Hume – Australia 2019

LIB 10.2%

Incumbent MP
Angus Taylor, since 2013.

Geography
Southern NSW and outer south-western Sydney. Hume is a seat of two parts – the seat covers most of the Camden and Wollondilly areas on the fringe of south-western Sydney, including Camden, Picton, Douglas Park, Appin, Narellan, Mount Annan and Warragamba. Hume also covers Goulburn, Crookwell and Boorowa in rural southern NSW. Hume covers parts of the southern highlands of NSW, connecting the two main population centres in the seat, but most of the towns in the highlands have been excised into the neighbouring seat of Whitlam.

History
Hume is an original federation electorate, and originally covered the NSW border region, including the towns of Albury, Gundagai and Cootamundra.

The seat was first won by William Lyne in 1901. Lyne was a Protectionist and had previously been Premier of New South Wales, and a leading opponent of federation.

Lyne had been originally offered the role of Australia’s first Prime Minister by Governor-General Lord Hopetoun, but failed to form a ministry and instead became a minister in Edmund Barton’s first cabinet.

Lyne served in Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin’s Protectionist cabinets from 1901 to 1904 and 1905 to 1908. Lyne refused to join with Alfred Deakin when the Protectionist and Free Trade parties merged to form the Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909, and served as an independent until 1913.

Lyne was defeated in 1913 by Commonwealth Liberal Party candidate Robert Patten, who held the seat until his retirement in 1917, when the seat was won by Franc Falkiner (LIB), who had previously held the seat of Riverina from 1913 to 1914. Falkiner abandoned Hume in 1919 in an attempt to move to the Senate.

Parker Moloney (ALP) won Hume in 1919. Moloney had previously held the neighbouring seat of Indi in Victoria from 1910 to 1913 and 1914 to 1917.

Moloney held the seat until 1931, when he was defeated by Thomas Collins of the Country Party. This began a period of Hume being a marginal seat between the ALP and the Country Party until 1974.

Collins was defeated by Arthur Fuller (ALP) in 1943, after serving as a minister in Robert Menzies’ first government.

Fuller was defeated in 1949 by Charles Anderson of the Country Party. Fuller won back the seat in 1951, and Anderson won it back again in 1955. Fuller defeated Anderson for the last time in 1961.

Fuller was defeated by John Pettiitt of the Country Party in 1963. Pettitt held the seat until he was defeated by the ALP’s Frank Olley at the 1972 election. Olley was defeated by Stephen Lusher of the Country Party in 1974. This was the last time the seat was held by the ALP, and the margin for future National and Liberal candidates increased to a safer range.

At the 1984 election, a redistribution saw the Liberal member for Farrer and former Fraser government minister Wal Fife challenge Lusher. Lusher came third and his preferences elected Fife.

Fife held the seat until his retirement at the 1993 election, when a redistribution saw the National member for Gilmore, John Sharp, move to Hume. Sharp served as a minister in the first term of the Howard government before his career was claimed by the travel rorts affair, and he retired in 1998.

The 1998 election saw the seat go to Alby Schultz, previously the Liberal member for the state seat of Burrinjuck since 1988. Schultz came first on primary votes, with the National candidate reduced to fourth place behind One Nation.

The 2000 redistribution saw Hume move into the Southern Highlands, and saw Macarthur move into more marginal territory in south-western Sydney. Finance Minister John Fahey, former NSW premier and member for Macarthur, planned to run for preselection in Hume, into which his home base of the Southern Highlands had been redistributed. Fahey, however, decided to retire due to ill-health, freeing up Schultz to run for re-election.

Schultz held Hume for five terms, and retired in 2013. Hume was won in 2013 by Angus Taylor. Taylor was re-elected in 2016.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Hume is a reasonably safe Liberal seat.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Angus Taylor Liberal 51,10353.8-2.5
Aoife Champion-Fashoyin Labor 30,22131.8+6.4
Michaela Sherwood Greens 6,2746.6+1.0
Adrian Van Der BylChristian Democratic Party3,5333.7+1.9
Trevor AnthoneyBullet Train For Australia2,2672.4+2.4
Lindsay D CosgroveCitizens Electoral Council1,5301.6+0.7
Informal5,3115.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Angus Taylor Liberal 57,12760.2-3.4
Aoife Champion-Fashoyin Labor 37,80139.8+3.4

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into six parts. Polling places in the town of Goulburn and in the Camden council area have been grouped together. Other polling places in the Goulburn Mulwaree council area and in the southern parts of the southern highlands have been grouped as “South”, while those to the west of Goulburn have been grouped as “West”.

