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New South Wales draft state redistribution

Proposed new state electoral boundaries for New South Wales create a new inner-city seat at the expense of one in the state’s south.

A proposal for a redistribution of New South Wales’ state electoral boundaries has been published, the major change being that the metropolitan area gains a seat at the expense of the rest of the state. The new seat has been created in the inner city, with Marrickville divided between the new seats of Newtown in the east and Summer Hill in the west. Considerable rearrangement in the outer inland suburbs causes Menai, Smithfield and Toongabbie to be respectively renamed Holsworthy, Prospect and Seven Hills.

The abolition of a rural electorate has been achieved by merging Burrinjuck and Murrumbidgee into Cootamundra. Murrumbidgee’s western half is absorbed by Murray, the name of which changes from Murray-Darling to register the transfer of the state’s north-western corner by Barwon. The eastern part of Burrinjuck is absorbed by Goulburn. Part of Goulburn’s territory is in turn absorbed by Wollondilly, with knock-on effects in Sydney’s outer south-west.

Maps of the proposed boundaries can be viewed here. The redistribution commissioners will now receive suggestions and objections to the proposals until July 17.

UPDATE: A proposal for a redistribution of New South Wales’ state electoral boundaries has been published, the major change being that the metropolitan area gains a seat at the expense of the rest of the state. The new seat has been created in the inner city, with Marrickville divided between the new seats of Newtown in the east and Summer Hill in the west. Considerable rearrangement in the outer inland suburbs causes Menai, Smithfield and Toongabbie to be respectively renamed Holsworthy, Prospect and Seven Hills.

The abolition of a rural electorate has been achieved by merging Burrinjuck and Murrumbidgee into Cootamundra. Murrumbidgee’s western half is absorbed by Murray, the name of which changes from Murray-Darling to register the transfer of the state’s north-western corner by Barwon. The eastern part of Burrinjuck is absorbed by Goulburn. Part of Goulburn’s territory is in turn absorbed by Wollondilly, with knock-on effects in Sydney’s outer south-west.

Maps of the proposed boundaries can be viewed here. The redistribution commissioners will now receive suggestions and objections to the proposals until July 17.

UPDATE: Antony Green has published his estimated margins. The change from Toongabbie to Seven Hills has been particularly significant, creating a seat with a notional Liberal margin of 8.5% (through the absorption of Northmead and Winston Hills from Baulkham Hills) from one that had been safe enough for Labor that Nathan Rees was able to retain it in the 2011 landslide. The Liberals have been strengthened in Campbelltown, Oatley and Wollondilly, but Holsworthy is weaker for the Liberals than Menai which it replaces – and of course there is now one less conservative electorate in the country and one extra “left” electorate in the city.

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  • 1
    edward o
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Sensible redistribution. Wrt the inner city shuffling, Redfern (where I live) is increasingly more associated with the Inner West covered by the proposed Newtown than the Botany Bay suburbs (especially because of the train links), so the new seat is well-located and suitably named.

    Not wild about renaming the cut-up Marrickville to Summer Hill, though. Marrickville is a much-better-known name. Sure, it’s now in the south-east corner of the electorate, but it still contributes a large amount of the area and population of the proposed Summer Hill. I reckon the suburbs in the proposed Summer Hill are a better fit for the name Marrickville than some of the suburbs like Darlington that are in it now. It’s true that the shape and character of the electorate has changed a lot, and the new name will make people aware that they’ve been redistributed and help them turn up to the right polling place and all that, but I still think the name’s worth keeping.

  • 2
    edward o
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    What I mean is, Marrickville is no less representative of the redrawn seat than Drummoyne (the suburb) is of Drummoyne (the seat).

  • 3
    shellbell
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I lived in Summer Hill at the time of the 1999 State election. Gee the area was safe Labor in those days.

    Keith Mason QC, from Solicitor General of NSW and Court of Appel president sat on the redistibution committee. Told me how much he enjoyed the work

  • 4
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Antony Green on Twitter points to the significance of the change from Toongabbie to Seven Hills, creating a safe Liberal seat (through the absorption of Northmead and Winston Hills from Baulkham Hills) from one safe enough for Labor that Nathan Rees was able to retain it in the 2011 landslide.

  • 5
    edward o
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Surely the ALP could win Seven Hills at a non-disastrous election though, as far off as one of those might seem.

  • 6
    Mod Lib
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    If I am not mistaken, AG’s pendulum shows that if the ALP win a 10% swing at the next election we will be left with 55 LNP seats to 34 ALP seats.

    That means a 10% swing still leaves the LNP with a hefty margin of 17 seats!
    (when you include the 4 “others” with the opposition).

    Yikes

  • 7
    liyana
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Hard to tell on that map; Is Green Square, included in Newtown?

    Other than that, Newtown looks like it might be a nice prospect for the Greens.

  • 8
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I probably should have linked to this page, which gets you to links for individual electorate maps, including this one for Newtown.

  • 9
    liyana
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks William, that’s much clearer.

  • 10
    Edward Boyce
    Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    edward o,

    I suspect the reason for Marrickville’s name change is because the redistribution has broken the connection to the local council of that name. Previously Marrickville LGA mostly overlapped the district of Marrickville, but now the LGA is split between the proposed districts of Newtown, Summer Hill and Heffron. The commission may have been worried about confusion when no district takes in the majority of Marrickville LGA, so they renamed the district for a locality that isn’t also the name of a council.

