The light fades in Tuggeranong's city centre and fishers steal time outdoors along its lake before dark.
Paul Fogg has cast a line, down the road from his unit after work.
He has little bad to say about his home of nine months in Canberra's south. There are no break-ins to worry about at his apartment. Aside from the blue-green algae, he finds Lake Tuggeranong a jewel.
Having lived in both, he'd choose Tuggeranong over Manuka in the more-established inner south.
The choice is less certain for Fogg when asked about the federal election. For the first time, the 48-year-old doesn't know for whom to vote.
He works hard running his delivery-and-assembly business, and feels squeezed by taxes. Money is tight. Dinner is often noodles and 99-cent rice pudding. He hasn't had a holiday in a decade.
"I'm above the social-security line; I'm in that gap. The in-betweeners, I call us. We're not making a fortune, we're surviving day-to-day," he says.
"I fear my future because I don't believe that I've got more than a pension to look forward to."
Fogg isn't thrilled with what's on offer this election, or the interest that MPs suddenly show in voters.
"It's all been about re-election, you can see the spin. It would be really nice to have a trustworthy, straightforward politician that did what they said."
The in-betweeners, I call us. We're not making a fortune, we're surviving day-to-day.Paul Fogg, Tuggeranong resident
A vein of disaffection with politics runs through the suburbs that make up the bulk of the new southern electorate, Bean. There's simmering frustration at lopsided government attention to Canberra's northside. Business owners say costs are biting. Many of their issues are within the ACT government's jurisdiction, but are still causes for federal MPs to take up.
Chisholm butcher Steven James says the drought, and energy bills, are hurting his business, CJ Meats. Free-trade agreements have heaped on more pressure. Everything adds up, he says.
"Every day you feel it and you have to put prices up for customers," James says. "Then they find it hard to support small business."
A few doors down, at engraving, key-cutting and shoe-repair shop Polished Solutions, owner Steve Jones says business conditions have been tough for 18 months. On the other side of the electorate, Kostas Stavrakis at Weston Creek grocer Freddy Frapples tells a similar story.
Costs are making it hard for businesses to survive, he says. Stavrakis hopes either side of politics will solve the problem.
"Both sides have to look after business."
An empty seat
Strictly speaking, the electorate has no incumbent, although Labor long held the federal seat of Canberra, which covered the ACT's south before the electoral commission redrew the boundaries and created Bean.
Stretching from the rapidly sprouting Molonglo Valley suburbs, south past Tuggeranong's more established enclaves and beyond the village Tharwa, the seat is geographically the ACT's largest. It includes Norfolk Island, nearly 2000 kilometres from Canberra.
Bean's residents are slightly less well-heeled than Canberrans to the north, having a median household income lower than in other ACT electorates (though still well above the national figure). The seat also has a higher percentage of mortgagees, and larger mortgage repayments, than the Australian median.
The candidate bidding to replace Gai Brodtmann as the MP representing the southern suburbs, David Smith, has finished a short stint as the ACT's ALP Senate replacement, a job he took last year after a High Court decision ejected Katy Gallagher amid the dual-citizenship saga.
Farrer-based Smith, a former official at the union representing engineers and scientists, Professionals Australia, is the favourite to win. Labor's notional two-party preferred vote is strong, at 59 per cent.
The Liberals also perform better there, notionally, than in the ACT's two other federal electorates. At the territory level, the smaller, Tuggeranong-centred electorate of Brindabella delivered three Liberal members to the Legislative Assembly, more than any of the ACT's other four divisions.
On the numbers, Bean remains unpromising for any non-Labor party, but Smith says he can't take anything for granted. He says voters tell him about cost-of-living pressures, a problem he wants to solve partly with greater funding certainty for relief agencies.
Smith promises to push for public service jobs in Canberra's southern centres.
"It goes to ensuring we rebuild the capacity of the public service and respect the role of Canberra as the seat of government."