Polling places in the Wollondilly and northern Wingecarribee council areas have been split into east and north-east.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all six areas, ranging from 53.3% in Goulburn to 67.2% in the west.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Camden59.721,10224.2
East57.417,64920.3
Goulburn53.39,39910.8
North-East66.68,5369.8
West67.24,8355.5
South59.53,9274.5
Other votes60.110,74312.3
Pre-poll62.218,73721.5

Two-party-preferred votes in Hume at the 2016 federal election

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50 COMMENTS

  1. They really made a bit of a mess of the boundaries around here. Two almost disconnected halves, stretching from Camden to Boorowa, with the Southern Highlands taken out and put in a different seat.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next time, as the pattern of seats in this part of NSW can’t really continue.

  2. Mark Mulcair
    Yes. I was going to say the exact same thing. Unfortunately this pattern should never have started, nor been persisted with. Sadly it is likely that the morons at the AEC will continue with this stupidity.

  3. Eden Monaro might not survive the next redistribution now that the AEC has dropped their reverence for Federation names, and the most recent redistribution seemed like an attempt to turn it into an “Area surrounding Canberra” seat. Parts of this seat (at the very least towns like Gunning and Collector) would make sense with Yass, Queanbeyan and the Monaro.

    The “Camden” half is likely to grow significantly and form the backbone of an outer suburban seat (and possibly a marginal one).

  4. John
    E-M will always be saved by being in the corner. With the way the AEC changes incrementally, Nothing much will change. Dealing with the Whitlam,Hume, Macarthur mess is very problematic.

    Fundamentally Hume ought be based on the Southern Highlands, & not much closer to Sydney than that. Whether we then go to Goulburn or Picton is Debatable. Does my head in. Mark Mulcair will know !

  5. Yes, in an ideal world, the Southern Highlands would be in Hume (or a Macarthur that was more rural), and the western parts of E-M would be in Farrer or Riverina.

    On the other hand, you can’t really stretch Hume, Whitlam or E-M any further.

    So it will be interesting to see how that’s going to work.

  6. The problem is there’s only a few corridors the AEC can use to equalise the numbers between Sydney seats and country seats so Hume tends to get pushed and pulled in different directions. If I remember correctly, last time the AEC was also very keen to avoid having a seat straddle the Sutherland – Wollongong boundary, so they needed to find extra population for the 4 coastal seats, leading to the Southern Highlands mess.

  7. I concur that Hume is poorly drawn. It’s basically non-contiguous in terms of its actual travel routes.

    The solution would be to reduce the Sutherland shire/Illawarra/south coast seats from six to five. You’d think it ought to be possible given the number of “top up” areas there are here – Yass/Snowies (Eden-Monaro), Southern Highlands (Whitlam), Liverpool (Hughes) and St George (Cook). I think the numbers didn’t quite work last time; maybe they will next time.

  8. Whitlam could drop the southern highlands and pick up the northern, more “Illawarra” parts of Gilmore.

    Gilmore could then sprawl down to the VIctorian border and maybe even take in the Bega Valley.

    “Eden Monaro” (name would need to change) would then have spare capacity to absorb the “Canberra region” parts of Hume and free up taking the Southern Highlands.

  9. I confess my knowledge of this stuff is very limited. That said, I’m very apprehensive about anything which alters the dynamic of the Shire seats. It’s bad enough that Cook jumped the river last time. Anyone who lives here will tell you that St George and the Shire are very different places with very different people.

    I know the numbers are inescapable but…

    For the record, not a post protesting against any proposed changes, I realise that sometimes expediency must prevail. More like a general comment bemoaning and lamenting the situation.

  10. Yes I agree that the solution involves a total redrawing of the region. The problem seats are Cunningham and Whitlam. There just aren’t enough people in this part of the Illawarra for 2 seats. So you have three options: Whitlam expands into the Southern Highlands, Cunningham expands into the Shire or Gilmore pushes south. For some reason the latter option hasn’t been pursued before, but I think it’s best. Eden-Monaro becomes more inland, and Hume takes in the remainder of the Southern Highlands, while (sensibly I think) we keep the Sutherland and Wollongong seats separate.

