New South Wales Archive

A new seat of Whitlam?

With the recent death of former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, discussion has already started about the possibility of creating a federal electorate bearing his name. With a federal redistribution due for New South Wales in 2015, there appears to be a real possibility that an electorate bearing the name ‘Whitlam’ could be contested for the first time at the 2016 federal election.

Most Westminster parliamentary systems use geographic descriptors to name their electorates. Australian state electorates in most cases take the name of a key suburb in their electorate, and names tend to change often as suburbs shift between seats. New Zealand electorates follow a similar model. Constituencies in the United Kingdom and Canada also use geographic names, but often pair two or more geographic names together if a seat has more than one major centre (eg. Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission in Canada, or Houghton and Sunderland South in the UK).

Australian federal electorates have followed a different naming convention, often using names that are not tied to a particular geographic area and can maintain their ‘identity’ even while some of the suburbs within the seat may change. A majority of federal electorates are named after prominent Australians. There are a number of electorates that still carry the names of geographic areas, but most of these are holdovers from an earlier era, and in most cases are named after major centres (eg. Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Fremantle).

The Australian Electoral Commission issues guidelines for naming divisions, which indicates a preference for naming new divisions after prominent deceased Australians, and in particular suggests naming seats after Prime Ministers. It also looks to protect seats with indigenous names, or with names that date to the first federal Parliament in 1901, and discourages the use of geographic names or duplicating the name of a state electorate.

There is a federal division carrying the surname of every Prime Minister to serve before Gough Whitlam (it’s unclear to me whether the seat of Cook in southern Sydney is solely named for Captain James Cook, or also for former Liberal prime minister Joseph Cook, but there is a seat with the name).

There has been wide variation in how quickly the AEC has acted to create a seat named after a Prime Minister following their death.

  • John Gorton – died 2002, seat of Burke renamed Gorton for 2004 election. Gorton is in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne, whereas John Gorton represented Higgins in the eastern suburbs.
  • William McMahon – died 1988, seat of Prospect renamed McMahon for 2010 election. McMahon is in the western suburbs of Sydney, whereas William McMahon represented Lowe in the inner west. At the 2009 redistribution, the seat of Lowe was renamed Reid, with the seat of Reid effectively abolished.
  • Frank Forde – died 1983, new seat of Forde created in 1984 when Queensland was given five additional electorates. Forde covers the southern fringe of Brisbane around the Logan area, whereas Frank Forde represented Capricornia in central Queensland.
  • John McEwen – died 1980, new seat of McEwen created in 1984 when Victoria was given five additional electorates. McEwen covers rural areas to the north of Melbourne, while John McEwen represented Murray and Indi, both in northern Victoria.
  • Robert Menzies – died 1978, new seat of Menzies created in 1984. Menzies covers parts of Eastern Melbourne, and is adjacent to Robert Menzies’ former seat of Kooyong.
  • Arthur Fadden – died 1973, new seat of Fadden created in 1977. Fadden was first drawn to cover southern Brisbane, but now covers northern parts of the Gold Coast. Arthur Fadden first represented the Darling Downs in southern rural Queensland, and then McPherson, which at the time covered the southern Gold Coast and large areas further west but has since contracted into the Gold Coast.
  • Harold Holt – presumed dead 1967, new seat of Holt created in 1969. Holt is on the south-eastern fringe of Melbourne, whereas Harold Holt represented Higgins in the inner east of Melbourne.

Looking at the five most recent examples, we see some broad trends. Firstly, most Prime Ministers tend to get seats named after them not long after they died – it was less than five years in five out of seven cases. In the case of Robert Menzies, the seat was created six years after his death. Billy McMahon’s case is the only exception – a seat was not created for 21 years after his death.

In the case of the three Prime Ministers who died in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was relatively easy for the Electoral Commission to name seats after them in the 1984 redistribution, which was triggered by the addition of over twenty new seats to the House of Representatives. A large number of prominent Australians were honoured with electorate names, including three Prime Ministers (the longest-serving PM, and two of the shortest-serving PMs).

In the two most recent cases, seats were renamed, rather than a new seat being created. This is likely to be the same in the case of Whitlam.

There is also a trend in terms of what areas are graced with the name of a former Prime Minister. In all cases, the former Prime Minister’s seat lies in the state they represented in the Parliament, but often does not cover the same area. The seats of Menzies, McEwen and Fadden cover roughly similar areas. McMahon is a little bit further away, while Holt, Forde and Gorton cover wildly different areas. You can also see this with earlier Prime Ministers – Edmund Barton represented the Hunter region, but his seat lies in southern Sydney. Billy Hughes represented central Sydney, northern Sydney and briefly Bendigo, but his seat covers parts of south-western Sydney and the Sutherland Shire.

