By Casey Neill
Dandenong-born Maree Davenport will try to oust Premier Daniel Andrews from his seat at next year’s State Election, the Liberal Party has revealed.
The 49-year-old former MP formally announced her candidacy with a trip to Noble Park manufacturer Kez’s Kitchen, the elevated rail site and Noble Park RSL on Tuesday 24 October.
“I’m stepping back in to the fray because I am really concerned about the decline in our community fabric, its infrastructure and prospects in the future,” she said.
The mother of three pointed to the recent CFA reforms, health figures, crime, cost of living pressures including gas and electricity, and traffic congestion as key concerns.
She said Mr Andrews held Mulgrave by 4.48 per cent.
“To regain government, we need to win seven seats,” she said.
“I am determined to make Mulgrave one of them, despatching Daniel Andrews for good.”
Ms Davenport was born at Dandenong Hospital, attended St Joseph’s Primary and Killester Catholic Girls School in Springvale, and worked at a local bakery, jeans store and Myer Dandenong during her school years.
Ms Davenport joined the Liberal Party in her late teens.
She worked as a real estate agent across Springvale, Noble Park and Dandenong.
In 1992, at age 24, she ran in what was then the seat of Dandenong North and lost by 36 votes despite achieving an 8.1 per cent swing.
She was elected to the Legislative Council, the state upper house, for Waverley Province in 1996.
“I’m proud of the fact that aged 28, I was the youngest woman ever elected,” she said.
“In 1997 I became the first sitting member to have a baby while serving.”
Ms Davenport was not re-elected in 2002. She established a consultancy for not-for-profits and industry peak bodies, took up lobbying and took places on boards and committees.
“I am proud to be a part of the rich fabric of the seat of Mulgrave,” she said.
“I saved to buy my first home in Dandenong North at 22 and have lived locally since.”