Oxley – Australia 2016

ALP 3.8%

Incumbent MP
Bernie Ripoll, since 1998.

Oxley covers the southwestern suburbs of the City of Brisbane and eastern parts of the City of Ipswich. Suburbs include Redbank, Forest Lake, Richlands, Durack, Inala, Jamboree Heights and Jindalee.

The seat of Oxley was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1949 election. After first being held by the Liberal Party for a decade, it has almost always been won by the ALP, except for the 1996 election, when it was won by disendorsed Liberal candidate Pauline Hanson, who later formed the One Nation party.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Liberal candidate Donald Cameron.  Cameron served as a minister in the Menzies government from 1956 until his defeat at the 1961 election, when he was defeated by former police officer and Labor candidate Bill Hayden.

Hayden served as Member for Oxley for 27 years. He joined Gough Whitlam’s ministry in 1972, and served as Treasurer for the final five months of the Whitlam government in 1975. Hayden was elected Leader of the Opposition after Gough Whitlam’s resignation after the 1977 election, and led the party to an improved position in 1980.

Hayden faced a leadership threat from former ACTU president Bob Hawke, who had entered Parliament in 1980. Hawke failed to win a ballot in 1982. In early 1983 Hayden resigned as leader and was replaced by Hawke, only hours before Malcolm Fraser called an early election. After Bob Hawke’s win, Hayden was appointed Foreign Minister. He served in this role until he was appointed Governor-General in 1988, at which point he resigned from Parliament.

The ensuing by-election was won by the ALP’s Les Scott. Scott held the seat for the remainder of the Hawke/Keating government, up to the 1996 election. The Liberal Party preselected former Ipswich councillor Pauline Hanson as their candidate in 1996. Shortly before the election she was quoted in local papers criticising government assistance for indigenous Australians, which resulted in her disendorsement as a Liberal candidate. With the ballot papers already printed with the Liberal Party’s name attached to Hanson, she gained a high profile and managed to win the seat with a large swing.

Hanson was a prominent independent MP and, in 1997, founded the One Nation party in support of her political views. The party had a strong result at the Queensland state election in early 1998 and she was predicted to perform strongly at the next federal election. Her hopes fell short at the 1998 election, where One Nation only managed to elect a single Senator, despite a national result of over 8%. Hanson contested the new seat of Blair, which now covered Ipswich, which had previously been included in Oxley. Despite coming first on primary votes, Hanson lost due to the ALP and Liberal Party swapping preferences.

Pauline Hanson has repeatedly run for election since losing her seat in 1998, but has never found further electoral success.

Hanson’s seat of Oxley was won in 1998 by ALP candidate Bernie Ripoll, and he has held the seat ever since.

Sitting Labor MP Bernie Ripoll is not running for re-election.

Oxley is a reasonably safe Labor seat, and while they will likely suffer the loss of the sitting MP, Milton Dick has a high profile as (until recently) the incumbent Brisbane city councillor for parts of this seat. He shouldn’t have any trouble retaining Oxley for Labor.

2013 result

Bernie Ripoll Labor 32,58943.1-1.6
Andrew Nguyen Liberal National 29,06438.4+0.1
Ricky Yue Mun TangPalmer United Party5,3687.1+7.1
Martin Stephenson Greens 4,0725.4-6.4
Carrie MccormackFamily First1,5512.1-3.1
Kathleen HewlettKatter’s Australian Party1,4992.0+2.0
Frank KargDemocratic Labour Party1,0751.4+1.4
Scott MoerlandRise Up Australia4000.5+0.5

2013 two-party-preferred result

Bernie Ripoll Labor 40,65753.8-2.0
Andrew Nguyen Liberal National 34,96146.2+2.0
Polling places in Oxley at the 2013 federal election. North in blue, South-East in orange, South-West in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Oxley at the 2013 federal election. North in blue, South-East in orange, South-West in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas. Booths in the City of Ipswich have been grouped as ‘South-West’. Booths in the City of Brisbane have been split into South-East and North.

The ALP won two-party-preferred majorities in two areas, winning around 60% in both the south-east and the south-west. The LNP won 58% in the north.

Voter groupPUP %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes6.749.721,23628.1
Two-party-preferred votes in Oxley at the 2013 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Oxley at the 2013 federal election.



  1. I work in this Electorate and can say safely those that know Milton Dick (only in his old Richlands Ward that already votes strongly for Labor) don’t like what he did to their sitting Member, Bernie Ripoll. Bernie didn’t retire like the media likes to think. The man was on Labor’s frontbench and only 49, arguably at the height of his political career. He lost factional support to Milton and stepped aside gracefully.

    Additionally, the Forest Lake and Springfield Lakes areas are the key swing areas in this seat. All three Forest Lake booths were won by the LNP at the recent Brisbane City Council Election. Springfield Lakes also has a booming population of new voters to which their party affiliation has yet to be tested. Additionally, the strong LNP areas in the north voted overwhelmingly for LNP Cr, Matt Bourke.

