May 22 - 28, 2022: Issue 539


Sophie Scamps Makes History: An Independent Elected to the Seat of Mackellar – a Blue-Green positive Future dawns

Sunday May 22nd, 2022

A genuine community campaign positively focused on what people clearly stated they wanted addressed has seen Independent Sophie Scamps claim victory in the 2022 Federal election. Dr. Scamps had secured 53.18% of the vote, with Jason Falinski at 46.82% after 93.62% of the votes had been counted as Pittwater Online went to press at 2am. By 5am, with 100% of the votes counted Sophie Scamps had 42,775 and Jason Falinski 37,665. 

Postal votes have yet to be added and no seat will be formally Declared yet.

The AEC statistics show - Eligible electors are listed as: 111,292, Turnout:75.06%, Informality:3.71%.

It is the first time the seat has been won by an Independent since its creation in 1949, although Bill Wentworth did leave the Liberal Party to become an Independent as the first Member for Mackellar towards his last term in office.

The Seat of Mackellar is one of 9 where Independents lead which include Clark, Fowler, Goldstein, Indi, Kooyong, North Sydney, Warringah and Wentworth and by morning the Seat of Curtin in W.A. may have been won by Independent Kate Chaney who led 52.47% to Liberal candidate Celia Hammond’s 47.51% at 2am AEST with 98% of the vote counted.

The seat of Clark in Tasmania, retained by Independent Andrew Wilkie, is the only man among these representatives. 

Fowler has been won by Independent Dai Le. Ms Le is a Vietnamese refugee who has lived and worked in Fairfield since she arrived in Australia. She had spent a decade on local council and was Deputy Mayor of Fairfield City Council before standing for the seat of Fowler so the community would have a local candidate. Goldstein, named after Vida Goldstein, an early feminist parliamentary candidate who contested five separate elections within the first two decades after Federation, has been won by Independent Zoe Daniel. Indi has returned Helen Haines, her second term, Kooyong has been won by Dr Monique Ryan, North Sydney by Zoe Daniel, Warringah returned Zali Steggall with 62.03% of the vote, also her second term, and Wentworth has been claimed by Allegra Spender, who had 56.74% of the vote at 2am.

Dr Sophie Scamps posted on her FB page on Sunday May 22, 2022: 

''I am beyond proud to be your representative Mackellar, and I look forward to bringing our voice and our policies to the table in Canberra. 

From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU to everyone who has taken part in this campaign, for all the hours listening to the community, for the millions of steps taken as you pounded the pavement in search of a better way forward for us all, for the families of team Sophie who supported us at home, to the hundreds of volunteers who took part in banner waves, door knocking, polling booths and street listeners. Everyone has played their part and I am forever grateful you believed in me to be your voice. This has been the community’s campaign, and you have achieved what was needed - change.

The hard work starts now. Let’s do this together Mackellar.''

Dr Sophie Scamps at DYRL on Saturday evening - FB Post of Dr. Sophie Scamps page

Ms Steggall said on Saturday night;

‘’Thank you Warringah! History in the making tonight. Positive, inclusive, community-driven change - here, and around Australia. A new positive wave of politics where we rise to our big challenges and big opportunities. My heart is full. ‘’

Ms Steggall said Australia now needed to “think past the idea of a political party”.

“The fact is that I think the crossbench can work collaboratively really well with both sides of politics,” she said. “It is a real moment for the major parties to rethink the arrogance that they don’t have to consult with communities anymore.”

Ms Steggall on Saturday night, May 21, 2022

Dr. Scamps campaigned on; Real action on climate change – making Australia a renewable energy superpower; Evolving Australian healthcare; Bringing integrity back to politics (and a federal level ICAC) and Equality and; Creating a renewable energy superpower, ending government waste and supporting small business. 

Dr. Scamps also thanked all the community members who had made this possible and looks forward to 'taking true Mackellar representation to Canberra'.

Dr. Scamps said on addressing the climate crisis during the past five weeks:

‘’Climate change is not only an environmental issue. It is also an economic, health and national security issue. It presents grave risk, but also huge economic opportunities. If we act now, we can win by mitigating the risks and seizing the opportunities of a global clean energy boom. If we fail to act, the science could not be clearer. The recent IPCC Sixth Assessment Report indicates Australia's ecosystems, supply chains, infrastructure and our own adaptability are at extreme risk from the impacts of climate change. It will affect the air we breathe, the water we drink and swim in, and the way of life enjoyed by generations of Australians.’’

