Menzies update, Kroger intervention, Frank Lowy, more Kev pokies donations?, council governance reforms, ASA leave and North East Link

June 29, 2016

Dear Mayne Report readers and supporters of our Make Menzies Matters campaign,

Greetings for the first time since our last bumper email edition on June 17. If you like it, share this online version with your friends.

First up today, if you haven't signed up for some fun booth work on July 2, email Gabi at We're getting close to 100 volunteers who have stepped up but need more than 150 to comprehensively cover all 35 Menzies booths this Saturday.

We're having a volunteers and supporters function at the Templestowe RSL from 7pm this Thursday night so it would be great to see as many of you there as possible.

Liberals panicking in Menzies

Six weeks ago, a senior Liberal made the dismissive comment: "we're not even polling Menzies".

How things change.

The Liberals are now so worried about our hard-hitting $50,000 campaign against Kevin Andrews that Victorian President Michael Kroger has even resorted to writing a long attack letter to The Manningham Leader. The online version went up on Thursday and Crikey gave it a good run on Friday.

The Kroger letter did not make the letters page of the final pre-election edition of The Manningham Leader which has just gone online earlier today.

We've got the full page ad on page 4 and there's a double page spread on the Kroger intervention about who is the "true liberal" and who is the "Fake Liberal", including some claims from Kevin Andrews that he is working well with PM Turnbull.

The "true liberal" vs "Fake Liberal" got a solid work out during this interview with Peter Van Onselen on Sky News from Parliament House on Tuesday afternoon. Michael Kroger is a paid Sky News contributor and avid watcher, so it probably sparked his letter challenging the "true liberal" messaging in our flyers, posters and full page ads in the local papers.

The Kroger letter was little more than a re-hash of what Kevin Andrews himself said after one of his staffers asked a dorothy dixer at the candidates forum last Monday night.

Kevin barely mentioned the Labor candidate at the forum, but he took a few shots at me, suggesting the "true liberal" is regarded as the chief rival in the field.

The staffer wanted to know why I was preferencing the Greens ahead of the Liberals and the full history with the Greens.

The answer is that Kevin is so bad (branch stacker, delivered little, pokies donations, doesn't live here, undermines Turnbull, terrible for women etc etc), he's last on my ticket.

In responding to the stooge question, I was happy to say that I've never met a crooked Green and find they are terrific on all things transparency and honesty in government, particularly at City of Melbourne.

However, the voters at the Doncaster Church of Christ on Monday night also heard me say the Greens are often anti-business, can't be trusted with money and harbour plenty of ex Communists, such as Lee Rhiannon.

After I'd finished, Kevin then got up and quoted from a few past how to vote cards trying to claim this meant I wasn't a "true liberal". This completely ignores the fact that small parties and independents often preference each other strategically when taking on a big party. There's no chance of winning without that and this Menzies campaign is no different as can be seen on this final version of our how to vote card which we picked up from the printer on Friday.

We also refined this full page ad which is running on page 4 of The Manningham Leader this week, taking into account the Kroger attack. There are now three supportive quotes from Liberals: Robert Doyle, Alan Stockdale and former Manningham mayor Geoff Gough who all said I did a good job when working with them in their elected roles.

There's also this comprehensive account of the full Liberal Party history, which shows I've supported the Liberals ahead of Labor at 11 of the past 15 state and Federal elections, the only exceptions being when Liberal leaders drop the ball on economic management, take the governance low road or push too far to the extreme right on social issues (ie Tony Abbott).

Like many pro-business moderate Liberals, I've been waiting years for a modern, honest, progressive city-based business person to lead the nation and Malcolm Turnbull is that man, hence the attempt to remove the vehemently anti-Turnbull Kevin Andrews.

At last, a decent study into the North East link

In a further sign of panic, Kevin Andrews was last Thursday authorised by the national campaign headquarters to make his first meaningful spending commitment of the election: a $5 million study into completing the Northern ring road from Greensborough to Ringwood. Labor immediately matched the promise.

This is the RACV's No. 1 infrastructure project for Victoria and, surprisingly, no comprehensive study has ever been done on it. There was limited media coverage on this move, probably because Kevin Andrews made the announcement with Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher, rather than his nemesis Malcolm Turnbull.

If the traffic chaos in Bulleen and around the Fitzsimons Lane round about in Templestowe is going to be sorted, we need a freight by-pass solution and that is building the missing link between Greensborough and Ringwood, as the RACV has long argued.

What has Kevin done for Menzies, the forgotten seat?

While a study into the North East Link is good, Kevin Andrews still hasn't delivered any decent on the ground funding promises for the election.

