Shortland is considered a rock solid Labor seat, with a 9.9 percent margin, and has always been held by the Australian Labor Party.
It has changed hands only three times after, Charles Griffiths, held the seat for the ALP from 1949 to 1972, when he retired, followed by, Peter Morris, 1972-1998 when he retired, then, Jill Hall, held the seat for six terms from 1998 to 2016, when she also retired with 59 percent of the vote.
The redistribution leading up to the 2016 election abolished the neighbouring seat of Charlton, which had been held by, Pat Conroy, since 2013, and he replaced, Jill Hall, in Shortland.
This year’s Federal election has six candidates trying to wrest the seat out of the ALP grip and are, in ballot paper order: Susan Newbury, Sustainable Australia; Xing Yu, Christian Democratic Party; Pat Conroy, Labor; Dani Rifai, United Australia Party; Bryan McGrath, Animal Justice Party, and, Nell McGill, Liberal.
Shortland covers Lake Macquarie and Central Coast regions including the suburbs of Lake Macquarie Council on the eastern shore of Lake Macquarie, as well as north-eastern suburbs of Central Coast Council.
It encompasses 265sq km from Highfields, Cardiff and Boolaroo in the north to Budgewoi and San Remo in the south, and is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean and on the west by the Pacific Highway, Gorokan to Mannering Park, and follows the Lake Macquarie eastern shoreline to Warners Bay.
The main suburbs on the Central Coast include Budgewoi, Chain Valley Bay, Doyalson, Gwandalan, Mannering Park and San Remo.
There are 110,100 enrolments in Shortland, which was named after Naval Lieutenant, John Shortland, (1769-1810) who discovered coal near Shortland.
Labor promises throughout the election campaign include: $2.5M to build up to three new digital TV towers; $192,000 for eight Shortland school projects, including outdoor learning areas at Northlakes High and Public: and, extra funding under Fair Go For Schools at Lake Munmorah High ($990,000), and Public ($500,000), Budgewoi Public ($690,000), Northlakes High ($1,240,000) and Public ($490,000), Gwandalan Public ($380,000), Mannering Park Public ($260,000).
Where to vote: Budgewoi Public School, Lukela Ave; Halekulani Hall, Noela Pl; Buff Point Scout Hall, 48 Narambi Rd; Chain Valley Bay Community Hall, 100 Scaysbrook Ave; Gwandalan Public School, Kanangra Dr; Lake Munmorah High School, Carters Rd; Mannering Park Community Centre, 2 Dunvegan St; Northlakes Public School, Goorama Ave; Summerland Point Community Hall, Cams Blvd.
An early voting centre is at Unit 1, 132 Chelmsford Rd, Charmhaven on Thursday, May 16, 8.30am to 5.30pm and Friday, May 17, from 8.30pm to 6pm.
Website, May 13
Australian Electoral Commission
Website, May 13
The Tally Room
Member for Shortland, Pat Conroy