‘’ I am calling for at least a 50% cut in climate pollution by 2030. This target is in line with the science, the ambitions of our states and territories, and what is being called for by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recognise climate change as one of the biggest threats to human health. As a GP I’ve seen the impacts of climate change on my patients. The smoke which blanketed Sydney during the Black Summer bushfires led to an increase in both cardiac and respiratory illness with many asthmatic people suffering. Climate anxiety is also causing mental health issues for many young Australians.''

On re-establishing accountability Dr. Scamps stated throughout her campaign;

‘’Over the last three years I, like most Australians, have looked on in horror and dismay as standards in Parliament have slipped to an embarrassing low. The current government has misused taxpayer money for party political rorts and pork barrelling on a scale like we have never seen before. During this period, we have also seen scandal after scandal in our parliament from the reprehensible treatment of women to Ministers acting as if acceptable standards of behaviour do not apply to them.

Australians have lost trust that their elected representatives have their best interests at heart. From the sports rorts saga, to the blatant waste and pork-barrelling of taxpayer funds in the commuter carpark scandal, it is clear we need independent authorities to oversee the use of taxpayer funds.

The influence of donors and lobbyists over our elected officials is also clear for all to see. We need to reform donation disclosure rules in Australia so we can be confident that our democracy isn’t being sold to the highest bidder. It's time to restore integrity and a sense of decency into politics and create a culture of accountability and trust in parliament. We need a series of connected reforms to stamp out corruption, level the playing field and end the practice of cash for access.’’

For many Mackellar voters Dr. Scamps' win, once confirmed, signals the start of a turn towards us saving ourselves through saving our planet. A collective sigh of relief was palpable last evening as the numbers came in. Car horns tooted across the valleys (several of them when going past the PON office) and happier voices could be heard joining outdoors in discussion; excited about the future.

A feeling of hope has returned to the electorate.

There are six NSW Senate vacancies for the 2022 Federal Election. Greens Senate Candidate David Shoebridge, who has been seen in our area throughout this campaign, also has his eyes set firmly on restoring integrity to Australian politics through the introduction of the now lapsed at the dissolution of parliament on April 11 National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2). His stance on real action to mitigate the impacts of climate change, losing all our koalas, support for indigenous peoples and solutions to local problems such as the Wakehurst Parkway have also been part of his 'to do' list if elected. 

Above the line vote for The Greens tally, as going to press, shows 246,161 ; while 720,362 was the tally for the Liberal/Nationals (Marise Payne) and Labor on 603,728 (Deborah O’Neill). The Greens had already secured seats held by the Liberal Party hours after the polls closed on May 21st.

The AEC Tally room had 69 seats for the Labor Party and 38 for the Liberal Party at 2am this morning and 74 for Labor and 47 for Liberal by 5am. Independents were confirmed as 10 at that time.

The 31st Prime Minister of Australia is Anthony Albanese.

By 8.30 pm Saturday night the Labor Party led by a clear margin. 

At 11pm outgoing PM Scott Morrison made a speech conceding the Liberal Party had lost this election and that he would be stepping down as leader.

Labor Senator Penny Wong stated in introducing Mr. Albanese – ‘’Australians have chosen and they have chosen change.’’

Mr Albanese’s acceptance address

"I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging. And on behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the heart in full.

"And I say to my fellow Australians, thank you for this extraordinary honour. Tonight, the Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st prime minister of Australia.

"My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves.

"Earlier tonight, Scott Morrison called me to congratulate myself and the Labor Party on our victory at the election.

"Scott, very graciously, wished me well. And I thanked him for that and I wish him well. And I thank him for the service that he has given to our country as Prime Minister.

"I also want to acknowledge and thank Jenny Morrison and their two daughters for their contribution and sacrifice as well.

"My fellow Australians, it says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia's prime minister.

"Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars.

"I want Australia to continue to be a country that no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is, that places no restrictions on your journey in life. My fellow Australians, I think they've got the name by now. I think they've got that.

"I know at the beginning of the campaign they said people didn't know me but I reckon they've got it.

"During this campaign, I have put forward a positive, clear plan for a better future for our country. And I have shared the two principles that will be part of a government that I lead; No one left behind because we should always look after the disadvantaged and the vulnerable. But also no one held back, because we should always support aspiration and opportunity. That is what my government will do.

"That is the what, but the how is also just as important? Because I want to bring Australians together.

"I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and not fear and -- optimism, not fear and division. It is what I have sought to do throughout my political life. And what I will bring to the leadership of our country, it is a show of strength to collaborate and work with people, not weakness.

"I want to find that common ground where together we can plant our dreams. To unite around our shared love of this country, our shared faith in Australia's future, our shared values of fairness and opportunity, and hard work and kindness to those in need.