  11. Ben
    Yes. You are absolutely correct. There is nothing wrong with placing the entire Kiama LGA in Whitlam. However that is only about 12000 voters i think ? Ami correct in thinking that about 30000 are required to replace the southern highlands ?
    Apparently the wollongong seats are now growing strongly. Consequently i figure only about 10000 odd voters would need to be found from the shire.
    Altogether surely this would be a better overall outcome, though far from ideal.

  12. I see no reason why you can’t have a seat straddling Sutherland shire and the Illawarra. The state seat of Heathcote does exactly this.

  13. David Walsh
    The reason why not, is that the AEC have tunnel vision about taking Cunningham, into the Shire. Of course you are absolutely correct, & they are completely stupid.

  14. Heathcote does straddle the border (as does Cunningham) but neither of them penetrate deep into both urban areas, they just cover some fringe areas. I don’t think it would work to have a seat which is split 50/50 between Sutherland and Wollongong.

    The much better solution is to push Whitlam into Gilmore, and Gilmore into Eden-Monaro.

  15. In an ideal world, I’d remove all of the ‘inland’ parts of E-M (Tumut, Tumba, Yass) and Whitlam (Southern Highlands), remove all of Liverpool from Hughes, and confine Cook south of the river. That would probably leave enough for just 5 seats, while also providing enough inland territory to the low-growth Divisions in the west of the state. And you’d get better boundaries through south-western Sydney.

    The alternative is to abolish an inland Division and do something like putting Goulburn into E-M. Then Macarthur would drag right back out to its pre-2001 boundaries. That could work.

  16. Mark Mulcair
    Yeah OK, but it will probably go in a complete opposite way !

    The way i see it, by 2022 population growth in the inner city will create a “suction”effect eastwards for most seats, in a cascading fashion.

    It is pretty likely Barton, or Watson, will be drawn strongly into the inner city. Then there will be the flow on. Probably Hughes will be dragged over the river again into Banks.

    Consequently most of the western seats south of the M4 would be dragged east too. Interestingly in this kind of scenario, Macarthur, & Hume become the fulcrums, & pivot points of the movements.

    I just feel that the construction of Hume is untenable. Forcing the Highlands into Whitlam, & splitting the electorate in two is a diabolical outcome. It simply fails all, & any measurement, or standard.

  17. I understand (having worked with a former A-G) that when they sit down to draw the maps they start at the most inflexible geographic boundary, normally the state border and work away from it, getting to a point where a compromise from the ideal has to be made. Its not clear what the Commissioners were trying to achieve last time, as they seem to have made at east 4 very un-ideal compromises in the South East, all mentioned above.

    Perhaps the best place to start is with Hughes. Straddling the Shire – Liverpool border seems to me (having grown up in the middle suburbs of the Shire) as equally un-ideal as any other border mentioned above – it would make more sense to go into Banks than go to Liverpool. However, start at Alfords Point bridge and work south and east, taking Hughes as for into Wollongong LGA as appropriate. Having friends in Helensburgh, I can’t see it being a problem in a Shire seat – most of the residents are Shire refugees anyway and many held north for work. Though I do dislike Cook going into St. George, at least people in the east of the Shire travel through that area for work, etc. (And as mentioned above it seems unavoidable with Barton being pulled further north). This effectively makes the important border the southern edge of Hughes.

    With all the suggestions of moving Gilmore south, why not effectively merge E-M, without its un-ideal western areas, with Gilmore, leaving the name as E-M. The name Gilmore can either be abolished or re-used in Whitlam (without the Southern Highlands), freeing up Whitlam for a seat based on the Southern Highlands and moving Hume south. The issue then becomes where the Hume/E-M boundary is, trying to keep Queanbeyan in one or the other – Queanbeyan is not really the Monaro region, so there shouldn’t be a desperate attempt to keep it in E-M.

  18. High Street
    Sorry i don’t agree. Hughes isn’t the best place to start. The reason being, is that unless wholesale changes are made to Cunningham, (& Whitlam) there will be no pressure on much change to Hughes.

    iF there is movement in boundaries it will be more concentrated in Hume, & macarthur. It comes down to the quantum of “push or pull” factors . There is also more utility for movement there.

