Kevin Andrews has previously been a Minister for Ageing (2001-03), a Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations (2003-2007), a Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service (2003-2007), a Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (January 2007-December 2007), a Minister for Social Services (2013-14), and a Minister for Defence (2014-15).
A Liberal-held seat in the leafy outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Kevin Andrews holds the seat with a comfortable margin, but his well-known support for Tony Abbott and recent comments he might be a candidate for leader 'under the right circumstances' have not endeared him to the party faithful.
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Sitting member Kevin Andrews has rejected claims he has been ignoring his electorate in the safe Liberal seat of Menzies.
With a substantial margin of 8.7 per cent, Mr Andrews is expected to once again comfortably win the seat he has held since 1991.
But his opponents claim they will campaign vigorously to close the gap with Labor, the Greens and an independent all throwing their hat into the ring.
Greens candidate Richard Cranston said he planned to play the long game.
“I accept that removing Mr Andrews might take several elections as there will be much work ahead for any challenging candidate,” Mr Cranston said.
“We are continuously campaigning in the local community, talking to people, finding out the issues they are facing, and offering a solution.”
But he said voters felt they missed out on exposure, election promises and funds often directed towards more marginal seats with higher competition.
“The fact that Menzies is a safe seat becomes a problem for the residents, as the focus are directed against the seats where there are more competition,” he said.
“By offering an alternative to the status quo, we can create competition, and as the margin erodes more attention will be paid to Menzies and the issues here.”
Labor candidate Adam Rundell agreed many residents no longer felt represented by Mr Andrews.
“People often take safe seats for granted, and they fall into the back of people’s mind,” Mr Rundell said.
“The result is that the electorate no longer feel their concerns are being addressed.
“We would be fooling ourselves by expecting it to be easy to overturn the seat but through engaging the community we can slowly start to erode the margin.”
Chief among such concerns among the Menzies electorate include shortcomings in public transport the only inner-metropolitan area in Melbourne lacking a train station or tram stop.
Mr Cranston said neither major party had offered any tangible solutions to resolving the public transport problem.
Mr Andrews disputed claims he had taken his safe seat for granted and claimed he took pride in representing his electorate.
“It is the responsibility of any government to meet different needs of different areas while showing restraints with the tax payers’ money,” Mr Andrews said.