His main rival is the Liberal candidate, Monash resident and former Health Department public servant Ed Cocks, who says he is campaigning to win despite Labor's margin.
Voters want politicians to do better, he says. "People ... want a local representative who's going to be there to listen, and they want this electorate in the House of Representatives to be listened to and respected."
Many voters feel that because it is seen as a long-standing safe Labor seat, it is not supported and respected as if it were a marginal one, Cocks says. New Molonglo Valley suburbs Coombs and Wright lack local shops. Residents feel Labor is walking away from the area, he says.
The new, and the not-so-new
At neighbouring Denman Prospect, one of Canberra's newest suburbs, the story is a blank canvas.
One of the ACT's youngest voters, Katija Stosic, is weighing up her choices at the coming poll. She turns 18 before election day and has enrolled to vote. While she doesn't consider herself political, policies on the environment, gender equality and human rights will influence her choice.
As for her burgeoning suburb, Stosic says it could do with some bus services. But overall, she says, it's "so far, so good".
"Because it's so new, I don't think there's a lot to say about it."
When asked about Tuggeranong and Woden, their advocates have a lot to say. The districts, after several decades, have different pains to their newer, northern cousins.
Woden Valley emerged from the electoral commission's redistribution unfortunately halved with the neighbouring electorate of Canberra, which covers its northern suburbs. The valley's community council president Fiona Carrick fears the split could deny the area a strong voice in the next Parliament.
"I think we are without a champion somehow. We're in desperate need of a champion because our town centre should be a social and economic hub," she says.
Awaiting Bean's first MP is much to consider at Woden: a town centre accumulating high rise residential buildings, a lack of green space, and missing social infrastructure. It's in need of higher education services, a public hydrotherapy pool and a multi-purpose sports hall, Carrick says.
We're in desperate need of a champion because our town centre should be a social and economic hub.Woden Valley community council president Fiona Carrick
Further south, Tuggeranong Community Council president Glenys Patulny sits down at a cafe outside South Point.
Anketell Street is ploughed with upgrade works. Shoppers and public servants cross paths, and apartment blocks are about to shoot upwards nearby. It gives no hint of the feeling Patulny describes, familiar to Canberra's southerners, of driving home from the city's centre to the place once dubbed "nappy valley".
"When you drive on the parkway and you see the mountains and scenery, it gives you a sense of peace," she says.
"A lot of people don't want to move anywhere else. I don't want to move anywhere else."
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Tuggeranong's suburbs are proud, but the money pouring into Canberra's centre have them feeling neglected. Playgrounds are growing old, the region lacks cultural events and its lake has long been infested with algae.
Sitting with her, the YWCA's Catherine Jones says many low-income people opt for Tuggeranong's more affordable housing. Once they arrive, they often find an ill-connected bus network isolates them.
"Transport is an issue where those families need to get to appointments," she says. "Those things have an impact if you have to travel from far south to the city, or from the far south to Tuggeranong's centre."
Greenway's heart is further away from Alinga Street than Gungahlin Place, but light rail is not arriving in the far south any time soon.
"It can take you a long time to get into town by the time you take three to four buses," Patulny says.
Slow internet speeds, and the concentration of jobs away from Tuggeranong in Canberra's centre, were other drags on the local economy.
While the ACT is busy rapidly expanding into new suburbs, the older ones should not be forgotten, Patulny says.
As for Labor and the Liberals' chances on May 18, the margins don't speak for everything in Patulny's prediction. Brodtmann - who she describes as community-minded - built a strong base of personal support. If the Liberals ever did claw back a federal ACT seat, such a political quake could find its epicentre in Tuggeranong.
Labor will still probably win Bean. But it's no certain thing, she says.
"Now you can't tell, especially because of the political climate.
"It's not a slam dunk, because you just don't know."
- A battle for votes is being fought in town and cities all around the nation. To understand the issues resonating in regional Australia this federal election sign up to receive a daily email with curated stories of people and places from all around Australia.