    For example 2 pull factors were putting Broken Hill into Parkes. This meant under quota Farrer (30000+) drained Riverina, along with E-M, needing about another 10000+. These could only come from Hume. Therefore Hume went looking (for numbers) from Macarthur. So they both were pulled strongly north, towards the city.

    The only person that would be happy with this outcome would be that insufferable dill, Dr Mike Freelander. You know, that idiot who compared Nauru to (presumably Nazi) concentration camps. I regard that as being just as insulting, as someone asking me when i stopped beating my wife.

    It is the responsibility of ALL our elected representatives, to UPLIFT our country, not to run it down, & denigrate our people. That moron deserves the strongest condemnation. IDIOT !!!

  19. There’d be ways to establish a real “Canberra region” community of interest such as by looking at how many people living in towns work in Canberra as federal public servants, or the correlation of real estate prices in towns to Canberra real estate prices. I think the inland portions of the “Canberra region” (So maybe Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan, Cooma and the towns surrounding those 4) would make for a good seat and I think should be a priority in the next redistribution.

    There’d also be meaningful ways to distinguish between “Sydney” and “not-Sydney”/”Southern Highlands” in the northern half of this seat, and which areas of the south coast are more closely connected to Illawarra.

  20. John
    Why in God’s name would we be concerned about Canberra ? . For christ’s sake they have 2 Senators, & 3 HoRs !!!. How is that not enough ?. As far as i am concerned the over represented, self important, overprivileged territorians, can get nicked.

    Btw the AEC has always adamantly resisted Goulburn, & Queanbeyan being in the same seat, so this will never happen. Practically speaking this would also completely retard the use of the Hume Hwy corridor, as a kind of shock absorber, for movement of population in the E-W direction

  21. How on earth do you figure the ACT is over represented? The current 2 seats have by a long way the most voters of any electorates in the country! Could it be you’re not happy because most Canberra voters vote Labor?

    Anyway, John’s suggestion related to voters who are not in the ACT, but are part of the broader capital region, that look to Canberra, rather than Sydney, as the closest city and the site of many of the regional facilities that they need to use (hospitals, schools, universities etc) as well as the jobs that many of them commute to. Clearly there is a community of interest between voters in the areas mentioned.

  22. Chris
    Having trouble with your arithmetic ? Fenner,+Canberra, +Bean = 3 That is 3 !. For 280,000 voters. That is an average of just over 90000 voters per seat. Only the NT & Tas have lower constituent numbers.
    These are FACTS. Canberra IS OBSCENELY overrepresented.

    Of course most beurocrats, & their fellow travellers vote labor. Where is the big secret in that ? Am i such an idiot as to have some kind of illusion about it ?

    As for the rest, you have clearly failed to comprehend the broad thrust of what i said. Particularly with respect to how the electoral boundaries have been drawn, & will be in the future.

  23. There’s no need to shout. I specifically referred to the “current” seats. The fact that there will be 3 at the next election is well known.

    Canberrans have had to deal with falling just under 2.5 quotas for the last 20 years, so we have only had 2 seats. Now we are over 2.5, there will be 3 at the next election (but not until then).That’s just the way it works, and the average seat size with 3 electorates will be closer to the national average than it is with 2.

  24. Chris
    I was not shouting. Merely emphasising my point. Focusing exclusively on HoR is disingenuous, There are 2 Senators too. That is a huge representation for a couple of hundred thousand people.

    If you are concerned with equity in Representation, the Senate is the Elephant in the room. I think we ought to focus on Tasmania, & SA, before we get distracted with HoR Representation minutiae for the poor put upon Territorians.

    My salient challenge seems to have been lost along the way. The ACT simply should not exist. It is a very costly anachronism of Federation, & ought to be absorbed into NSW immediately.

    Then, & only then will you have a very real case for your 3 Canberra centric seats. In fact that would be extremely interesting in many ways.

  25. We went over this in the Lyons thread. Once you factor in Senators, the ACT will (as of the next election) have more voters per MHR/Senator than WA, SA, Tas & NT.

