Redistributions Are Here Again

The Australian Electoral Commission has released proposals for the redistribution of New South Wales electorates, as part of it’s regular review to ensure citizens around the country have equally valuable votes.

New South Wales is losing one electorate to Western Australia due to shifts in population growth, so the committee has voted to abolish Hunter on the north coast. New South Wales is now entitled to 47 seats in the House of Representatives.

Locally, the electorate of Throsby, presently held by Labor’s Stephen Jones, is proposed to be renamed Whitlam in honour of the late former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. That electorate’s boundaries are proposed to shift slightly so that it will take in Penrose, Bundanoon and Wingello in addition to the existing towns in Throsby (Bowral, Mittagong, Berrima, Moss Vale, Robertson). On the coast, the electorate will also take in Dunmore from the more southerly Gilmore electorate.

Proposed Boundaries of Whitlam
Proposed Boundaries of Whitlam

Under the proposal, the inland electorate of Hume, held by Liberal Angus Taylor, shrinks considerably in the west so that it will no longer take in the local government areas of Cowra, Young, Harden, Cootamunda and Yass. However, it will extend further into south-western Sydney to add parts of Liverpool, Camden, and adds Appin in Wollondilly Shire. This would mean Hume is largely made up of Wollondilly Shire, half of Wingecarribee Shire, Goulburn Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan and Boorowa.

The revised electorate of Hume
The revised electorate of Hume

The NSW Redistribution Committee notes in their report that inner city electorates of Grayndler, Reid, Wentworth, Chifley, Greenway and Sydney are expected to be over the quota and must shrink in size while rural electorates in the south west of the state need to increase electors. As such: “The supplementation strategy draws the Division of Hume further into the Greater Sydney Region thus allowing the rural electoral divisions south and west of its location to acquire the additional electors required to build those proposed electoral divisions.”

Across NSW, 944,000 electors (about 19%) will change electorates under the proposed boundaries. More information is available from the AEC website.

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