The electoral district of Port Stephens is located in the Hunter. The electorate can be described as rural, residential and suburban. Port Stephens covers most of Port Stephens local government area and small parts of the City of Newcastle and Great Lakes local government area. The seat covers Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, Nelsons Bay, Shoal Bay, Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. It covers the entire shore of Port Stephens itself. There is a large defence community based around Williamtown.
According to 2016 Census data, Port Stephens has:
A population of 71,381 (47,038 voters turned out in 2015 out of 52,678 enrolled);
A higher than average median age at 45;
A lower than average level of highest educational attainment with 11.0% of constituents achieving a Bachelor Degree level and above; and
A lower than average median weekly household income of $1,158 (vs. $1,486 for NSW).
Port Stephens has existed as a district since 1988. Port Stephens was held by the ALP continuously from 1988 to 2007, when it was won by the Liberal Party. Labor won the seat back in 2015.
Liberal candidate, Port Stephens mayor Craig Baumann, defeated Labor candidate Jim Arneman by 68 votes in the 2007 election. It was the closest result in the entire state. Baumann was comfortably re-elected in 2011. Baumann stepped aside from the Liberal Party in 2014 following allegations at ICAC that he had accepted donations from prohibited donors in 2007. Baumann retired at the 2015 election, and Labor’s Kate Washington won.
Port Stephens is an electorate that the Government considers it can win back from the Opposition.
The current member, Kate Washington, holds the seat for the Labor Party.
Kate Washington (LAB)
Washington is the Labor candidate for Port Stephens in the 2019 election, and the current member.
Washington unsuccessfully contested the seat of Port Stephens during the 2011 election. Four years later, she won the seat with a two-candidate-preferred swing of 19.5%. Washington has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 2015. Prior to entering parliament Washington was a health lawyer standing up for people who had been injured by those they trusted.
Washington is Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, and Shadow Minister for the Hunter.
Jaimie Abbott (LIB)
Abbott is running as the Liberal candidate for Port Stephens in the 2019 election.
Abbott lives locally in Port Stephens. Abbott is an experienced radio and TV journalist and RAAF reservist where she has deployed to Afghanistan.
Abbott is a Councillor on Port Stephens Council and a small business owner.