  26. The ACT has fewer senators per capita than Tasmania, NT and South Australia and is about on par with WA. However there being only 2 senators almost guarantees there’ll be a Labor Senator and a Liberal Senator, essentially “cancelling out” the representation. The Greens came close in 2010 and 2013, but their own senate reforms have made it near impossible for them in the ACT in the foreseeable future. Single Transferrable Vote doesn’t really stack up for filling 2 vacancies; 3 would be much fairer as odd numbers are better in general for proportional representation (I also support 7 in each half election). The only electorally interesting contest will be Liberals vs Greens for 2nd place in Canberra (and if the latter happens, Greens could take the seat eventually).

    But I’m not talking about increasing ACT representation, just finding a relevant community of interest of people in South Eastern NSW.

  27. Alex J .

    That is not the case WRT to WA. However the discussion is about, all the whining, & complaining of the so- called “underrepresentation of the ACT.

    What a JOKE. Look at the UNDERREPRESENTATION of the Largest states. That is what is important. The self importance, & ego centricity of Canberrans is unbelievable, & entirely unfounded.

    Territorians think that because Parliament is located there that they are somehow important. The true reality is absolutely otherwise. In fact very little of importance is produced in Canberra, or has any connection to the rest of the country. The reality is that Canberra is lead in the saddlebags of the nation, & a sinkhole for money resources, & energies.

    Seeing as there seems to be some sort of comprehension issue, i’ll put forward the inverse argument.

    What if for instance NSW had the same RATIO of representation as the ACT ??. That would mean NSW receive about another 10 seats = 58 in the HoR ,& another 8 senators = 20 Now Does that sound representative to anyone ?? Let alone fair, & equitable ?.

    How do we reckon that would go down ??

  28. I agree with most comments that the south east of NSW, from the Shire to the border and including the Southern Highlands has been poorly drawn. The last Redistribution made things much worse. From its creation in 1922 until 2016, Barton’s southern border had always been the Georges River. Eden Monaro, a Federation Division had only once crossed the other side of the Great Dividing Range and then for just one election, 2007, when it took Tumut and Tumbarumba. But in 2016 it regained these areas plus Yass.

    The only explanation I can think of for the perimeter changes made last time is that the Commissioners had an idee fixe that Cunningham not encroach into the Shire. The flow on effects of the Commissioners obsession included that Gilmore’s margin for the Libs was boosted by 1.1%, enough to give ‘lucky’ Ann Sudmalis a second term.

    Toting up the additions to Eden Monaro and Cook plus the Southern Highlands component in Whitlam gives you on last times numbers two thirds of a seat. The addition of the Liverpool LGA part in Hughes means everything added up is almost a whole Division. So, yes the six coastal seats running from Cook to Eden Monaro should really be five.

    NSW’s population growth is at pace with the national average. The next Redistribution for NSW isn’t scheduled until February, 2023 which means we’re stuck with these boundaries for some time yet.

    Since 1984, the year Goulburn was detached from Eden Monaro, (Queanbeyan, Goulburn and the far south coast had been together from 1934), the Southern Highlands via the Hume Highway has been the main lung of Sydney in the sense of electoral numbers the way it breathes in and out. Until 1969, when Hornsby was removed and the Hawkesbury River was determined as the southern boundary, the seat of Robertson had partially performed that role via the Pacific Highway. And the Great Western Highway was also an outlet for Sydney’s growth from 1913-77 when Macquarie ran from Bathurst to Penrith.

    It’s too soon to say, even with the abolition of a south coast seat to say how in the future the Southern Highlands is drawn. It’s dependent on the numbers from the Hawkesbury River to the Queensland border, (where the outlet is via the new England Highway) plus the country as well as Sydney.

  29. Shane Easson
    What a fascinating post. It is a cogent POV, & to fully appreciate it i was forced to do 2 things.

    1/ forget most of your previous posts, which were highly partisan because
    2/ don’t you have some strong, & historical, connection to the ALP ?

    3/ No doubt Shane, you are still understandably peeved, that the AEC did not adopt all your suggestions, for the last NSW Redistribution.

    4/ Your plan would have handed 5, not 3 seats to the ALP. Therefore we could now have a different govt. That is quite a big deal isn’t it ?

  30. winediamond

    Clearly the regular commenters here all have certain political biases. I think it’s unfair to dismiss comments, especially fairly dry ones about redistributions, for that reason. I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve with that contribution.