  • 11
    meher baba
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Vale Burrinjuck: for several decades an isolated Labor stronghold thanks to some demographic peculiarities and the efforts of the redoubtable Sheahan family.

    I’m sad to see these old NSW rural electorates pulled apart and the pieces welded together in ever-larger portions. I’m old enough to feel a seismic shift in Australisn society over my lifetime: the bush still used to matter when I was young. Nowadays, the demographic focus is increasingly centered on the burgeoning Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern populations of inner and western Sydney and inner, western and northern Melbourne. It has certainly improved the type of food on offer, but it’s a rather startling transformation nevertheless. I recently found myself wandering in a brand new apartment zone in Arncliffe and the area seemed to be inhabited entirely by Chinese, Indians and Muslims: I might as well have been in Singapore!!

    What is the impact of this demographic shift on voting patterns, I wonder? Back in the day, Labor apparatchiks were thrilled at the propensity of these folks to vote Labor. Consequently, the Hawke-Keating Government pushed residential requirements for citizenship down to only two years.

    But my but feeling is that the “ethnic” vote has become increasingly more conservative. Have any studies been done about this I wonder?

  • 12
    mexicanbeemer
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    meher baba

    Interesting you write that, Whitlam apparently was nervous about the Vietnamese for he imaged that they might be attached to the Liberals due to anti communism feeling, focus on family and being active small business owners.

    Yet the Vietnamese have more the most part being solid ALP voters due in part to the Liberals letting out the odd anti Asian comment.

  • 13
    dovif
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    mexicanbeemer

    Not anymore, when places like fairfield council turns blue, the Vietnemese is no longer safe ALP constituency

  • 14
    liyana
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Apparently ALP translates in Chinese to something like ‘communists’ while the Liberal party translates to ‘Freedom’, so if the ALP are serious about attracting the multicultural vote they may want to look into that..

    My Chinese teacher told me that BTW

    Generally I think the votes of most people from Non English speaking backgrounds are determined by the same factors that influence the votes of people of English speaking background. ie family, friends, money and the local media.

  • 15
    meher baba
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Not long ago, a Chinese community leader in Sydney told me that the Chinese community used to largely vote Labor because they didn’t trust the Libs on issues of race. But, the departure of Howard from the political scene has made them much more inclined to vote Liberal: given that the political values of the Liberal Party are far closer than those of Labor to the views of your typical Chinese small business person.

    The Rudd factor kept a lot of the Chinese vote with Labor in 2007, but they then deserted in 2010. Rudd would bring them back but, otherwise, I think they are largely gone.

    Another under-appreciated factor in all of this is the extent to which large portions of the Chinese, Indian and Islamic (from a variety of countries) communities hate unauthorised boat arrivals and support the toughest possible line on them.

    The nature of the “ethnic voter” has changed over the course of a couple of decades. In the 1980s, with some exceptions (eg, Germans and eastern Europeans), the ethic vote was predominantly pro-Labor. But this has changed, and I suspect it would now be at best neutral, if not trending somewhat towards the Coalition. I think a lot of the explanation for what has happened to Labor’s vote in western Sydney in the past few elections can be found in this trend.

    But there doesn’t appear to be any recent statistical information available about this anywhere.

  • 16
    edward o
    Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    To my namesake Mr Boyce,

    Thank you, that does make of course make sense, but there are other Districts who share the name with the council but don’t have borders that are particularly similar. Admittedly, in these cases, the seat is bigger than and contains the majority of the council which is different. In the rental belt, people don’t identify as much with their councils and I’d wager a lot of people ’round here don’t know what council they’re in.

    Population growth in the Inner West might lead to more carving up in a few redistributions time and it wouldn’t surprise me if in 15 years time Marrickville got reunited with at least Petersham and perhaps as Newtown moves inevitably closer to the City (picking up the balance of Erskineville and Alexandria as more people move into Green Square and Zetland causing Heffron to need to contract), and ended up in a different seat to Summer Hill (the suburb). Maybe I just don’t like abolishing names!

  • 17
    Mod Lib
    Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Yet the Vietnamese have more the most part being solid ALP voters due in part to the Liberals letting out the odd anti Asian comment.

    IS this correct?

    My Vietnamese contacts, and there are many, seem to pretty solidly vote Liberal, largely on the history of Fraser helping Vietnamese refugees in the late 70s. That is the kind of thing someone doesn’t forget, and something a parent would likely pass on to children! Not saying it is universal, of course, but from my limited circle of friends and colleagues it seems the majority of Vietnamese vote Liberal.

    Does anyone know of any actual data on this from polling????

  • 18
    mexicanbeemer
    Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Mod Lib

    The comment wasn’t based on current polls but for as long as i can recall Vietnamese Australians have seemed to be solid ALP.

    The suburbs of Richmond and Springvale which have large Vietnamese populations and both have been very solid for the ALP, although Richmond has always been solid ALP.

    Due to recent state elections the voting pattens within the Vietnamese community seem to be changing.

  • 19
    Graeme
    Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    So in party terms the Nats are the only obvious loser from this? Fair enough – it’s perverse that they currently hold almost as many seats as the ALP, given their respective vote shares, bases etc.

  • 20
    Posted Friday, June 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve prepared a publication on the redistribution for the NSW Parliamntary Library on the redistribution. All the gory detail here http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/2013NSWRedistribution:AnalysisofDraftElectoralBoundaries

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