An all-woman line-up in Jagajaga


Jagajaga is located in the North-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It has been a safe ALP-held seat since it was founded in 1984. Jenny Macklin won the seat in 1996, and was re-elected seven times. When Macklin retired in 2019, former ALP staffer, Kate Thwaites ascended.

But the 2022 election may bring change in Jagajaga. All candidates up for the spot are women, and according to The Tally Room it is not being seen as a “particularly safe seat”.

The demographics in Jagajaga are mixed. There is significant disparity between high- and lower-income earners within the area. The Tally Room said many are concerned with the lack of climate action. The Greens, an Independent and minor party candidates could potentially steal the safe Labor seat.

According to The Tally Room, the biggest issues concerning the electorate is the rising cost of living and the lack of climate action among the current climate emergency.

All candidates said they were discontented with the lack of government foresight with climate change policies and the handling of the pandemic over the last election cycle.

Current Labor MP Kate Thwaites said the pandemic had revealed a gap in services like childcare, Medicare, and aged care.

“Services which are vital are not what the Morrison Government has been investing in,” she said.

“We’ve got an opportunity now to build back better and that’s why I’m working so hard to get a Labor government elected.”

Ms Thwaites said climate change was one of the “top issues” people raised with her during her incumbency, and she had endeavoured to be a “strong voice” both within parliament and the Labor party on climate policy.

Greens candidate Liz Chase said her main reason for running was to do something about climate change.

“I came to a slow realisation that over the last three election cycles each government were not doing enough on climate change,” she said.

Ms Chase said climate action “has to be a whole of government approach”.

“About 20 percent of emissions come from transport,” she said. “We don’t have an emissions scheme for electric cars like they do in Europe.”

Ms Chase said the cost of living was an important election issue for the electorate.

“If petrol prices come down the cost of food comes down,” she said.

 Allison Zelinka representing the United Australia Party (UAP) said she felt “disappointed” with the handling of Covid-19, lockdowns, mandates, segregation and division in society, leading her to put her hand up as a UAP candidate.

“Inflation and interest rates are major issues as the current cost of living is not sustainable,” she said.

Ms Zelinka said the UAP would freeze the fuel excise and boost the economy by “bringing business back on home soil”.

Ms Zelinka said Australia only accounts for “one percent of total emissions”.

“To really make a change and reduce Co2 emissions, we need to look outside our borders to countries such as China and the US,” Ms Zelinka said. “But to do that we need to protect our environment by making companies accountable for the pollution they generate.”

Zahra Mustaf is one of several independents running for Jagajaga. Mustaf told Women’s Agenda issue such as climate change, mental health, support for families and integrity in politics mattered most in her campaign.

A Jagajaga local for 18 years, Ms Mustaf has put herself forward as an Independent, saying to Women’s Agenda she wants to give her electorate a choice outside the major parties.

Ms Mustaf said on her website she stands for “urgent and immediate climate change action” with “increased investment in renewable energy [and] electrical charger stations for Jagajaga”.

At the time of writing, there was no information of the Liberal Party candidate.

The Liberal Democrat candidate, Maya Tesa, said on the party’s website she believes strongly “in freedom and equality for all and that governments must be held accountable for their constituents for any actions and decisions they make”.