  31. John
    That is all very well, & fine. However If memory serves, Shane actually works for the ALP. It wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge the special interest.

    I did immediately acknowledge the cogency, & interest of the post. So i don’t get how you believe iv’e been unfair, or “dismissed comments “, dry, or otherwise.

    Maybe you weren’t around when the NSW Redistribution was on. Shane actually criticised Mark Mulcair, & virtually accused him of bias, & being partisan. !!. Mark Mulcair is scrupulously fair, neutral, & to the subject at hand. It was pretty bizarre.

    Does that make a little more sense ?

  32. It’s very obvious that major party submissions are about improving their own position above anything else. I don’t have a problem with that, it’s just that it’s kind of silly and childish to pretend it’s anything different.

    Labor’s Objections to the Victorian redistribution gratuitously boost the Labor margin in about 5-6 marginal seats. The Liberals make some borderline-ridiculous changes in rural Victoria purely to shore up their own margin in Corangamite. None of these changes improve community of interest, but parties spend all this time going through the motions of pretending this is anything other than blatant self-interest.

    You see a similar thing in this part of NSW, where there are lots of traditional marginal seats (EM, Gilmore, Hughes, Macarthur) and both parties are always trying to engineer a favourable outcome for themselves.

    I believe that this stuff is why we end up with ‘bad’ boundaries. It seems to me that the AEC sometimes just gives up and avoids making necessary changes because of all the argument. There’s no doubt that the AEC’s proposals in Victoria greatly improve community of interest (with a few minor adjustments), but both major parties want to undo it all because it doesn’t suit them politically.

  33. It seems like an extraordinary amount of effort, both to draw the boundaries that slightly advantage their chosen party, and then to retroactively justify it in their submissions. All for things that are transparent in their intent.

    It doesn’t even seem purposeful. In the ongoing ACT Redistribution, the Canberra Liberals are fighting tooth and nail for their consensus defying redistribution. This is despite them running dead in the ACT lower house seasts, and the ACT being near uniformly Labor leaning (Federally at least).

    As Mark suggests, the major parties would be better off not signalling that they want redistributions a certain way, to avoid sensible boundary changes being associated with their partisan whims.

    Seeing the major party submissions at least makes me thankful that we have processes to limit gerrymandering.

  34. The problem doesn’t just come from the Party submissions though, but also campaigns by groups who are generally associated with one of the Parties (often enlisting outside forces) to achieve a particular outcome – such as the ridiculous and blatant attempt to overturn the suggested changes to Flinders and Dunkley – all for the purpose of keeping one strongly Liberal suburb in a marginal seat.

  35. The proposal to reverse the changes to Flinders and Dunkley do have beneficial outcomes elsewhere, though. As seen in Jeff Waddell’s very elegant and well thought out submission.

  36. John,

    Yes it’s pretty obvious what the Canberra Liberals are doing. The new boundaries split the better Liberal areas in southern Canberra between two seats, so they’re trying to shoe-horn them all into one seat. But this turns their proposed Bean into a shocker of a seat. I know they’ve got to fly the flag, but they could have made an effort to be a bit less blatant than that.

  37. Would people like a special thread about redistributions? This has come to dominate the Hume thread (mind you I don’t know what else would be discussed here).

  38. Ben
    Nice of you to offer. However it is probably most relevant when there are redistributions underway. I don’t think it is really an issue in itself, just that Hume is a kind of fulcrum, of the AEC’s idiocy.

  39. I’ve written all NSW ALP submissions for Federal Redistributions since 1984.For a few years, I also have written ALP submissions for Victoria including the current Federal Redistribution.

    My views on the south east of NSW are sincerely held. You’ll find that in NSW that in all the years I’ve been doing these things I’ve never written a proposal that crosses either the Georges or Hawkesbury Rivers. For the Central Coast-the North Coast, no ALP submission has ever sought to cross the Great Divide except via the New England Highway. In the South East, we’ve never sought to have E-M straddle both sides of the Great Divide and we always attempt to remove the Southern Highlands from Throsby, (now Whitlam).