The AEC has also never paid any consideration to giving Prime Ministers’ names to seats that their party now represents – many seats named after Prime Ministers are very safe seats for the opposing party.

So what are the options for a seat named ‘Whitlam’? I think it’s safe to assume that the seat will lie in New South Wales, where Whitlam lived much of his life and where he served as an MP. Conveniently, New South Wales is due for a redistribution next year, due to the NSW population not keeping up with the rest of the country, which will necessitate a reduction of NSW seats in the Parliament from 48 to 47. Unfortunately there is no prospect of New South Wales gaining additional seats in the near future, so a new seat of Whitlam will have to be a new name for an existing seat.

WSseats-WhitlamI also think the best option for a seat of Whitlam lies in Western Sydney, which he represented in Parliament and is particularly seen as connected to the Whitlam legacy. There are a large number of seats in Western Sydney, many of which have good reasons why the AEC would not want to replace the existing name with ‘Whitlam':

  • Werriwa – the seat Gough Whitlam represented from 1952 to 1978. The seat has an indigenous name, and is an original Federation electorate, which may see it saved. On the other hand, ‘Werriwa’ is a reference to Lake George in southern NSW, which was contained in the electorate in 1901. It bears little relevance to the south-western Sydney area that the seat now covers, and Whitlam may make more sense as a seat name.
  • Fowler – immediately north of Werriwa, covering much of the areas that lay in Werriwa when Whitlam sat in Parliament. The seat is named after Lilian Fowler, who was the first female Mayor in Australia when she served as Mayor of Newtown, and then went on to sit as a Lang Labor MP in the NSW state Parliament in the late 1940s. There are very few seats named after women, but she is much less prominent a figure than Gough Whitlam.
  • Hughes - also substantially overlaps with the area Gough Whitlam represented, but is already named after a Prime Minister.
  • McMahon – partially overlaps withthe area Gough Whitlam represented, but is already named after a Prime Minister.
  • Blaxland – Whitlam did not represent this area, but was still a significant beneficiary of the Whitlam legacy. The current name can be confusing, considering the name of the town of Blaxland in the Blue Mountains – quite a long way away from the electorate. It is also worth bearing in mind that this seat could eventually be an appropriate seat to be renamed after Paul Keating when that time comes.
  • Parramatta – An original electorate, but as a geographic name that is also used for the City Council and state electorate (both of which have different boundaries) it can be quite confusing. Previous electoral redistributions have also brought Parramatta close to shifting out of the Parramatta CBD, so a more flexible name may make life easier for the boundary commissioners.
  • Chifley - named after a Prime Minister, and not an area that Whitlam represented.
  • Greenway – named after colonial architect Francis Greenway.
  • Lindsay – named after Australian artist Norman Lindsay.

There are clearly a number of options, none of them perfect, and I expect we will see a variety of submissions by political parties and others during the redistribution process.

To my mind, I think the most likely seats to be renamed are Parramatta or Werriwa. They are the only seats in the region not to be named after a prominent Australian, and while they are both Federation names, their geographic descriptions are either constraining (in the case of Parramatta) or irrelevant (in the case of Werriwa).

I also think there is an outside chance that the commissioners could rename Fowler, Lindsay or Greenway, as those seats are not already named after Prime Ministers.

What do you think?

Charlestown and Newcastle results wrap

Newcastleresults1-ALPYesterday’s twin by-elections in the Hunter region of New South Wales saw Labor regain two seats it had lost at the 2011 election – seats traditionally considered to be heartland Labor territory.

The results were never in significant doubt, but the results in the two seats are quite interesting.

In Newcastle, Labor is expected to win, but currently sits on less than 37%. Most of the remaining vote is split between an independent Liberal and a Greens candidate, and preferences are not expected to flow. On election night, a preference count was conducted between Labor and the Greens, but independent candidate Karen Howard came second, so a new count will need to be undertaken to confirm Labor’s victory.

In Charlestown, immediately south of Newcastle, the Labor result was much clearer. Labor won 49.7% of the primary vote, with the Greens second on 14.1%. After the distribution of preferences, Labor has won 70.4% of the two-candidate-preferred vote, an easy win.

Charlestown was an easy win, but it’s hard to compare that result to a general election due to the absence of a candidate to pick up the Liberal mantle. In Newcastle, Karen Howard appears to have won most of the Liberal vote from 2011, so it is possible to run a comparison. In Newcastle, the Labor vote increased by 6.3%, and the Greens vote increased by 5%. Karen Howard polled 10.4% less than the Liberal Party. If you assume Howard is a stand-in for the Liberal Party, the by-election points to Labor improving its position since the last state election, but not by enough to win the next state election. It should be noted, however, that by-elections are not good measures of statewide performance – last year’s Miranda by-election produced a much more emphatic swing to Labor. Polls suggest that Newcastle was more in line with statewide performance, but a by-election is not the best way to measure that performance.

