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Editions

Docklands is an electoral challenge

03 Sep 2013

Federal election candidates for the seat of Melbourne say campaigning in Docklands is more difficult than in other areas in the electorate.

The structural barrier of secure buildings and the perceived lack of obvious residential hubs have meant candidates have had to use less-traditional methods to interact with local residents.

Labor candidate Cath Bowtell said it was difficult to find the right place to set up a campaign stall in an area with a thoroughfare of residents.

“That comes back to that issue of no local school or train station, where we would usually set up,” Ms Bowtell said.

Ms Bowtell said door knocking wasn’t possible due to secure buildings and phone campaigns were difficult due to an overall decline in homes having landlines.

“It means we have to use other modes like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the residents.”

Liberal candidate Sean Armistead agreed that structural barriers were an issue when campaigning in Docklands.

“We don’t have access to letterboxes for letter drops and we can’t door knock,” Mr Armistead said.

But he said he had visited Docklands on two occasions to set up listening posts and A-frames near IGA in Bourke St.

Greens candidate and current MP Adam Bandt said Docklands’ secure apartment buildings meant the traditional campaign method of door knocking wasn’t a possibility.

But Mr Bandt said it was still possible to reach the local community.

He said he had spent time visiting local businesses and that the Greens had launched its election platform at The Hub in Docklands in July.

“I think Docklands is an importance part of the electorate, it’s leading the way in terms of what Melbourne will look like in the future,” Mr Bandt said

The federal election is on September 7. You can vote at The Hub at 80 Harbour Esplanade or Melbourne City Town Hall at 90 – 130 Swanston St.

See http://www.aec.gov.au for a complete list of polling booths.

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