Sunday 27 March 2011
Typewriter Collector Re-Elected
Noted Australian typewriter collector Richard Amery gave himself an early 60th birthday present tonight when he was re-elected for the seat of Mount Druitt in the New South Wales State elections. While his Australian Labor Party generally took a drubbing and lost government after 16 years in power, with a swing against it of about 17 per cent, Mr Amery held on to his place at Sydney’s Parliament House – albeit with a reduced margin.
Mr Amery, who turns 60 on Thursday, might well have been contemplating a future devoted entirely to typewriters as, in the lead-up to the elections, it became increasingly apparent that voters would deliver Labor a crushing defeat. But by holding on to his seat, Mr Amery will now be about to continue writing questions on notice and other parliamentary documents on his manual typewriters. Indeed, much of his re-election campaign material was written on a typewriter. "I wrote so much of it on my Hermes 3000," he said last week, "I had to replace the ribbon!"
After such a long period in power, the massive swing against Labor had little if anything to do with individual sitting members such as Mr Amery and the popular outgoing State Premier, American-born Kristina Keneally.
Ms Keneally was born in Las Vegas to an American father and an Australian-born mother. She grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where she attended high school at Notre Dame Academy. Ms Keneally studied at the University of Dayton, Ohio, became a registered Democrat and worked as an intern for the Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, Paul Leonard. She later studied at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which happens to be the birthplace of the typewriter. Ms Keneally became a naturalised Australian in 2000, the same year she joined the Labor Party.
Mr Amery said Ms Keneally could hold her head high. “Kristina has worked tirelessly during this campaign … ” he said.
Despite the big swing against the ALP, Mr Amery scored a reasonably comfortable win against Liberal Party opponent Venus Priest. On first preference votes, Mr Amery had 14,438 votes, or 47.7 per cent, to Ms Priest’s 10,721, or 35.4 per cent.
Mr Amery, a former minister with portfolios of Agriculture, Water Conservation and Corrective Services, was first elected in the seat of Mt Druitt in 1993. He has been a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly since 1983, originally representing Riverstone.
Although his typewriter collection extends to well beyond 100 machines, Mr Amery is perhaps best known in the typewriter collecting world for his vast array of Imperial Good Companions.