Car wash politics has seat of Caulfield in a lather

Car wash politics has seat of Caulfield in a lather

September 18, 2022

One characteristic common to the grassroots “teal” independent movement has been running clean political campaigns.

It seemed appropriate then, as CBD would come to learn, that lawyer and former Labor staffer Nomi Kaltmann, running for the super-marginal state seat of Caulfield, listed an automated car wash as her authorising address.

Nomi Kaltmann, a lawyer and former Labor member, is aiming to knock out the Liberal Party’s second-in-command, David Southwick, in the south-east Melbourne seat of Caulfield.Credit:Eamon Gallagher

But it may put the campaign afoul of Victorian state electoral rules.

Kaltmann and the group established to find an independent candidate for the seat, named Bayside Independents, are both registered at 43 Stamford Street, Oakleigh.

While there is no Stamford Street in Caulfield, there is a Stamford Road. Located at this address is an Autobrite car wash. Jewish community activist Yaron Gottleib, who established Bayside Independents, said his uncle owned it.

State law requires publishers of election material like ads or websites to list an address that is the person’s “usual” address, and they must “have more than sporadic or ad hoc access”, according to the Victorian Electoral Commission. The Victorian Liberal Party has since made a complaint to the commission, which is investigating.

Caulfield was won by MP David Southwick, the Liberal Party’s second-in-command, by 0.27 per cent at the last election.

The discrepancy highlights an interesting quirk in electoral law that can make the subject of picking an address to certify campaign materials more vexed than it needs to be. Kaltmann confirmed she’s since changed the address.

“I wish [Southwick] would put his efforts into the community of Caulfield rather than obsessing over a car wash,” Kaltmann told CBD.

Kaltmann also mentioned that she had been offered a campaign office but was forced to refuse it because it would have been considered a gift, and therefore a political donation greater than the $4300 amount allowed in Victoria.

Kaltmann could have used her home address but said she felt uncomfortable. Not an unreasonable position given the terse and acrimonious tone that has come to define state politics in the last few years.

The Autobrite car wash in Oakleigh.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Gottleib said he and his wife Alex Fein, both of whom were heavily involved in federal MP Zoe Daniel’s Goldstein campaign, had been the subject of death threats.

“It is another example of the uneven nature of how politics is run,” Gottleib said.

He might be right.

Southwick’s now fending off Labor candidate Lior Harel, a corporate lawyer, and the teals, who both believe they can win.


You’d think spending a gazillion dollars on the AFL broadcast rights would entitle you to a little bit of love and attention. But Seven West Media boss James Warburton was curiously overlooked in a pre-match function at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon, ahead of the Swans’ nail-biting preliminary final win over Collingwood.

The culprit was MC and former Olympian Matt Shirvington, who went out of his way to thank almost every Foxtel employee by name but ignored Seven. It was a particularly strange thing to do given Warburton was front and centre in the room and stranger still since “Shirvo” works for Seven.

Rupert Murdoch’s Foxtel and Kerry Stokes’ Seven lodged the winning bid at the recent AFL auction, which is a bit like buying a house in Sydney – an overly expensive, emotionally charged and FOMO-fuelled roller coaster ride. A very-relaxed AFL boss Gillon McLachlan did describe Shirvington’s faux pas as a career-limiting move. For his part, the one-time sprinter blamed a script malfunction.

James Warburton and Matt Shirvington.Credit:Joszef Benke

Enjoying the preliminary final was seemingly half of Sydney’s corporate set, including Merivale baron Justin Hemmes, Seven’s head lawyer Bruce McWilliam, stadiums boss Tony Shepherd, his partner and Transgrid executive Maryanne Graham, AFL commissioners Robin Bishop, Paul Bassat and Gabrielle Trainor, former commissioner Kim Williams, Swans ambassador and Today Show entertainment reporter Brooke Boney, as well as Nine radio boss Tom Malone and publishing managing director James Chessell.

Pacing around for most of the game was Pies president Jeff Browne, whose nerves would not have been helped by his team’s nail-biting loss. No sign though of former president Eddie McGuire, last seen aboard Lindsay Fox’s yacht.


There’s been plenty of criticism, some fair, some not, of our own ABC’s seemingly endless coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, with what seems like an army of Ultimo types off in London right now.

In Aunty’s defence, it hasn’t been nearly as over the top as the BBC, which CBD hears sent a crew out for four days to Geelong Grammar School’s Timbertop in regional Victoria.

Real royal-heads will recall King Charles III spent two semesters at Timbertop in 1966, where he was teased for being a “pommy bastard”. At the campus, year 9 kids are kept away from the modern world, given limited access to technology and put through a rigorous program of hiking and trail-running.

But not even Timbertop was far away enough from the longest news cycle in the Anglosphere.


CBD was surprised to discover that the launch of conservative commentator Kevin Donnelly’s new book, titled The Dictionary of Woke: How Orwellian Language Control and Group Think are Destroying Western Societies, would no longer be going ahead on Tuesday.

Commentator and author Kevin Donnelly with former prime minister Tony Abbott.Credit:Edwina Pickles

Could it be that Donnelly, whose previous tome warned about the insidious influence of left-wing cancel culture, had committed a bit of cancel culture on himself? After all, plenty of conservative-tinged events have been cancelled since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

Donnelly confirmed this was indeed the case, telling CBD he’d pulled the plug on the launch, to be hosted by fellow Sky News regular Chris Kenny, as “a mark of respect”, feeling it inappropriate to continue when so many hearts and minds were with her late majesty.

All is not truly lost however.

Donnelly will be one of many right-wing luminaires to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference at the start of October, where he’ll have ample opportunity to speak openly about the dangers of the censorious, regressive and dogmatic contemporary left.

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