Hawke is rapidly growing, putting infrastructure under pressure.

Aerial view of the Hawke electorate

Greg Brave

Aerial view of the Hawke electorate

The marginal seat of Hawke is located to the north and north-west of Melbourne, covering 1,842 square kilometres. The electorate covers Melbourne’s outer suburbia – Bacchus March, Ballan, Melton and Sunbury – and includes a collection of satellite communities along the Calder and Western Freeways.

It’s a young electorate. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) christened it just last year and it will be contested for the first time at the upcoming 2022 Australian federal election.

The division consists of parts of the Hume City Council, Melton City Council and Moorabool Shire Council.

The demographic rating is provincial, consisting of outside capital cities, but with a majority of enrolment in major provincial cities.

In 2019, all three component parts of new Hawke recorded Labor majorities. Bacchus Marsh and the areas transferred from Ballarat recorded 58.9 percent, Melton and areas from Gorton voted 63.9 percent and Sunbury transferred from McEwen recorded 54.9 percent, giving Hawke a notional Labor margin of 10.2 percent.

Glen Vessey, candidate for the Citizens Party, said he supports “all 15 points of the Australian Citizens Party Policy Platform as set out for the 2022 federal election”.

Vessey’s main plan for the division of Hawke if he gets elected is “pushing for a Postal Bank”.

He said the postal Bank will guarantee services for all, guarantee all deposits, keep their postal services viable, force essential regulatory health and lend to local small businesses and invest in local areas.

“We need this so we can have more infrastructure paid for and owned by Australians, rather than borrow money from the Big Four Banks and private overseas investors,” he said.

Vessey has made effort to interact with the community through distributing fliers and speaking to people living within these areas.

“I have distributed fliers in my local community and have spoken to many people and am amazed of the substantial number of people in the Hawke division who are unaware of the Big Four Banks ‘bail-in,’ where if they were to crash and go broke, they have the rights to take our hard-earned savings,” he said.

Though not his main point of focus, Vessey also wants to “see more done in our water ways and creeks to preserve the environment and protect the Australian native wildlife”.

Sam Rae, candidate for the Australian Labor Party, said the communities of Hawke have so much to offer but she is concerned about the families who are “doing it tough”.

“The extraordinary rate of growth is putting infrastructure under pressure. Housing affordability issues and a lack of public and social housing denies people the promise of a better future. Local kids deserve access to great schools, and this area deserves world-class healthcare where it is needed,” he said on his website.

Rae has made an effort within the community with recent Facebook posts showing him at local businesses in Hawke.

His page shows Rae in the Hillside and Sunbury region talking to people about Labor’s plan to “create more secure jobs, deliver fee-free TAFE and investments in infrastructure”.

Enamul Haque, the Liberal Party candidate said he has a strong focus on putting the community first.

Haque said on his website he was “actively involved” in a number of community networks and has met many community leaders in Hawke.

He said he has been “impressed” with the level of interest in, and commitment to, Hawke becoming a “highly innovative and productive area” utilising his “professional experience and skills”.

Haque’s Facebook page shows his activity within the community.

He said he has received a “positive response” from people within Melton and Bacchus Marsh and has visited Ballan, Inverleigh, Hume and Brookfield.

“I am passionate about representing local community with strength, dignity and a scientific outlook,” he said in a recent Facebook post.

Haque plans to continue the Morrison Liberal Government’s “hard” work across the region, involving pushing for more jobs, tax relief for workers and small businesses, further investment in health and other essential services, better roads and cleaner energy.

Other candidates listed for this seat are Andrew Cuthbertson for United Australia Party, Jack Hynes for Victoria Socialists, Max Martucci for The New Liberals, Michael Lacey for The Great Australian Party, Lynda Wheelock for The Greens, Nick Suduck for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Michael Williams for the Australia Federation Party and Jarrod James Bingham as an independent.