Mail Box Manifesto

Stephen Mayne
July 30, 2010

Stephen Mayne Independent For Burwood

Wednesday December 8th 1999 www.jeffed.com
Dear Resident,

My name is Stephen Mayne and I am the only Independent candidate standing in this Saturday's crucial Burwood by-election. I know the people of Burwood are sick of politics and big party politicians after 15 weeks of campaigning with the state election, Frankston East, the republic referendum and now this by-election.

So, unlike the big parties, I have deliberately not deluged your letterbox with propaganda. But today, I ask you to take a few minutes to read this leaflet. If possible, please visit my website www.jeffed.com which has had 320,000 page views by the people of Victoria since September 10.

On Saturday you have three basic choices:

  1. Replace Jeff Kennett with a mediocre Liberal candidate and leave the minority Labor government on a knife-edge majority of one. This is inherently unstable.
  2. Vote in an uninspiring Labor candidate who lives elsewhere and would be an anonymous government backbencher. The Parliament would be more stable - but Burwood would have absolutely no influence.
  3. Vote for the only independent standing who would give the people of Burwood and Melbourne real influence and offset the pro-bush bias of the three independents holding the balance of the power.
Having worked for Jeff Kennett and Alan Stockdale for 18 months in 1992-94, I support small business, good economic management, small government and individual choice. However, like most Victorians, I also believe in ethics and accountability in government. Whch is why I quit my job with the Australian Financial Review, attempted to stand in Burwood at the general election and then published www.jeffed.com.

Last week I won the highest award in Australian business journalism - the 1999 Walkley award for a series asking the hard questions at 25 different major public company annual meetings. If you don't want an anonymous big-party backbencher representing you, vote for the Independent who has an insider's perspective, will ask the tough questions and will stand up for the city and suburbs of Melbourne.

We have booked the Doris Daniel Lecture Theatre at PLC on Thursday night from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and invited the other candidates for a public debate. You are cordially invited to attend.

Stephen Mayne

Independent for Burwood

Why a vote for Independent Stephen Mayne is best for Burwood!

  1. Stephen Mayne published the provocative website www.jeffed.com during the general election and the 50 separate news reports on the site provide a unique insight into the Kennett government and corporate Australia. This knowledge would be put to good use in the Victorian Parliament.
  2. Melbourne's eastern suburbs are now largely represented by Liberals in oppostion. The nearest government MPs are in Oakleigh and Mitcham. Do you want another anonymous opposition backbencher with no influence representing you in Parliament or a pro-small business independent who would ask the hard questions and make a difference.
  3. With three rural independents holding the balance of power, Melbourne, and particularly the Liberal-leaning eastern suburbs, could be ignored unless a city independent also shares the balance of power and stops all the money going to the bush and Melbourne's Labor-voting north and west.
  4. Stephen Mayne was highly regarded by former Treasurer Alan Stockdale when working as his media adviser. Combined with nine years in business journalism, he knows a great deal about the world's most far-reaching privatisation/outsourcing program which Victorians are still grappling with.
  5. The other candidates are not up to scratch. You have the chance this Saturday to reject the major parties and their sub-standard candidates and break the duopoly held by the major parties on city seats. If Labor and Liberal cannot find good candidates to represent you then they should be rejected.
  6. Burwood could fall to Labor for the first time yet their academic candidate, Bob Stensholt, lives elsewhere, only achieved a 1.2 per cent swing last time, has not taken a strong stand on anything and has distributed election material riddled with spelling mistakes such as ''elecion'', ''tought'' and ''goverance''.
  7. The Liberal candidate Lana McLean has been attacked in Parliament for allegedly lying in a statutory declaration during a dispute with a neighbor in which she sought assistance from former Liberal Planning Minister Rob Maclellan. In Parliament she could be distracted by an upcoming court dispute with the Commonwealth Bank over a business debt. And after telling the people of Flemington she grew up there during the general election, she now claims to be a Burwood girl for this by-election.
  8. Stephen Mayne would make a fearless, hard-working, ethical member for Burwood. He has been well regarded everywhere he has worked since 1989. Alan Stockdale said he ''did a terrific job'' and ''could never be replaced''. His peers have just given him the 1999 Walkley award for the best ''business reporting'' in all media for the series ''AGM Season 1998'' in The Daily Telegraph.
  9. The Herald Sun's Terry McCrann said the following two months ago: ''He's aggressive, he's determined and he understands the dynamics of business and business journalism very well''. Col Allan, editor-in-chief of Sydney's Daily Telegraph, said he was an ''outstanding'' business editor and ''very intelligent, bright and likeable''.
  10. With polls showing either big party could win - but neither deserving to win - Victoria needs a well-informed, city-based independent to keep the big parties honest. Stephen Mayne would do just that for Burwood.

Who is Stephen Mayne?

