Boronia Station - the lack of public transport is a major issue for the voters in Aston. Photo by: Sam Wright.
Aston federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge earned his seat in the Australian Parliament after succeeding the retiring Chris Pearce at the 2010 federal election.
Aston is a family-oriented, suburban post-war electorate in Melbourne's east. The electorate is home to a large and diverse array of industries, including lighting, electronics, tyre, food and chemical production companies. It is also renowned for its market gardens and orchards. Aston has a high level of motor vehicle dependency due to a lack of public transport. Aston is a very safe Liberal seat.
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Aston is an outer metropolitan electorate in Melbourne’s east. The electorate includes the suburbs of Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Lysterfield, Rowville, Scoresby, Wantirna and Knox.
Aston is one of the safe Liberal-held seats in the federal House of Representatives, and the current member is Alan Tudge, Minister for Human Services. The electorate of Aston was formed in 1984. It was named after blind writer and teacher Tilly Aston, who co-founded the library of the Victorian Association of Braille Writers in 1894.
Drug abuse is a prominent issue in the Aston community, with ice use on the rise. To deal with the situation community education and awareness forums are frequently held and the “dobbing in a dealer” campaign has become an important preventative measure. A $300 million National Ice Plan will focus on preventing and eliminating suppliers and introducing new rehabilitation facilities.
Most Aston constituents are concerned about the lack of public transport in the electorate. Traffic congestion has been an ongoing issue, particularly in Bayswater.
Employment is also a key issue that will be addressed in the upcoming election. Many small business owners hold concerns about their job futures in the local manufacturing industry. The major industries in the Aston electorate include market gardens and orchards, electronics manufacturing, and chemical production.
Aston is the home of the Caribbean Market, which sells food, produce, clothing, computers and typical market items. Boronia’s Old Orchard Winery and Jenkins Orchards in Wantirna South are producers of popular varieties of wine.
The electorate has many chemical production plants, including GlaxoSmithKline, which uses ground-breaking technology to develop vaccines. Electronics and food manufacturing are also large industries in Aston, which includes Hybrid Electronics, Pacific Aquatech, Mai Hong Foods and Hermans Foods.
Aston provides a range of schools, shopping centres, including large retail hub Westfield Knox, and outdoor areas for its residents, creating a strong sense of community.
There is a varying blend of contemporary family homes to modern, compact apartments within upcoming housing estates. This outer eastern part of Melbourne is becoming a progressively high-demand housing market, where the median average price is between $583,000 (Boronia) to $880,000 (Wantirna South). Houses worth more than $800,000 are within the outer-eastern fringe, which features natural parklands and shopping centres.
According to the latest census data the electorate of Aston has a population of 130,430 people, of which 66.3% were born in Australia. The average age of people in Aston is 39, and the male to female ratio is 50.9 to 49.1%. More than 25% of Aston’s constituents are identified as Catholic and about 23% are non-religious.
Aston’s occupation demographic includes professionals (21.2%), clerical and administrator workers (17%), technicians and trades people (15%), managers (12%), sales workers (11%), community and personal service workers (9%). The median individual income is $596 a week and the median household income is $1487.
Aston has been a Liberal seat since the 1990 federal election when Peter Nugent was first elected into Australian Parliament. Mr Nugent held the seat for 11 years until he died suddenly of a heart attack in his home. Chris Pearce won the Aston by-election in 2001 and it has strengthened as a Liberal seat, gaining a 6% swing at the 2013 federal election.