Electorate analysis: The electorate of Kawana covers the Sunshine Coast from Wurtulla north to Buddina, also extending south to Aroona immediately inland of Caloundra, and further extending 5 kilometres across undeveloped territory to the suburb of Sippy Downs. It was created in 2001 in place of abolished Mooloolah and dramatically redrawn in the redistribution before the 2009 election, making room for its new northern neighbour Buderim (which took in more voters from the old Kawana than the redrawn electorate of that name) and absorbing the Aroona area to the south from Caloundra. These changes cut the Liberal margin from 5.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent, mostly due to the Liberals’ strength around Buderim, but the LNP went untroubled after picking up a swing of 4.3 per cent.
The Liberal Party demoralisingly failed to win the new seat when it was created at the 2001 election, Mooloolah MP Bruce Laming failing to carry the seat despite a notional margin of 16.1 per cent. Equally depressing for the Liberals was their failure to recover it in 2004, when Labor was able to limit the two-party correction to 1.1 per cent. Labor’s unlikely winner, Chris Cummins, was promoted to Emergency Services Minister after the 2004 election at the insistence of Peter Beattie, whose demand that the Sunshine Coast be represented in cabinet reportedly aroused much hostility in caucus. This didn’t save him from the Sunshine Coast backlash over water issues in 2006, when he was tipped out by a 7.2 per cent swing. The Liberal victor was Maroochy Shire councillor Steve Dickson, who in 2009 took his business to the new seat of Buderim.
The new LNP member at the 2009 election was Jarrod Bleijie, a 27-year-old solicitor who once held the title of Caloundra Young Citizen of the Year. Bleijie received a plum promotion to shadow cabinet in the Attorney-General, justice and corrective services portfolios in the November 2010 reshuffle, but lost justice and corrective services when Campbell Newman became leader four months later.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.