South Coast state by-election, 1988

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A by-election was held in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of South Coast on 28 August 1988. It was triggered by the resignation of sitting National Party member Russ Hinze.

The seat was retained by the National Party with the election of candidate Judy Gamin.


Russ Hinze was first elected to parliament at the 1966 state election as the Country Party member for South Coast. In 1974, he became a minister in the government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, holding several portfolios up until the end of Bjelke-Petersen's reign in December 1987. Like Bjelke-Petersen, Hinze was disgraced by the revelations of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, a probe into government and police corruption. He was therefore left out of the new government led by Premier Mike Ahern. Hinze became a fierce critic of Ahern before resigning his seat on 24 May 1988.[1]

Due to recent losses by the Nationals at the Barambah state and Groom federal by-elections, winning South Coast was seen as critical by the Nationals.


The by-election attracted a field of ten candidates. With South Coast being a reliably conservative electorate, the two most notable candidates were therefore those of the National Party and the Liberal Party; businesswomen and regional party vice-president Judy Gamin and Bob Quinn respectively. Lindsay Hartwig, formerly a National Party and independent member for the rural seat of Callide, stood on behalf of the far right Citizens Electoral Council. Philip Black, a supporter of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and former Young Nationals president who had been expelled from the National Party, ran as an independent with Sir Joh's verbal endorsement.[2] Bruce Whiteside, founder of the anti-Japanese investment group "Heart of a Nation", also nominated, although his New Zealand citizenship posed a public perception problem for his campaign given the number of New Zealand companies buying up land in the Gold Coast.


Judy Gamin of the National Party prevailed narrowly over the Liberal Party's Bob Quinn.

South Coast state by-election, 1988[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Judy Gamin 5,716 30.43 −19.26
Liberal Bob Quinn 5,426 28.89 +8.86
Labor Dallas Watson 4,293 22.85 −7.42
Independent Philip Black 1,488 7.92 +7.92
CEC Lindsay Hartwig 589 3.14 +3.14
Democrats A W Kennedy 571 2.51 +2.51
Aust. Independents Bruce Whiteside 420 2.30 +2.30
ASSP E Groom 225 1.20 +1.20
Independent James Drabsch 83 0.44 +0.44
Independent J Kachel 61 0.32 +0.32
Total formal votes 18,784 95.27 −2.75
Informal votes 932 4.73 +2.75
Turnout 19,716 77.60 −10.22
Two-candidate-preferred result
National Judy Gamin 9,464 50.38
Liberal Bob Quinn 9,320 49.62
National hold Swing


Seeking a second term as the member for South Coast, Judy Gamin was defeated at the 1989 state election by Bob Quinn who was once again standing as the Liberal Party candidate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1988". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 35 (2): 262–263. August 1989. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1989.tb00020.x. ISSN 0004-9522.
  2. ^ Roberts, Greg (15 August 1988). "An embittered old warhorse sharpens his political knife for some scalping". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 13.
  3. ^ Queensland Legislative Assembly (6 March 1990). Details of polling at general election held on 2 December 1989. p. 68.