For evidence, look no further than this flyer from his mate Michael Sukkar in neighbouring Deakin.

Because Deakin is marginal, the Liberal campaign team have been giving him millions to splash around.

And that flyer doesn't mention the $10 million which the Feds gave City of Maroondah for its Aquanation facility in Ringwood.

How much have the Feds contributed to the $20 million redevelopment of Aquarena in Doncaster? Nothing.

Unless you remove Kevin Andrews or at least turn it into a marginal seat, Menzies will never matter.

Labor certainly doesn't care, as was noted in this week's Manningham Leader, and even the Greens haven't bothered spending any money on local newspaper advertising.

There's only one candidate in the field really trying to deliver something tangible for the people of Menzies this election and if he is supported, Menzies will go from The Forgotten Seat to one of the most memorable seats.

Kevin fails to show up at Wonga Park candidates forum

After a relatively tricky time at Monday night's first candidates forum, Kevin Andrews pulled out of tonight's second scheduled debate. However, it is still absolutely worth your while coming on down to the Wonga Park hall on the corner of Launders Avenue and Yarra Road in Wonga Park from 7pm.

Ignoring one of the most Liberal leaning suburbs is high risk for a long serving MP who is being accused of taking the seat for granted for 25 years. Paula is still amazed that Kevin told Monday's gathering that his wife complains he already spends too much time in Menzies.

Andrews will visit the seat for a fundraising dinner at the Warrandyte Community Centre on Wednesday, and he was also prepared to visit for his 60th birthday function at the Casavini function centre in Doncaster last December — although guests were charged $80 to attend, and there were more people from Jenny Macklin's seat of Jaga Jaga (where Kevin lives and goes to church) than from Menzies.

What the polling says: Abbott and pokies donations toxic

Market research company Roy Morgan put out this very encouraging statement on Tuesday suggesting that we've made solid progress in Menzies such that the three way vote between Labor, Liberal and me is "fairly evenly split" and that "honest government" was a very important theme for voters.

We're now happy to share with you the full Reachtel poll that a third party helped us commission on the evening of Monday, June 13, before our first full electorate flyer was distributed. We commissioned another one on Friday but haven't yet seen the results.

Apart from having largely matched the Green vote, the two most encouraging aspects of the first Reachtel poll were the strong preference for Malcolm Turnbull over Tony Abbott (79-21) and the distaste for politicians who take money from the poker machine industry.

In relation to Kevin and the pokies, the word on the street is that there's more to come.

At last week's candidates forum he said Club NSW has supported his campaigns to the tune of $30,000 and this had all been disclosed.

That is not true. It's more than $30,000. Stay tuned folks.

Fabulous work at early voting

The main early voting centre in Menzies has been getting steadily busier and, as on close of business Thursday, there had already been 4568 early votes cast at the Manningham Uniting Church on Andersons Creek Rd in East Doncaster.

Throw in another 2000-plus early votes at the four other Menzies early voting centres in neighbouring seats where we are not handing out and we are already double the 3330 formal pre-poll votes cast at the 2013 election.

With another 5 days of early voting data to be revealed, we are potentially headed for more than 10,000 early votes in Menzies, which will be very important in the count.

Here is what the AEC website discloses about early voting numbers at the main East Doncaster early voting centre over the first 10 days of the ridiculously long 15 days of early voting in this cold winter election:

Tuesday, June 14
303: Wednesday, June 15
335: Thursday, June 16
436: Friday, June 17
432: Monday, June 20
432: Tuesday, June 21
414: Wednesday, June 22
462: Thursday, June 23
610: Friday, June 24
809: Saturday, June 25948: Monday, June 27
947: Tuesday, June 28

Talk about freakish having two days with 335 and two days with 432.

A big thanks to Len, Vivienne, Dawn, Maria, Terence, Ron, Charles, Paula, Laura, Venetia, Alice, Philip, Gabi and Anne and for their great work on early voting so far. Len has been an absolute legend, doing six shifts.

Make Menzies Matter – Invitation to all Campaign Volunteers

You are invited to join Stephen and the campaign team on Thursday 30th June to enjoy Pizza and free drinks at the Templestowe RSL, 156 Parker St, Templestowe VIC 3106. Kick-off time is 7pm. We will have How To Vote cards, T-shirts and Posters for election day ready for collection.

RSVP by Wednesday June 29 to Gabi at or call 0414 844 387.

Incidentally, the Labor Menzies campaign had a fundraiser at the Doncaster Inn last Wednesday night, which is a large pokies venue. The Templestowe RSL does not have pokies and is next to Templestowe Village on the old Templestowe Primary School site which is now known as the Templestowe Leisure Centre.