    I think couple this with the loss of the local Member, Labor’s margin won’t be as safe as some think. Labor are campaigning hard here and already have 2x billboards in prominent positions and are regularly on the ground. I suspect the swing here to Labor will be much less than elsewhere in the state and not surprised if the swing is to the LNP.

  2. PRP, do you know why Inala and Forest Lake have such different voting patterns? They seem to make up one continuous large suburb….yet Inala votes 70% Labor while Forest Lake is 50-50 or slightly Liberal.

  3. I’d love to answer that question, but all I can think of is gentrification. Inala is rusted on Labor at all levels of government and very much entrenched Labor. Forest Lake is affordable new homes and mainly young, aspirational voters moving in. It also has a particularly high ethnic population so that may explain the vast array of voting intentions.

    I still think Forest Lake will probably just vote Labor in 2016, but Labor can hardly count on the area like they once could.

  4. MM
    What a total mess of a seat !!!. This seat seems to be 4 totally different areas, & communities, just tossed together, like some concocted salad !!. The north ( which is almost everything north of the Ipswich Motorway) in particular ,seems completely divorced from the rest, & would be more appropriately placed , in Ryan (as it was previously -2009) or Moreton.
    It is impossible to comprehend how the AEC failed to use such a clearly dominant boundary.
    Surely they will in 2017 ???

  5. PRP
    Ripoli barely lost any skin in 2013 (just a 2% swing) . This seat was being viewed as an election night dark horse.
    It seems Dick is really Dick !!. It’s a shame really because Bernie was starting to say the odd thing that made sense !!!.

  6. PRP
    I actually scorned Bernie with faint praise. He clearly did a large body of work on various parliamentary committees, which will probably go unappreciated, & largely unnoticed.
    Ripoli is probably a fair representative of a good number of MPs who go about their job as efficiently as possible, or they are allowed to. In The contrast with other noisy self- aggrandising MP’s can be disturbingly stark.
    So he is probably a real loss for his constituents.

  7. The areas in this seat definitely share community of interest. The Mount Ommaney area could be in Moreton, but the Centenary Highway is the spine of the electorate. If Ryan crossed the river, it should be into Chelmer, Graceville & Sherwood (Moreton).

    Inala is established suburb (housing commission?) and Forest Lake is more recent masterplanned community.

    Labor might increase their margin here… the north (Mount Ommaney area) will probably vote LNP though.

  8. While Milton is well known it is mainly in thevery strong labor areas. springfield area and forest lakes are the key. This is one to watch on July 2. I expect a very close race.

  9. Andrew
    The numbers don’t indicate that (it will be close) yet. Assuming Ripoli’s personal vote is around 4%. The govt would need to replicate it’s 2013 vote to be a chance.
    Labor’s primary vote is around 37% ATM (according to polling). For a seat like Oxley to be in play the ALP primary vote needs to be around 34%. A drop of 10%.
    A very volatile result indeed.

  10. Bibe also ran for Oxley preselection, she is someone to watch and it would be interesting if she managed an upset here.

  11. ^ Not sure what you’re trying to say there, this is the Oxley thread.

    Roadley was the Family First candidate for the state seat of Gaven in 2012.

  12. PRP, thanks for your comment. I’ve always voted for Bernie despite being a Greens supporter, because he has proven to be one of the most trustworthy MPs. I wondered why he would decide to retire given his reputation amongst the electorate.

    Milton just wants to climb the political ladder after failing at the city council elections.

    ABC’s election page has updated their list of running candidates:
    DICK, Milton – Labor Party
    ROADLEY, Bibe – Liberal National Party
    PURCELL, Steven – Greens
    TRUSSELL, Brad – One Nation

  13. Sorry David. I meant Lilley. She ran for preselection and was defeated but got oxley instead.

  14. With the right candidate, I could see the LNP having a chance here, but I think they’ve preselected poorly.

    It’s disappointing because Milton Dick is a sub-standard candidate for Labor and certainly less reputable than Bernie Ripoll.

  15. @PRP They’ve preselected a serial candidate from outside the electorate.

    In 2013 Nguyen was a good candidate because he appealed to the Vietnamese vote, but there was a lack of connection to the suburban middle class in Forest Lake and Springfield. The ideal LNP candidate must connect to them.

  16. @Macca-GC

    someone whose run once for a minor party on the coast is hardly a “serial candidate”. I still think Labor will win here, but just saying it could be closer than people think.

  17. Looking at the 2013 results I am amazed at the closeness of the vote. There will be 10.5% Conservative minors from parties that have shown not the slightest indication that they they will stand again. These votes will determine the election.

    MY prediction ALP Victory. Milton Dick is an experienced candidate who is unlikely to stuff up.

  18. @PRP – she ran on the coast and tried for LNP preselection in Lilley at this election. Now I don’t know if she’s had any other attempts at preselection, but it’s not a good look to go from losing preselection in Lilley to running in Oxley.

