Wollongong – NSW 2011

ALP 25.3%

Incumbent MP
Noreen Hay, since 2003.

Illawarra. The seat covers the centre of the City of Wollongong and suburbs to the south, including Unanderra, Port Kembla and Berkeley.

The current electoral district of Wollongong has existed since 1968. Previous districts with the name of Wollongong existed from 1904 to 1920 and from 1927 to 1930. The current district has been dominated by the ALP, who have won the seat at all but three elections.

Wollongong was created in 1968 when the seat of Wollongong-Kembla was split between Wollongong and Kembla. Wollongong-Kembla had been held by the ALP continuously from its creation in 1941 until 1965, when it was won by the Liberal Party’s Jack Hough. Hough won the renamed seat of Wollongong in 1968, but lost in 1971.

Eric Ramsay won Wollongong in 1971. He held the seat safely throughout the 1970s, narrowly defeating independent Wollongong mayor Frank Arkell.

In 1984, Ramsay retired, and Arkell won the seat. He was re-elected in 1988, but lost the seat with a swing to the ALP in 1991. Arkell was murdered in 1998.

Wollongong was won in 1991 by the ALP’s Gerry Sullivan. He held the seat until 1999, when the ALP gave preselection in Wollongong to Col Markham, who had held the neighbouring seat of Keira since 1988.

Markham was defeated for Labor preselection in 2003 by Noreen Hay. She served as a parliamentary secretary from 2007 to 2008.


Political situation
Noreen Hay is a weak candidate who has been ridden by scandal, but Wollongong is a very safe Labor seat. It is difficult to imagine the Liberals posing a threat, but an independent candidate, whether Reverend Bradbery or another candidate, could make the race interesting.

2007 result

Noreen HayALP25,39358.4+9.5
Colin FowlerLIB7,30616.8+6.5
Trevor JonesGRN4,2639.8-2.0
Clarrie PrattCDP2,4565.6+2.2
Lenny FaresIND1,9834.6+4.6
Michael ChehoffAAFI8121.9+0.0
Madeleine RobertsDEM7031.6+1.6
Jess MooreSA5911.4+1.4

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Noreen HayALP27,88275.3-1.6
Colin FowlerLIB9,15424.7+1.6

Booth breakdown
Booths in
Wollongong have been divided into four areas: Wollongong in the northeast, Unanderra in the northwest, Port Kembla in the southeast, and Berkeley in the southwest.

The ALP polled over 80% in Port Kembla and Berkeley, and around 70% in Wollongong and Unanderra.

The Greens polled most strongly in Wollongong and Unanderra at the northern end of the seat.

Polling booths in Wollongong at the 2007 state election. Wollongong in orange, Port Kembla in blue, Berkeley in yellow, Unanderra in green.


Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Port Kembla6.984.48,97320.6
Other votes11.370.48,32519.1
Two-party-preferred votes in Wollongong at the 2007 state election.
Greens primary votes in Wollongong at the 2007 state election.


  1. That 93% is in Cringilla, ass-end of the world. We’re talking slum, with slum landlords, right next to the steelworks (so also heavily polluted). When I worked for Tenants Advice, there was a case of a landlord doing a stand-over actually in the Tenants Tribunal – with Tribunal Member in the room! Another case where the owner started bulldozing the house while the people were still inside (ie; turned up with dozer and said “you have to leave”).

  2. Oh, and the string of 85%+’s are Berkeley, Lake Heights, Warrawong & Port Kembla. A lot of current and retired Pt Kembla workers there. Also a pretty depressed area around Pt Kembla & Warrawong – interestingly it used to have a very high migrant population – Warrawong used to boast 3 Portugese deli’s! Now about 15% Macedonian, 10% Italian (and a lot of English, Scottish & Irish migrants!)

  3. Bradbery has not campainged well to date, but it’s coming together for him now.

    The Libs have campaigned with enthusiasm, but I can’t see them winning this time, but they will get a solid vote. The Greens are openly hostile to Hay and should be able to preference Bradbery into a winning position.

    It will be interesting to see if the Mercury will give Hay one last kick in the guts over the next week or so. You know they want to.

    I think Bradbery will just scrape home, but he and his team, the Lib and her team really look like amateurs and could make a tyro mistake and fumble the result.

    They need cool heads and experienced counsel.

  4. Hmmm, I’m not entirely convinced that Illawarra will be as bad as people think. There’s a lot of very rusted on votes here, especially in the south. The problem for Hay is going to be the north and west, where new arrivals are likely to vote for Bradbery. Yes, there’s plenty of anger in Wollongong, but its been around for a while now – Hay went down to 47% in 2003 on the back of local anger at her knifing of Markham, but bounced back in 2007. Again, the question is the impact of preference flows. In 2003 when Moulds (the ersatz Liberal) went out he exhausted, with a very high rate following the HTV. So…
    Oh, who am I kidding, I hope Hay is bounced, and the media thinks she will be:

  5. A seat with a 2pp at the last election of over 75% which contains a booth that is 93% 2pp changing hands -to use the words of a great tennis player- “you can’t be serious?”

  6. Whoever thought that running Noreen Hay again against someone like Gordon Bradbery was a good idea should be flogged to death.

  7. If you’ve got a bit of spare cash, Sportbet has Bradbury at $2.10 and Centrebet has Hay at $2.

    Throw $1000 on each and at the worst you’ll break even.

  8. The other independent, Jim Clabour, a former Wollongong citizen of the year, has a website at: http://www.jimclabour.com/

    Obviously there’s some really hard-core Labor territory here, and Bradbery will have to be VERY popular if he’s going to be able to overcome that. Certainly there is plenty of talk that he has a very strong chance, and that’s supported by the polling. Should be a very interesting seat to watch on election night. Definitely tempted to put some money on him, but then I come back to thinking about how hard-core Labor some of this area is, hmm…

  9. many here are right to say the Bradbery campaign has been a hapless one but the usually labor loving media has picked him as their candidate to win wollongong and they are working hard to bring about their prophecy …on any measure Bradbery has had an easy run, certainly the best of any “independent” in recent history.

  10. If the people of Wollongong are too stupid/inert to give Noreen the boot, they deserve another 4 years of neglect that she will bring. Safe seats will never get any attention if they continue being safe. Wake up, Wollongong!

  11. Indeed Noreen and Cherie the last 2 parliamentary representatives of the Tripodi fraction – keeping the dream alive.

    I daresay the donations will flow to the Reverend to challenge on the basis of the ALP htv. Too good an opportunity for the Liberals to pass up on having an entrenched independent with the council elections coming up too.

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