Email updates about Menzies campaign

There are some new donors and volunteers enlisted who haven't received any of our earlier missives, so here are all the links dating back to the campaign announcement on May 7.

Kevin's getting worried, campaign update, pokies, News Corp dispute, City of Melbourne and family news
Friday, June 17

Kevin locked in, so Make Menzies Matters campaign hits top gear
Friday, June 10

Menzies update, "Fake Liberal" corflutes, AFL pokies & gift registers
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Menzies update, Westfield rate dodging and candidate betting
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Menzies update, ASA board, pokies and Four Corners
Monday, May 23, 2016

Announcing Menzies tilt as Kevin Andrews embroiled in stacking scandal
Saturday, May 7, 2016

Links to other Menzies campaign coverage

And here are links to other campaign material on our main website:

What voters in Menzies say about Kevin Andrews

A true Liberal explains why Kevin is a fake Liberal

Media coverage of Menzies tilt

Manningham budget submission: the $50m of Federal support we need

What people say about Stephen Mayne

Real time disclosure of donations received

The tradition of independents running in safe Liberal seats

By a Liberal Party veteran who would like to see Kevin Andrews defeated

There is a good tradition of safe Liberal seats in Victoria and around the country turning independent; turning independent because they've been taken for granted for too long by the party or because of shenanigans in the local branches. In Menzies, with Kevin Andrews, we've had to put up with both.

Mr Andrews has been a member of parliament for more than quarter of century and a minister in two different governments but the Manningham local government area still doesn't have the public transport links and services they need.

Instead of having a practical and local focus Mr Andrews has used his position in parliament to pursue his own conservative fringe social agenda. And just days before the election was called back in May a member of his staff resigned amid allegations members of the Macedonian community had been joined up to the local Liberal Party without their knowledge.

In 2013, Victorians threw out a Liberal in safe Liberal territory at the same time as the rest of the country elected a Liberal government after the pugnacious Sophie Mirabella may have picked one brawl too many and was dumped as Member for Indi in favour of independent Cathy McGowan at the last federal election.

Some seats around the country have established a tradition of being rebellious. Liberal blueblood John Spender was dumped as member for North Sydney with a swing of more than 18 per cent against him when he was successfully challenged by former local mayor Ted Mack at the 1990. When Joe Hockey, the man who followed Mack in the seat, swanned off to become ambassador in Washington last year, there was a 14 per cent swing against his hand-picked successor, Trent Zimmerman.

Former Western Australian MP Alan Rocher was regarded as one of John Howard's strongest supporters in the federal parliament, but this could not save him from a brutal branch stacking campaign ahead of the 1996 election. While he lost the preselection after much controversy, Rocher was successfully returned in blue-ribbon Liberal territory as an independent at the 1996 poll, despite the nation-wide swing to the Liberals that saw the election of the Howard government.

That same election saw the election of Peter Andren as an independent in the rural New South Wales seat of Calare despite a strong push from the National Party. He went on to hold it until ill health forced his retirement at the 2007 poll, but not before he had become one of the most prominent voices for reform of the overly generous parliamentary superannuation scheme.

In Victoria former country cop Russell Savage became a thorn in the side of the Jeff Kennett's government when he won the normally safe seat of Mildura as an independent in the face of the second Kennett landslide in 1996. He defied the odds and hung for a decade before falling victim to a cashed-up Nationals campaign.

Former South Australian Liberal leader Dale Baker was also knocked out of his safe seat in the Mount Gambier region at the 1997 election there by an independent.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird had to defeat independent David Barr and win back the blue ribbon seat of Manly for the Liberals to make his first moves towards the top job in his state. Between them Barr and his predecessor and fellow independent and former local mayor Peter Macdonald, held the seat for 16 years.

Such was Macdonald's popularity that he was often tipped as a potential independent challenger for the safe Liberal federal seat that took in the local area, Warringah. But he remained loyal to his beloved Manly instead of challenging Warringah MP Tony Abbott. Just one run and our national political history could have been very different.

All this goes to show that so called safe Liberal seats can fall to independents when the circumstances are right and Kevin Andrews has certainly allowed those circumstances to arise by not living locally, delivering little, branch stacking, under-mining the Prime Minister, taking dirty pokies money and pursuing his extreme social agenda which is at odds with much of progressive Melbourne.

City of Melbourne update - the governance push continues apace

The 30 hour trip to Canberra on Tuesday and Wednesday last week was primarily about cranking up the pressure on the Lib-Lab duopoly to finally introduce an independent anti-corruption watchdog as operates in all Australian states.

