A close contest ahead in the seat of Chisholm

May 13, 2016 By student reporters
Recent developments made to Syndal station car park. Photo by: Nadia Dimattina
Heritage tram in Wattle Park. Photo by: Nadia Dimattina
Sitting Member:
Burke, A E (ALP)
Size of electorate:
65 sq. Km

Sitting Member

Anna Burke first entered Federal Parliament in 1998 after securing the electorate of Chisholm. The seat was formerly held by Dr Michael Wooldridge of the Liberal Party.

Key Comments

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Anna Burke (ALP) is set to retire at the 2016 election. Monash Mayor and ALP member Stefanie Perri has been preselected for Chisholm. Cr Perri is up against Liberal Julia Banks and Greens candidate Josh Fergeus to contest the seat. Chisholm is a marginal seat after the swing against the ALP in the 2013 election.

Electorate Profile

For a full list of candidates please see 'election at a glance' and use the electorate search tool or click Chisholm.

Chisholm is a federal electorate located in the southeastern suburbs in Melbourne. It includes the suburbs of Ashwood, Blackburn South, Box Hill, Burwood, Chadstone, Huntingdale, Mont Albert, Mount Waverley, and also some parts of Clayton, Forest Hill, Oakleigh and Surrey Hills. The current sitting member is former Speaker of the House of Representatives Anna Burke, who will retire at 2016 election. Chisholm is a marginal seat after the Liberal party gained a 3.9% swing at the 2013 federal election.

Anna Burke is a long-serving politician who has represented the federal seat of Chisholm since 1998. Dr Michael Wooldridge, who was a health minister in the Howard government, formerly held the seat. Dr Wooldridge did not stand for Chisholm in 1998 as he transferred to the safe Liberal seat of Casey. Ms Burke has played a significant role in the House of Representatives in Canberra, replacing controversial speaker Peter Slipper.

One of the key issues in the Chisholm electorate is the lack of infrastructure to cope with increasing traffic congestion. The Clayton level crossing, where boom gates are down 68 per cent of morning peak hour, is a major concern of local residents and passing motorists.

Similarly, the Box Hill bus interchange and railway station, located at Melbourne’s fastest growing activity centre outside the CBD, has been described as dysfunctional and jam-packed. Constituents have also expressed concerns over the accessibility of adequate and affordable medical care. This follows government cuts to health funding, affecting both Monash Medical Centre and Box Hill Hospital.

Chisholm is an area of retail and service industries located in the dense residential areas of Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. The electorate is on the border of Chadstone Shopping Centre, the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. In the east of Melbourne’s CBD, the suburb of Box Hill is known for its Australian-Asian population. The Box Hill shopping precinct has numerous Asian restaurants, clothing retailers and medicinal herbalists. Oakleigh is a lively commercial area with popular shops and laneways with many Greek cafes.

Median house prices in the Chisholm electorate range from $850,000 to $1.85 million with the top three suburbs being Mont Albert, Mount Waverley and Box Hill. In suburbs like Mount Waverley, houses are commonly three-to-five bedrooms that have been built in the 1940s and 1950s through to modern homes. Many houses have maintained their period architecture. Up-market suburb Mont Albert contain mostly private dwellings, with units slowly becoming a more common development option. Houses in Chisholm’s north, including Box Hill, have been dated from the war and post-war periods. In recent years, high-density modernist apartments have been developed.

According to the latest census the Chisholm electorate has the fourth highest percentage of university students in Australia. Chisolm is a dense residential area, with the third highest percentage of residents aged 15 to 24, at 16%, nationally. This is attributed to Monash and Deakin universities’ student populations, particularly in Clayton and Burwood. Chisholm is the third largest Victorian electorate home to residents born in non-English speaking countries, at 35.2%. About 44.5% of Chisholm residents speak languages other than English, including Mandarin (10.4%), Cantonese (5.2%) and Greek (4.8%). These statistics highlight the multicultural diversity of Chisholm.

Monash Council is responsible for many suburbs within Chisholm, including Chadstone, Oakleigh, Ashwood, Clayton, Huntingdale, Mount Waverley and Oakleigh East. The City of Monash boasts the largest university in Australia, with Monash University’s main campus at Clayton. The university is renowned as an international and educational community and is part of the Group of Eight (Go8), a coalition of Australia’s leading universities. Monash is culturally diverse, with about 45% of residents born overseas. Whitehorse Council is the second local government within Chisholm and is responsible for the suburbs of Blackburn South, Box Hill, Box Hill North, Box Hill South, Burwood, Forest Hill Mont Albert, Mont Albert North and Surrey Hills. Whitehorse mostly consists of residential houses but is is renowned for major retail precincts, including Forest Hill and Box Hill.

Chisholm, which is the seventh smallest electorate in Victoria, has a strong residential property market, low crime rates and benefits from strong business communities. With lucrative retail precincts, including Box Hill, Forest Hill, Oakleigh and Chadstone, Chisholm residents enjoy a wide choice of services in their shopping centres. Activity centres, including Box Hill, Oakleigh, Burwood and Huntingdale, have developed since the Bracks’ government’s Melbourne 2030 Sustainable Growth plan. High-quality housing developments, built around activity centres, have strengthened Chisholm’s local neighbourhoods and businesses.

2013 Election Results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing(%)
FERGEUS, Josh The Greens 8133 9.45 -2.44
BURKE, Anna ElizabethElected Australian Labor Party 34015 39.5 -4.75
GROSSI, Luzio Sex Party 1762 2.05 +2.05
VASSILIOU, Melanie Rise Up Australia Party 650 0.75 +0.75
NGUYEN, John Liberal 37990 44.12 +3.90
WOODS, Brian Clifford Palmer United Party 1405 1.63 +1.63
MYSZKA, Martin Family First Party 949 1.1 -1.56
JAYARATNE, Vidura Nalin Secular Party of Australia 345 0.4 -0.2
SHEA, Pat DLP Democratic Labour 860 1 +1.00
...... Liberal Democratic Party 0 0 -0.11
...... Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated 0 0 -0.06
...... Other 0 0 -0.22


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