    It’s possible for a political party to adopt and adhere over the decades to a strong set of principles based on the community of interests criteria. There are in NSW a series of connection points between the Regions: The New England Highway for the inland country and the North Coast-Central Coast; The Hume Highway for Sydney and the Country and we think there should be one outlet, (now that Palerang Council is fully in E-M), via Liverpool Council as has been traditional.

    For Victoria we also have developed a strong set of principles. The ALP suggestions attempted to keep rural areas together. EG We united Bass Coast Council,(currently split with Flinders) into McMillan,(now called Monash, in accordance with our suggestion).

    We also tried to keep the Interface Councils, (outer urban) together, as far as practicable. In these areas, there were two main breaches in the Committee’s proposal from what we suggested. Lalor’s surplus was sent to Gellibrand instead of into Gorton. We’re not challenging this as it does create Fraser as a Brimbank Council Division and Maribyrnong as a more Moonee Valley C seat. It may change but on current trends, (Lalor’s surplus continuing to be sent to Gellibrand), then Gellibrand will eventually become a Hobsons Bay/Wyndham Council Division.

    Also, we would have preferred that the Nillumbik surplus, (west and north of the Yarra is about 1.2+ quotas) be transferred into Casey. That arrangement would have been preferable, (outer urban Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik LGA’s), than the Committee’s proposal to send the northern surplus into Menzies.

    Whatever anyone’s quibbles about the ALP’s submissions in Victoria it’s untrue to suggest we haven’t adhered to a set of principles.

    Mark Mulcair, I think it’s unreasonable of you to use pejorative words to describe our submission and not expect the ball to bounce back. Take our differences in the south east of Melbourne. In your suggestion, you proposed that Bass Coast, defined as a rural LGA be placed in Flinders. The Committee, as the ALP recommended has united Bass Coast in Monash which has become more truly rural by losing Pakenham to La Trobe.

    Your objections to Dunkley and Flinders, whilst no doubt sincerely held, I think create greater community of interest problems than the ones you purport to solve. Under the Committee’s proposal, Mornington Peninsula Shire, which has too many electors to fit into a single Division and Frankston Council, which has too few electors to fit into a single Division are combined into two Divisions. All of Frankston C is united in Dunkley plus the surplus of Mornington residual to making Flinders entirely a Mornington Peninsula Shire.

    But you seek to retain in Flinders the southern parts of Casey C which are proposed to go to Holt. Yet these suburbs, (Cranbourne South, Botanic Ridge, Pearcedale and Devon Meadows) are all serviced by Cranbourne, not the Mornington Peninsula. Their community services, local newspapers (all of them) and public transport connections are overwhelmingly linked to Cranbourne. They have few transport, community or services links with the Mornington Peninsula.

    Is what I’ve written a fact or self-serving nonsense? Is breaking up Frankston four ways as the Liberals suggest or three ways as you and Jeff Waddell propose the best way to arrange communities of interests? Is putting three Council areas into Flinders a better thing than just the Mornington Peninsula?

    Following the 2016 election, the ALP needed 51% 2PP to win a majority of seats. Given that most elections are decided in the 48-52% range that was a tough ask. Now, with all the redistribution changes- VIC, SA and the ACT, the ALP needs 50.6%. Even if you apportion the five non major Party seats: Clark and Melbourne to the ALP and Mayo, Indi and Kennedy to the Coalition), the ALP still needs 50.2% 2PP to win Government.

    Finally, I think in Victoria with Colac-Otway and in Dunkley that the Liberals are gaming the system. Currently, the AEC is proposing that all objectors including the major parties be given just five minutes each to speak at the hearings. In theory, the Ukrainian ambassador will be given the same amount of time as the party holding a majority of seats.
    It will be a terrible thing to allow squeaky wheels to dominate the public hearings. But that appears the way we’re headed.

  40. Mark Mulcair, what I want to know is why they bother with the flag flying exercise in seats they have no intention of running a serious campaign in.

    Their proposed Canberra (the seat maximising the Liberal vote) actually looks quite similar to the existing seat of Canberra, a seat where I don’t think the candidate did a single bit of campaigning. There was one mailout and some signs, but only during the campaign material surge a couple of weeks before the election, in a time when I think the internal polls had the Greens seriously threatening Zed and the local Liberals didn’t want to help factional rival Peter Hendy.

