Wollondilly – NSW 2019

LIB 17.3%

Incumbent MP
Jai Rowell, since 2011.

Wollondilly covers most of Wollondilly Shire, as well as northern parts of the Southern Highlands. Wollondilly particularly covers Appin, Bargo, Bowral, Douglas Park, Hill Top, Mittagong, Nattai, Picton, Wilton and Yerrinbool.

The current electoral district was only created for the most recent election in 2007. A previous electoral district with the name of Wollondilly existed from 1904 to 1981.

The seat existed from 1904 to 1981 covering areas between Campbelltown and Bowral, varying at each redistribution. From 1920 to 1925 the district expanded to be a three-member district elected proportionally. This district, while named Wollondilly, it stretched to the coast, covering Wollongong and surrounding areas.

From 1904 to 1978, the single-member district of Wollondilly was always won by the main conservative party, eventually becoming the Liberal Party.

The seat was won in 1957 by the Liberal Party’s Tom Lewis. He became a minister when the Coalition won power in 1965 led by Robert Askin. Lewis became Premier in early 1975 following Askin’s retirement. He only lasted a year, and was replaced in January 1976 by Eric Willis. The Liberals lost power at the 1976 election, and Lewis retired in 1978.

Wollondilly was gained by the ALP’s Bill Knott in 1978. In 1981, Wollondilly was abolished, with much of the seat’s territory forming part of the new seat of Camden. Knott moved to the new seat of Kiama, and held it until his retirement in 1986.

The seat of Wollondilly was restored as part of the redistribution before the 2007 election as a marginal Labor seat with a 4.6% margin, out of pieces of Camden, a marginal Labor seat, and Southern Highlands, a safer Liberal seat.

The seat was won in 2007 by ALP candidate Phil Costa. Costa was the Mayor of Wollondilly Shire, who had been elected to council as an independent with no links to either major party. He originally threatened to stand as an independent if either party preselected a candidate from the Campbelltown part of the seat, but was persuaded to stand for the ALP. Following his preselection announcement Wollondilly Council passed a motion of no confidence, but he refused to resign, and won the seat with a swing of only 1.3% against the ALP.

In 2011, Costa lost to Liberal candidate Jai Rowell, a councillor in the City of Campbelltown. Rowell was re-elected in 2015.


Wollondilly was won by Labor as recently as 2007, but has now become a safe Liberal seat.

2015 result

Jai Rowell Liberal 27,34558.0+2.1
Ciaran O’Brien Labor 11,42924.2+5.3
Patrick Darley-Jones Greens 3,9578.4+1.1
Lynette StylesIndependent1,8213.9+3.9
Susan PinsutiChristian Democrats1,5593.3-0.2
Maria FoiaNo Land Tax1,0732.3+2.3

2015 two-party-preferred result

Jai Rowell Liberal 28,79567.3-4.3
Ciaran O’Brien Labor 13,99432.7+4.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Wollondilly have been split into three parts. Polling places in Wollondilly Shire were split into “Central” and “North”, while those in Wingecarribee Shire were grouped as “South”. All those booths in the south were previously contained in the seat of Goulburn, while all of those in the centre and north were contained in Wollondilly.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 65.4% in the south to 72% in the north.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes66.58,75318.6

Two-party-preferred votes in Wollondilly at the 2015 NSW state election

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  1. Wollondilly ceased to be even theoretically competitive when the last redistribution excised its suburban areas and replaced it with the northern half of the southern highlands; duly adding seven points to the Liberal margin.

    Interesting that Phil Costa is now the Labor candidate for Lyne.


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