It was the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly and the City of Melbourne motion pushing for a Federal ICAC passed comfortably late on Wednesday morning. This was very different to the last Municipal Association of Victoria state council meeting when President Bill McArthur had to use his casting vote to get a similar motion over the line.

Check out what The AFR's then international editor Tony Walker said about these motions when they were first put up back in April.

Sadly, there has been no media coverage about the duopoly being out of touch with the national local government position on the question of Canberra introducing an independent integrity body.

We also got a motion up at ALGA calling for periodic online disclosure of councillor expense claims and pre-approval of international trips at open council meetings, so it was a good three days for transparency.

Check out this list of the 50-plus transparency reforms that City of Melbourne has implemented over the past 4 years, as well as this list of nearly 50 motions we have put up since late 2012.

I'll be taking leave from council after the budget is approved tomorrow night. As chair of the Finance and Governance committee, it was appropriate to delay leave until the budget is formally approved and we've also achieved some new transparency this year with the 10 year capital works plan.

Check out the extra detail about capital works on p32-24 of the latest version of 10 year financial plan which was released on Friday.

It's still a long way short of the project by project 10 year pipeline but we are providing more information with each passing year.

Donations supports continues from unlikely quarters

Our campaign is continuing to draw support from unlikely quarters. One former ASX50 chairman, former GPT chair Peter Joseph, donated $1000 on Friday and agreed to have this statement made public:
“I've faced heavy questioning from Stephen Mayne as a public company chairman. He's whip smart, tough, incisive and honest. I certainly didn't always agree with him but there was never a doubt about his motivation. I respect that. Our nation would be better off if a Turnbull-supporting independent with his extensive governance experience and fearless advocacy skills was in the Federal Parliament.”
We've received a very generous $37,000 worth of donations from more than 100 contributors so far, all of which have been disclosed on our online register.

This has not quite funded all of this, but we've taken out an additional $30,000 margin loan to help get it all paid for:

$20,000 in newspaper advertising
$10,000 for two whole of electorate delivered flyers, the second of which is going out later this week
$3000 on corflutes
$3000 for automated telephone messages
$2500 on how to vote cards
$2000 for polling
$5000 in wages for campaign workers
$700 on t-shirts
$1000-plus boosting articles on Facebook
$1000 for design and video work
$1000 nomination deposit
$500 on stamps for letters to female voters from Paula which went out last night

We're looking at a burst of targeted Facebook advertising and paying for some booth captains, depending on the financial support we receive.

If you are able to help, please click on the image below:

Alternatively, if you don't like using your credit cards through Paypal, donations can be transferred to our account at Westpac

Mayne Report
BSB: 036 406
Account number: 130897

Or, you can send a cheque to PO Box 925, Templestowe 3106.

Remember that donations of up to $1500 are fully tax deductible.

Taking leave from the ASA board

The Australian Shareholders' Association is a politically neutral organisation so I've taken leave from the board from Tuesday of last week until the declaration of the poll results in Menzies, which is expected before July 15.

However, just before leave kicked in we did a burst of publicity referencing the ASA, including the following:

Friday, June 11
Interviewed by The World Today on social media impact on share prices

Saturday, June 18
Fairfax piece on ACCC action against Medibank

Sunday, June 19
Radio National Background Briefing feature on corporate political donations

Tuesday, June 21
2UE interview on insider trading, which generated this News Corp follow-up

Wednesday, June 22
Appeared in A Current Affair story on Oliver Curtis insider trading situation

Frank Lowy over-taking Rupert as number one AGM combatant

It has been more than two years since we caught up with Rupert Murdoch at an AGM and fellow billionaire Frank Lowy has now emerged as our new top AGM combatant.

This year's Westfield AGM was particularly feisty and provided plenty of material about Australia's woeful political donations system for both Four Corners and Background Briefing.

We've also finally just published the transcripts from the memorable encounters with Frank Lowy at the 2014 restructuring meetings.

They really were remarkable debates and provide plenty of preparation for taking on the big boys in Canberra if the people of Menzies vote for change on Saturday.

Mayne family news

School holidays have started so Paula and Laura are currently doing a burst at early voting together, but will be relieved once this edition has gone out.

Laura and Alice had a big weekend as their regional football team took out the metro-wide premiership on Saturday morning.

Philip is very engaged as school captain at the local primary and even described the two hour candidates debate last Monday as "awesome".

Paula has taken a week off from her important work on domestic violence at Intouch so it's all hands on deck for the count-down to Saturday.

Thanks again for all your support and if you are able to volunteer or donate ahead of Saturday to assist with a strong finish, it would be greatly appreciated.

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.