"And I can promise all Australians this — no matter how you voted today, the government I lead will respect every one of you every day. And I'll seek to get your vote next time.

"We are the greatest country on earth. But we can have an even better future if we seize the opportunities that are right there in front of us. The opportunity to shape change, rather than be shaped by it. And we can shape change more effectively if we seek to you knowing people on that journey of change.

"Together we can end the climate wars. Together we can take advantage of the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower. Together we can work in common interests with business and unions to drive productivity, lift wages and profits.

"I want an economy that works for people, not the other way around. Together we can as a country say that all of us, if the Fair Work Commission doesn't cut the wage of minimum aged workers, we can say that we welcome that absolutely. Together we can strengthen universal healthcare through Medicare.

"We can protect universal superannuation. And we can write universal childcare into that proud tradition. Together we can fix the crisis in aged care. Together we can make forward equal opportunity for women a national economic and social priority. Together we can and will establish a national anti-corruption commission. Together we can be a self-reliant, resilient nation, confident in our values and in our place in the world. And together we can embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

"We can answer its patient, gracious call for a voice enshrined in our constitution. Because all of us ought to be proud that amongst our great multicultural society we count the oldest living continuous culture in the world. And I acknowledge Australia's next Indigenous Affairs Minister, Linda Burney, who is here.

"My fellow Australians, no one gets here by themselves. And I wouldn't be standing here tonight without the support, hard work and belief of so many people. To my parliamentary team, including my Deputy, Richard Marles, and my Senate leader, Penny Wong. My terrific economic team led by Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher.

"On Monday morning, arrangements are in place to have these people sworn in as members of my team. To enable Penny and I to attend the important Quad leader's meeting in Tokyo, with President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida and Prime Minister Modi. And I want the leaders of the economic team to start work on Monday morning as well.

"I wanted to thank my shadow ministry and my amazing caucus members, including the people who are here tonight at this joint function in the corner of our seats, including Tony Burke, who is here. I want to thank all of our Labor candidates. I want to thank all those who have worked so hard for this victory.

"We stand on your shoulders, most rank-and-file members of the Labor Party will never ask for anything. They knock on doors, they make calls, they work so hard. They hand out how to votes. They push the cause of Labor at the local P & C, the local kid's footy, the local netball, when they're shopping in the supermarket, when they talk to their neighbours.

"I thank each and every one of the true believers of the Australian Labor Party.

"And I proudly thank the members of the mighty trade union movement.

"I do want to thank my campaign director, our amazing national secretary, Paul Erickson, and his team. My staff are led by my first campaign director back in 1996. And my electorate office team who haven't seen that much of me, who look after this electorate led by Helen Rogers. Thank you very much.

"But to all those — and I'm not going to name them because there's too many — there's a lot of people who believed in me and backed me over many decades in this great movement to be where I am today. You know who you are and I know who you are and I thank you.

"I said I've been underestimated my whole life during the campaign. Now while all that is true, I have also been lifted up by others who saw something in me and who encouraged me in life on this journey.

"And I pledged to the Australian people here tonight, I am here not to occupy the space, but to make a positive difference each and every day.

"And to the amazing diverse people of Grayndler. All politics is local. And in 1996, there were various people who wrote off the chances of Labor holding on to that seat. This is my 10th election. And I want to say thank you for placing your faith in me. It is an absolute honour to be your voice in our national parliament.

"To my partner, Jodie, thank you for coming into my life and for sharing this journey.

"And to my proudest achievement, my son, Nathan. Thank you, mate, for your love and support. Your mother, who's here tonight, Carmel, we are both so proud of the caring, wonderful, smart young man you have become. Love you, Nathan.

"To my Mum, who's beaming down on us. Thank you. And I hope there are families in public housing watching this tonight. Because I want every parent to be able to tell their child no matter where you live or where you come from, in Australia the doors of opportunity are open to us all.

"And like every other Labor government, we'll just widen that door a bit more. Friends, we have made history tonight. And tomorrow, together, we begin the work of building a better future. A better future for all Australians. Thank you very much."

Federal Election Day 2022

photos by Michael Mannington OAM and A J Guesdon May 21, 2022 

at Mona Vale Memorial Hall - photo by Michael Mannington OAM

at Newport Surf Club - photo by Michael Mannington OAM

at Newport Surf Club/ Bert Payne Reserve Newport Beach - photo by Michael Mannington OAM

at Bilgola Plateau Public School - photo by Michael Mannington OAM

at Avalon Community Centre - photo by AJG

at Avalon Community Centre - photo by AJG

at Avalon Community Centre - photo by AJG

at Avalon Public School - photo by AJG

at Avalon Public School - photo by AJG