevin" campaign 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."

Funding a successful campaign to kick out Kevin

We've received great support so far from almost 70 donors, such that a serious $45,000 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 yesterday 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

* $5000 full page ad about the "true liberal" independent alternative on page 4 of next week's Melbourne Weekly Eastern.

* 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.

* $1000 deposit to nominate

* Recruitment of a paid volunteer co-ordinator who started this week.

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 cynical and ruthless organisations like Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association.

But not all politicians are like that.

It was great to have a big win at Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday night when councillors unanimously endorsed my motion 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 Make Menzies Matter

The Mayne4Menzies Facebook page is now up and running and we're spending some of our scarce campaign funds giving it a boost in the suburbs of Menzies/Manningham.

This long weekend is the best opportunity for volunteers to step up given most there is little kids sport. We've had flyers, more corflute posters and campaign t-shirts arrive today and here are the 10 ways you can help replace an Abbott-loving "Fake Liberal" with a Turnbull supporting "true liberal" in Menzies. If you can help just reply to this email but also copy in as we now have a campaign co-ordinator on board for the next three weeks.

1. Volunteer to hand out how to vote cards on election day (July 2) at one of the 30 booths across Menzies.

2. Do a stint at the Menzies early voting centre at the Uniting Church at 152 Anderson's Creek Rd East Doncaster which opens on Tuesday June 16 and runs through on weekdays until election eve, Friday July 1.

3. Host a corflute sign (choice of "Fake Liberal" or "true liberal") at your place and take a second one to hold up on busy roads during peak hour in Australia's most car dependent electorate. If you've got a car, help with the logistics of distributing and managing the placement of corflutes.

4. Door knock on main roads or busy well located side streets delivering pamphlets and seeking permission to put up corflutes.

5. Distribute flyers at shopping centres, schools, kindergartens and outside community events such as Probus and Rotary club meetings or sporting venues.

6. Send a personal email to voters or call people you know in Menzies making the case for a change from “Fake Liberal” Kevin Andrews to the “true liberal” Cr Stephen Mayne.

7. Share and like our Mayne4Menzies Facebook page, share our tweets and push other messages on social media.

8. Call 3AW, 774 ABC Melbourne, RRR, PBS or any FM breakfast show and talk about the Make Menzies Matters campaign and what is happening on the ground.

9. Donate to the campaign which is currently funded to the tune of $45,000 but probably needs to be almost double that to win.

10. Share this 10 point plan with other people and encourage them to get involved as well by emailing or replaying to this email at


If you'd like to donate to Stephen Mayne's Menzies campaign, send a cheque to PO Box 925 Templestowe 3106 or do a transfer to our Westpac account:

BSB: 036 406
Account number: 130897

Alternatively, you can use a credit card through Paypal.

The Mayne Report loves lists and here are a few favourites

We love a good list at The Mayne Report and here are a few favourites we've worked up over the years:

120 local govt councillors who made it into Parliament

The great honorary doctorates list

Prominent Australians who have sued for defamation

Claimed assets of companies at time of collapse

The great Australian cheque-book journalism list

The Mayne Report Rich List

Crikey yarns since last edition

Since Crikey was sold in March 2005, the freelance contributions to Australia's best known and longest running independent ezine have continued as follows:

2016: 36 stories so far
2015: 108 stories
2014: 51 stories
2013: 19 stories
2012: 56 stories
2011: 71 stories
2010: 64 stories
2009: 50 stories
2008: 264 stories
2007: 354 stories
2006: 295 stories
2005: 257 stories

Here are links to the two Crikey stories since last Saturday's edition:

News Corp bumps "Kevin Andrews = Fake Liberal?" ad from p4 to p20

Today's piece summarising all the action in Menzies

Sign up for campaign and governance Tweets

Click on the image above to join almost 28,000 followers on Twitter. We are regularly dropping out observations about journalism, politics, breaking stories, local government and shareholder activism.

Mayne family news - election, election, election

The kids are tolerating the election, but are getting a bit worried that dad isn't sleeping much. They will be happy when it is all over but are genuinely excited about the solid progress so far.

Philip is school captain at the local primary and has been getting a few questions about the "Kevin Andrews = Fake Liberal" posters, but he can see the funny side.

They are all looking forward to the alternative "true liberal" posters going up next week as they feature the whole family and our gorgeous labradoodle Daisy.

The family sub-committee of the main campaign committee are keen for Daisy to play a prominent role over the last three weeks of the campaign and they just might get their way on that point.

That's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is an email newsletter and website which promotes transparency and good governance in the corporate, political and media worlds. It is published by Stephen Mayne, the founder of, shareholder advocate, ASA director and City of Melbourne councillor. To unsubscribe from this email list, click here. Authorised by Stephen Mayne, 90 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000.