Will the Menzies’ margin shrink?
April 28, 2022
The Menzies electorate covers Melbourne’s East. The boundary was revised after the 2019 election which saw the Liberal margin decline from 7.5 percent to 7.0 percent.
The declared Liberal candidate is Keith Wolahan. ABC News reported Mr Wolahan won preselection in early 2021 for the federal seat Kevin Andrews had held since 1991.
According to ABC News, Mr Wolahan rejects suggestions he is a moderate, voting for marriage equality in the 2017 plebiscite.
“I’m not a moderate, I never joined the Liberal Party to be called a moderate and very few people do in Victoria,” Mr Wolahan told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Mr Wolahan worked as a lawyer with national firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, before becoming a barrister in 2010. He also had a career in the army as a commando officer. Mr Wolahan completed a tour in Timor Leste and Afghanistan.
Mr Wolahan said he ties his various backgrounds in law, the military, and politics to a “sense of service”.
“I realised politics is the greatest scale of being able to give back,” he said.
Mr Wolahan said he understands a major pressure on the people of Menzies is the lack of a train line. He said he acknowledges the absence of a train line in Menzies is a “big issue”.
The Manningham Council website says the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) will include a Doncaster Station. But construction is 10 years away.
“A lot of families and individuals tell me they’re either waiting for a bus or stuck in traffic,” he said.
According to Manningham Council, there is now a commitment of $1 million a year dedicated to a headspace service in the Menzies and Chisholm area.
“It happened because young people came and spoke to me about it,” he said.
The declared Labor candidate for Menzies is Naomi Oakley. The Australian Labour Party website details Ms Oakley’s service as a member of Victoria Police for 10 years. She operated her own security business, specialising in safety solutions and support for domestic violence victims.
According to her website, Ms Oakley is involved in several initiatives including the Black Saturday Rock Concert and Sporting Event and the Cystic Fibrosis Benefit Concert. Ms Oakley is passionate about woman’s rights and highlighting the discrimination women face in the workforce.
“I took to the streets for International Women’s Day alongside hundreds of strong women. We marched for the millions of women who are still being silenced every day,” she wrote on her facebook.
Ms Oakley is a single mum and she said she understands the struggles associated with it. She is passionate about fighting for inexpensive childcare. According to her website, Ms Oakley’s election will see her fight for a First Nations’ voice in Parliament and level the playing field in the economy.
The declared Greens candidate is Bill Pheasant. The Australian Greens website says Mr Pheasant is a long-term resident in Menzies with a degree in science and a career in communications. Mr Pheasant said he is passionate about addressing climate change.
The eucalypts across Menzies are home to lorikeets and other native parrots. According to RMIT ABC Fact Check, Australia is in the top five for the extinction of animals and plant species. It is also in the top 10 for endangered and threatened species.
According to his website, Mr Pheasant will push to keep old-growth forests and other ecosystems healthy and sustainable.
The declared Liberal Democrats candidate is Mr Greg Cheesman. The Liberal Democrats website says Mr Cheesman is a former small business owner. It says Mr Cheesman hopes to restore Australians rights to freedom.
“Our freedom, that should never have been taken from us by this government,” he said.
Mr Cheesman has a regular presence on Facebook. Mr Cheesmans Facebook shares and posts include a lengthy post outlining a pledge of freedom from apparent COVID-19 alarmism.
“Mandatory vaccinations are incompatible with a free society and should never be tolerated,” he wrote on his Facebook.
The final declared candidate is United Australia Party’s Nathan Scaglione. According to the United Australia party website, Mr Scaglione is the owner of a boutique building company and is currently living in Templestowe with his wife and two children.