    @Andrew Jackson – don’t assume that all of PUP’s vote came from the LNP. PUP’s vote was a mixture of LNP, Labor and some Greens (Greens vote fell from 11.79% in 2010 to 5.38% in 2013). I agree that Dick will win, but he could have been in trouble if more effort was put into the seat by the LNP.

  19. Milton Dick will win in a canter here. The amount of money his faction will ensure is pumped into this electorate will be massive. This seat will be a case of money over substance.

  20. I just want a candidate who will put effort into the entire electorate, living in the Centenary Suburbs we have not had anyone ever care for us.
    Bernie didnt care less when our area became Oxley and I don’t think Milton Dick will care either.

  21. On the question of why Inala and Forest Lake have different voting patterns. This is explained by the age of the suburbs. Inala is a much older suburb and Forest Lake attracted people from outside the Labor belt to new homes.

  22. I am interested in how the preferences are for the parties. Is there anywhere to find this detail?

  23. I have noted all the comments about the Oxley Federal Electorate in this column, a number are reasonable, the rest have no idea what they are talking about on the make up or the personalities involved in the Oxley electorate, or what it represents to the people who live within its boundaries.
    Comments in relation to the human demographics of certain components of the Oxley electorate are uninformed. Asianated? Come on, get real,
    Milton Dick took over from me as the Brisbane City Council Richlands Ward Councillor when I retired in 2008 after 17 years in office, due to medical reasons. Any doubters who question that comment I will be only too pleased to show my operation scars.
    Milton was a very competant and effective Councillor and as Leader of the Opposition in Council performed credibly with a balanced approach giving his team public substance.
    And so he should have been, as he has been involved in mainstream politics since he first worked in a political office, as a young man with very limited political experience at all, for our former Labor Oxley Federal Member David Beddall some 25 years or so ago. He has worked his way within politics to where he is today.
    From the start we knew in Oxley it would be a 2 horse race, despite the Greens, as the 3rd major Party, having a reasonable presence at pre-polling stations and on election day, their result in Oxley was just ordinary.
    Turnbull villified and derided the minor Parties in the dying days of the campaign, and in doing so received a very heavy public backlash with his candidates being severely penalised by the Australian voting public. He got more than he gave.
    Without a doubt, the sleepers in this election were One Nation, their result and very strong resurgence nationally one could rightly say was staggering and to some extent frightening, given their extremely doubtful ideaology resonating and being very appealling to the politicaly misplaced. That group now have a loud voice, saying the things they think privately.
    I am the President of Labor’s Oxley Federal Electorate Committee and along with our female Campaign Director Margie N, a first timer Director, we have guided our candidate Milton Dick and our campaign team all the way through this very long, complex and tiring election campaign.
    Factional money did not fund Labor’s Oxley campaign, anyone who makes that claim is being mischevious and fiddling with the truth.
    We did have some financial support from other non Party private benefactors with the bulk of our funds coming from within.
    I can assure readers we spent wisely and prudently.
    Our campaign was organised, calculating, on message, courteous to other candidates and most of all meaningful and responsive to the electorate.
    Despite the fact that Oxley has been a Labor stronghold for generations, we have never and will never take for granted the power of the electorate and the political generosity of whom the voting public choose to support and elect to represent them.
    Any candidate who misjudges or takes the voting public for granted are fools, as this election has proven the LNP to be, and more so at their highest level.
    Oxley is a very diverse tolerant multicultural community and given the comments by some in this column I doubt they have even been here to find out and experience for themselves what it is like. It’s a great place to live, work and play.
    The demographic is diverse, the set up is very difficult to campaign in given the geography of the boundaries. It is not a compact electorate.
    Comments about the LNP’s Roadley and her campaign are misplaced and inaccurate.
    She was not a dud candidate at all, far from it.
    Like us Roadley and her team ran a very confident, personable, controlled and well resourced campaign.
    Both our candidates crossed paths many times on the campaign trail, were friendly to one another, shook hands and then did their own thing. No brawls, no abuse or snipeing.
    On election night Roadley personally rang Milton to concede defeat and congratulate him on his campaign and success – he responded in similar fashion. From both candidates that displayed political class and respect.
    The LNP were very confident they could win Oxley and campaigned like they would, unlike other LNP candidates who took their electorates for granted and thought they were shoe ins.
    The LNP’s candidate Roadley and her team threw everything at us in a very controlled and methodical manner and had plenty of people on the ground each and every day of the campaign as well as on election day.
    Labor and the LNP teams played it hard but fair, no crap, just hard work.
    Modern day election campaigns at any level are not a walk in the park any more, they are very expensive, rely heavily on technology, are time consuming, brutal and now very Americanised, where personal attacks can and have become the norm.
    We played the game hard and were successful, now our candidate and new Oxley Federal Member Milton Dick has to deliver the goods for his new constituency and we will keep him to his word.
    My time as an elected representative was enjoyable and personally rewarding given what I was able to achieve for communities that were long forgotten in the world of politics in Brisbane, they are no longer, but it was hard work and very time consuming. A career in politics can offer a great deal to an energetic and enthusiastic person, but the downside is that today, it is a 24/7 industry and your life is not your own any more.


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