  41. Thanks Shane for a very informative contribution.

    It is said the most convincing lies stick as closely to the truth as possible. I think the same can be said for redistribution proposals. A good rule is to concentrate your efforts on areas where community of interest deficiencies in the current boundaries also result in a partisan disadvantage. I think this is what the ALP has done in Dunkley. The existing Flinders boundaries do not make sense on community of interest considerations, but they significantly contribute to the Liberal Party’s hold on Dunkley. Once the (apolitical) merits of rationalising Flinders are accepted, the (very politically significant) knock on effects to Dunkley become inevitable.

    The same could be said for the re-alignment between McMillan and Gippsland about 10 years back and between Kalgoorlie / Durack and O’Connor two elections ago. These both rationalised longstanding, but deficient boundaries and in both cases changed the equation from: one safe LNP / one marginal LNP to: two safe LNP seats.

    An obvious opportunity for the Liberals in future (but not the Nationals), would be to recommend the abolition of Murray which bottles up ultra-safe conservative areas. Its abolition would almost certainly lead to Echuca being placed in Bendigo and turning a reliably Labor marginal into a reliably Liberal one. It would also likely flip McEwen. Probably for political considerations of not wanting to be seen recommending the abolition of a country seat, they have never pursued this angle.

    On another note, isn’t the re-naming of McMillan with name of a geographic (council) area in South-East Melbourne going to create confusion? Surely it would have been better to rename McMillan as LaTrobe and find a new name for the current LaTrobe? The name Monash should not be used unless it can adequately cover the Oakleigh / Waverley area. The name Casey presents the same problem, but at least this was already in use when the council name was adopted in the 1990’s.

  42. Ben I think it’s fine to leave this as an unofficial “bad redistributions” thread because the seats you’re publishing at the moment are very much safe seats. Wipe the comments if Angus Taylor has a major scandal or Mark Latham puts his hand up to run for the Liberal Democrats – IIRC he lives in the electorate.

  43. Peter

    Casey has the exact same problem they’re creating with Monash. There are also plenty of examples looking interstate.

    On the other side of the coin, parts of Maribyrnong are in Gellibrand, and parts of Maribyrnong are in Moonee Valley and Brimbank, but parts of Maribyrnong are indeed in Maribyrnong.

    I still react to the many overlaps between Canberra suburbs and Federal Electorates sometimes.

  44. Shane Easson you make good points that stand up, and it is good to have a consistent set of principles. However the best counter argument to those who accuse you of bias, or proof that those principles are being strictly kept, would be an example of an electoral change suggested by Labor (or any of the political parties) which would actually hurt their chances.

    It’s very rare for political parties to suggest electoral changes or reforms that actually hurt them. The only possible example I can think of is the Greens supporting the senate reforms despite those reforms making the ACT senate seat unwinnable for them, but that’s probably counterbalanced by making tough seats like SA and Queensland more winnable in a half election. Similarly, Labor not supporting those changes would be an example, although I think that was a political tactic to tether the Greens to the Liberals

  45. All I will say is this:

    Labor’s Victorian Objection proposes:

    Exchanging a chunk of Greater Dandenong (70% Labor voting area) for Dingley (Liberal leaning) in marginal Isaacs.

    Exchanging Wheelers Hill (65% Liberal) for part of Greater Dandenong (70% Labor) in now-marginal Hotham.

    Placing Labor-leaning Chadstone and Oakleigh East into marginal Chisholm.

    Exchanging Sunbury (marginal Labor) for Craigieburn (70% Labor) in marginal McEwen.

    The Liberals redraw the whole of rural Victoria in order to return Colac (65% Liberal) to marginal Corangamite/Cox, and remove 50-50 Golden Plains.

    The Liberals’ changes to Dunkley are also worse than the proposal from Jeff Waddell or Martin Gordon.

    You can say all these things are just pure coincidences, that these are all ‘principled’ arguments that just happen to magically boost each party’s political position in key marginal seats.

    Or you could take a somewhat more cynical view of the situation.

  46. Interesting Poll in Hume;

    LIB – 41.8
    ALP – 26.9
    ONP – 10.4
    GRN – 6.6
    OTHER – 14.3

    Intersting a big other vote (presumably Christians, and Shotoers, Fishers and Farmers) plus a big one nation vote.

    TPP – 57 – 43

    Still safe seat but big shift in primary votes

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