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Seat #18: Werribee

Werribee4-2PP-zoomWerribee is a safe Labor seat in south-western Melbourne, covering Werribee and Wyndham Vale. Werribee is a newly-created seat, taking in areas previously contained in Tarneit and Lara.

Labor MP Tim Pallas, who has held Tarneit since 2006, will be running in Werribee. The seat has a margin of 11.4% for Labor.

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Werriwa – a century of shifting boundaries

Werriwa boundaries, 1900 redistribution. Click to enlarge.

Werriwa boundaries, 1900 redistribution. Click to enlarge.

Gough Whitlam represented the federal electorate of Werriwa from a 1952 by-election until his resignation in 1978. The electorate has a long history of being held by Labor, ever since the 1930s. From 1934 until 2005, the seat was only held by four MPs, three of whom rose to a high rank in the federal ALP. Gough Whitlam from 1952 to 1978, and then John Kerin from 1978 to 1994 and Mark Latham from 1994 to 2005. Kerin served as Treasurer in the Hawke government, and Latham led the ALP to the 2004 election. From 1954 to 2005, every change of MP in Werriwa took place at a by-election.

The 2005 by-election was won by Chris Hayes, who held the seat until 2010. In 2010, he shifted to the seat of Fowler, immediately north of Werriwa, and Laurie Ferguson, who had represented Reid since 1990, took over Werriwa.

I have a particular personal interest in Werriwa. I lived in the electorate for most of my life until 2010, and ran in the electorate in 2004 and at the 2005 by-election.

Werriwa is a particularly fascinating seat, and that’s what I want to cover today.

Werriwa has existed continuously as a federal electorate since 1901, but the seat covers a very different area today to its original territory in 1901. Werriwa originally covered a large part of southern New South Wales, including Lake George (which gives the seat its name) and what is now the northern suburbs of Canberra.

With the use of historical maps, I’m going to trace how Werriwa shifted regions gradually over time, moving from a southern NSW rural electorate to a suburban seat in south-western Sydney.

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Seat #17: Sydenham

Sydenham1-2PPSydenham is a safe Labor seat in western Melbourne, covering Calder Park, Delahey, Hillside, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Hill, Taylors Lakes and Sydenham. Sydenham is a new name for the seat of Keilor which underwent relatively minor changes.

Labor MP Natalie Hutchins has held Keilor since 2010, and she holds the seat by an 11.5% margin.

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Seat #16: Tarneit

Tarneit1-2PPTarneit is a safe Labor seat in south-western Melbourne, covering Laverton North, Tarneit, Truganina and Williams Landing and most of Hoppers Crossing.

Tarneit has been held by Labor MP Tim Pallas, since 2006.

Tarneit has been significantly changed by the recent redistribution, shifting away from Werribee and gaining areas from Altona. Sitting Tarneit MP Tim Pallas will be running in the new seat of Werribee, and Telmo Languiller, Labor MP for Derrimut, will move to Tarneit. With an 11% Labor margin, Languiller should have little trouble winning Tarneit.

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Seat #15: Altona

Altona1-2PPAltona is a safe Labor seat in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Altona covers the suburbs of Altona, Altona Meadows, Laverton, Point Cook, Seabrook and Seaholme.

Labor’s Jill Hennessy has held the seat since 2010, and she holds the seat by a 12.4% margin.

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