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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 November 2014
6 SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014 AUSTRALIA Fourteen Greek Australians - including two via marriage - have nominated for the Vic- torian Lower House, whilst a further nine have nominated for the Upper House. Of the 14 nominated Lower House candidates, five are with the Australian Labor Party (ALP), three are Liberals, two are with the Australian Chris- tian Party, one with Rise Up Australia, one for the People Party Victoria, one independ- ent and one unknown. Of the nine nominated for the Upper House, three are ALP candidates, three are Shooters and Fishers Party candidates, and the remain- ing three are affiliated with Rise Up Australia, the Dem- ocratic Labour Party and the Voice for the West party. In all, Victorian Greek Aus- tralian candidates comprise eight different parties, with one independent and one un- known candidate. In the last opinion polls, newly founded Fairfax Ipsos had the ALP leading the Lib- eral Party 56 per cent to 44, in two-party preferred stakes, on October 30. Comparative- ly, the Herald Sun/Galaxy poll also had the ALP in front, al- though by a smaller four per cent 52 to 48 lead, published two days before the Fairfax Ipsos poll. Lower House Undoubtedly, the most hot- ly contended seat for Greek Victorians is Oakleigh. Cur- rently held by retiring Labor MP Ann Barker since 1999, she lost ground at the 2010 election, winning by a slim 5.1 per cent margin. Three of its four 2014 candidates are Greek Australians, with ALP candidate Steve Dimopou- los, Liberal Candidate Theo Zographos and Victoria's only declared independent Para- shos Kioupelis vying for the Greek stronghold. Neos Kosmos spoke to both major party candidates for the area, earlier in the year, and both stated public trans- port, and economic growth and job increases as major policy factors. Dimopoulos also flagged health and ed- ucation, whilst Zographos added community safety as lynchpins for their constitu- ency. Out of the remaining 11 seats which feature Greek figures, six are marginal. The five that are safely held are Bulleen, Dandenong, San- dringham, Sydenham and Clarinda. With a 15.1 per cent swing to the Liberal Party, Bulleen has been held by incumbent MP Nicholas Kotsiras since 1999. Kotsiras will not con- test this month's election, with the Greek vote being represented by Australian Christian nominee Eleni Ara- poglou. But she will face an uphill battle against current Minister for Planning and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Mat- thew Guy, who will contest for a Lower House seat hav- ing served in Cabinet since 2010, from the Upper House. Dandenong has been held by retiring and incumbent MP John Pandazopoulos since 1992 with his margin stand- ing at 14 per cent after the 2010 election. Liberal candi- date Joanna Palatsides will now wave an adopted Greek flag, as she has married into a Greek family. And having a Greek connection in one of Victoria's most multicultural seats might prove advanta- geous. Sandringham has been held by Liberal Murray Thompson since 1992, and he won the 2010 election by a comfort- able 15.6 per cent. His major party opponent, the ALP's Christina Zigouris, is contest- ing the seat for the first time. Sydenham was won by the ALP's Natalie Hutchins by a staggering 11.5 per cent mar- gin, with 2014 contestant Na- dia Christofidis the represent- ing newly-formed Australian Christian Party. And finally, of the safe seats, Melanie Vassiliou (married to Upper House contestant Peter Vassiliou) from the Rise Up Australia Party, is contesting the ALP's safely held seat of Clarinda, which has been rep- resented by Hong Lim since 1996. Lim won the 2010 elec- tion by a safe 12.4 per cent margin. Vassiliou's Rise Up Australia party prefaces its policies on an anti-multicul- tural, anti-Islamic platform, preferring a 'multinational' Australia - encompassing people of multiple ethnici- ties under one umbrella of Australian culture. Of the marginal seats being contested by Greek affiliates, three are held by the Liberal Party and three by the ALP. Greek Australian Andrew Katos is one of those Liberal MPs, who currently holds the seat of South Barwon seat, which he won in 2010 by a 4.9 per cent margin. The seat of Prahran is being contested by former council- lor for the City of Stonning- ton, Steve Stefanopoulos, whose party affiliation, or independence, is not regis- tered on the official Victorian electorate webpage. Prahran is currently held by a 4.7 per cent margin, as is the seat of Melbourne, by Greek Austral- ian Jennifer Kanis, who won it in a 2012 by-election, over the Greens after preferences. She lost the seat by a 3.1 per cent margin to the Greens, on first preferences, and notably the area is the only federally represented Greens seat, held by Adam Bandt. The remaining three mar- ginally held Greek-affiliated seats are Niddrie, held by a 4.5 per cent margin by La- bor's Ben Carroll, and being contested by Appollo Yianni; Brunswick, held by an ALP lead of 3.6 per cent margin over the Greens, which fac- es competition from People Power Victoria - No Smart Meters candidate Stella Ka- riofyllidis, whose party ac- cordingly opposes the man- datory roll-out of wireless smart meters. And finally Bentleigh, held by one of the slimmest margins - 0.9 per cent - by incumbent Liberal Elizabeth Miller, who won the seat in 2010, but is be- ing challenged by Greek Aus- tralian ALP candidate Nick Staikos. Upper House Nine Greek Australians rep- resenting the ALP, the Shoot- ers & Fishers Party, Voice for the West party, Rise Up Aus- tralia and the Democratic La- bour Party are contesting for the Upper House. The three ALP nominees are Jenny Mikakos (a current member) for the Northern Metropoli- tan Region, currently repre- sented by two Liberal, two ALP and one Greens MPs; Lee Tarlamis, also a sitting MP, who is re-contesting the South Eastern Metropolitan Region, currently represented by three ALP and two Liber- al MPs; and Philip Dalidakis who is contesting the South- ern Metropolitan Region, cur- rently represented by three Liberal, one ALP (John Lend- ers) and one Greens MPs. The three Shooters & Fish- ers Party representatives, Kostandinos Giannikos, Christos Tzelepis and Ste- ven Zoumis, are contesting the Eastern Metropolitan Re- gion - currently represent- ed by three Liberal and two Labor MPs - the Northern Metropolitan Region, and the Southern Metropolitan Region, respectively. The party's policies relate to fire- arms legislation, internation- al treaties and the protection of state rights. Finally, the three remain- ing candidates are Voice for the West representative Ky- lie Georgiou, contesting the Western Metropolitan Re- gion, currently represented by two Liberal, two ALP and one Greens MPs; Rise Up Australia's Peter Vassiliou contesting the Southern Met- ropolitan Region; and Dem- ocratic Labour Party candi- date Stefan Kos, contesting the Northern Victoria Region, currently represented by two Liberal, two ALP and one Na- tional MPs. The Victorian election will be held on November 29. *Figures are according to the Australian Broadcasting Cor- poration. Victoria decides Victorians will go to general election at the end of the month, and Neos Kosmos previews the 23 candidates of Greek origin, or connected to the diaspora, up for election JOHN PYRROS Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/TRACE Y NEARMY. Victorian caretaker Premier Denis Napthine. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/TRACEY NEARMY.
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