Stephen was born in Brisbane in 1969 and grew up in Templestowe. He lives in East Melbourne but will move to Burwood if elected. He attended Templestowe Primary, Ivanhoe Grammar and has a commerce degree from Melbourne University and a half-finished Arts degree which includes a major in Politics.

In January 1989 he started as finance cadet on the Sun News Pictorial which merged with The Herald in September 1990. After completing his cadetship, he joined The Age as banking writer.

In December 1992, he joined the Kennett media unit as press secretary to Treasurer Alan Stockdale, Finance Minister Ian Smith, Energy Minister Jim Plowman and WorkCover minister Roger Hallam.

In June 1994 he rejoined the Herald Sun as business editor, transferring to Sydney as business editor of The Daily Telegraph in October 1997 after appearing on Four Corners exposing Jeff Kennett's share


In December 1998 he was appointed chief of staff of the Daily Telegraph and in July 1999 he commenced as editor of the Financial Review's Rear Window column. He currently writes a column for The Eye magazine and publishes www.jeffed.com.

Stephen has also been a qualified tennis coach working part-time at Melbourne Park.

What The Bosses Have Said About Stephen Mayne

"I actually feel that this is a grievous loss myself. I think he has done a great job. It's going to be a bit of a worry having someone who knows more about the government than most ministers do located in one media outlet. He could never be replaced."

Former Treasurer Alan Stockdale, farewell press conference, June 1994.

"In the discussion held in early April I felt I had made clear the views of myself, the Premier and the Treasurer that you had an outstanding future with the government."

John Griffin, chief of staff to the Premier, June 1994.

"TREASURY, FINANCE, WORKCOVER: No one could do this job as well as Stephen Mayne and his effort in putting in outside of hours goes largely unrecognised. Most weekends he is in the office preparing material, maintaining his reference files and the like. All without fanfare. I would like to look at his salary to see if it is adequate."

Media director Steve Murphy in memo to Premier, May 1994.

"The judges felt this piece to be innovative and of public benefit. The AGM is often overlooked as part of corporate governance and Stephen Mayne's strategy brought a new level of analysis and reporting to AGMs. At a time when there is increasing outside pressure trying to control the press, this provided a very good service to readers. The approach is provocative but a legitimate technique in eliciting news. What Mayne started should be taken up by others."

- the three judges explaining why Stephen's ''AGM Season 1998'' was awarded the 1999 Walkley award for best business reporting in all media.

Policies for Burwood and Victoria

  1. Give Planning Back To Councils: Allow individual councils to work out which aspects of the Good Design Guide and Vic Code 1 they wish to adopt. Further boost heritage protection in older suburbs as Boroondara Council has done.
  2. Save Our Strips: Slow the long term decline of more than 20 strip shopping centres in the electorate which will be accelerated with the $150 million Chadstone expansion. Cut back on 24 hour trading and force the biggest players such as Coles Myer and Westfield to offload some of their businesses.
  3. Buy Back The Tollroad: Spend $2.5 billion to buy back Transurban while it is vulnerable to political, engineering and technological risks. The shares are likely to double over the next five years when they start collecting up to $10 billion in tolls over the next 33 years. Ending the tolls would prevent toll-dodgers clogging up the suburban streets near the world's biggest and most lucrative tollroad.
  4. Keep The Police Stations: Upgrade the existing smaller police stations in the area rather than closing them and commiting $7.6 million on a new 24 hour station at Camberwell Junction as the Kennett government did.
  5. Save Waverley Park: Use the position sharing the balance of power in Parliament to put more pressure on Labor to save Waverley Park which provided family-affordable football for many in the electorate and is just a 10-minute toll-free drive from the electorate, in stark contrast to Docklands.
  6. Less politicians and less corruption: Abolish the upper house to save $20 million a year on politicians salaries and superannuation. Use the savings to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) like in NSW with sweeping powers which also conducts probity tests on all MPs, similar to what gambling licence holders require, before they take up their position in Parliament.
  7. Get Tough on Drug Dealers: Oppose shooting galleries and free heroin. Get tougher on dealers, focus more on educating and choking supply whilst being more proactive in finding and rehabilitating addicts.
  8. No Lawyers Feast In Workcover: Increase benefits for injured workers by 10%, by fine-tuning a statutory scheme - and without raising premiums. Maintain the abolition on common law access for employees, but ensure lawyers keep their snouts out of the compensation pot. In 1992, only 66 per cent of WorkCover premiums actually reached injured workers.
  9. Give The TAC Back To The Motorists : Stop the government raids on the TAC and therefore cut third party insurance premiums by 15 per cent. The Kennett government ripped $3 billion of motorists' money out of the TAC without ever putting $1 into it. Now Labor is grabbing even more.
  10. Get Tough On Gambling : Raise an additional $100 million each year in gambling taxes from Crown, Tabcorp and Tattersalls because the owners of these gambling licences are collectively enjoying paper profits of almost $6 billion. Cut pokies numbers to 25,000 and place limits on gambling advertising.