In this post, I will break up the votes in each electorate into sub-areas, and post a series of maps illustrating the result, all over the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Charlestown and Newcastle – live results

Charlestown – Primary vote results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Luke Arms Independent 4,696 12.25 +12.25
Marc Sky Independent 1,024 2.67 +2.67
Jane Oakley Greens 5,404 14.09 +5.66
Suellen Wrightson Palmer United 2,433 6.35 +6.35
Jodie Harrison Labor 19,045 49.67 +20.76
Luke Cubis Independent 1,333 3.48 +3.48
Arjay Martin Independent 599 1.56 +1.04
Brian Tucker Christian Democratic 1,753 4.57 +2.39
Veronica Hope Independent 2,056 5.36 +5.36

Charlestown – Two-candidate-preferred vote results

Candidate Party Votes %
Jane Oakley Greens 6,887 29.58
Jodie Harrison Labor 16,395 70.42
Total votes in final count 23,282
Exhausted 7,212 30.98

Newcastle – Primary vote results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Steve O’Brien Socialist Alliance 1,054 2.61 +1.02
Tim Crakanthorp Labor 14,895 36.95 +6.33
Michael Osborne Greens 8,005 19.86 +5
Jacqueline Haines Independent 2,917 7.24 +7.24
Jennifer Stefanac Palmer United 1,295 3.21 +3.21
Karen Howard Independent 10,610 26.32 -10.36
Milton Caine Christian Democratic 805 2.00 +0.87
Brian Buckley Clare Independent 731 1.81 +1.81

11:09pm – Just an update – due to the time, I’m going to post a summary of the results tomorrow morning.

10:25pm – The NSWEC is releasing two-candidate-preferred votes between Labor and the Greens in Newcastle, but this will not be the final result as the Greens came third. It is slightly interesting to see (the Greens won a single booth at Newcastle East PS), but it doesn’t reflect the overall result – it seems unlikely we will see a 2CP count between Crakanthorp and Howard tonight. I’m going to finish this blog now, and come back in a little while with maps and overall summaries.

10:22pm – We have now also gained prepoll, postal and iVote ballots for Charlestown, confirming a solid Labor win with a swing of over 20%. Small batches of other votes will continue to be added but most of the vote has been counted, and I have turned off my projections to simply reflect the raw results at this point.

10:18pm – The addition of prepoll, postal and iVote ballots in Newcastle has slightly lowered the projections for Labor and the Greens and increased the projected vote for Karen Howard, but Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp will still win.

9:42pm – And we now also have all primary votes for election-day booths in Newcastle. The ALP is on 37%, Karen Howard is on 26%, and the Greens are on 20%.

9:35pm – We now have all votes from ordinary election-day booths in Charlestown. I’m guessing we will see some special votes counted tonight, but the result is pretty clear now. The ALP has fallen below 50%, but will still win easily. The Greens have come second, with a primary vote just under 15%. After preferences, the ALP wins 70.4% of the two-candidate-preferred. Labor won the 2CP vote in every booth, with the Greens cracking 40% of the vote after preferences in two booths.

9:19pm – Not much to report, beyond adding extra booths. Labor is winning in both seats.

8:23pm – Two more small booths reported in Newcastle – no significant change.

8:16pm – I can’t see how Labor doesn’t win Newcastle. They are now leading on primary votes, but the booths that have been reported so far are less favourable to Labor, so they should increase their lead. Whether the second spot goes to Karen Howard or the Greens’ Michael Osborne, Labor shouldn’t be seriously challenged on preferences.

8:04pm – Results are coming in very fast now, and I’ve just updated my Charlestown numbers. Labor still above 50% on primary votes, with almost half of the booths reporting. Labor on over 77% of the two-candidate-preferred vote off two booths. We have no comparison for a Labor-Greens 2CP in Charlestown so I don’t have any swing or projection.

7:51pm – We now have eight booths reporting from Newcastle, and the story is not as clear as in Charlestown. Labor is just under 33%, with Howard on 30% and the Greens on 21%. I expect Labor’s vote to increase to about 38% and Howard’s to fall to 25%, so Labor should easily win with Greens preferences. It’s not entirely out of the question that the Greens could come in the top two, so don’t expect two-candidate-preferred votes for a little while, but Labor should win.

7:48pm – We’ve just had a surge of polling places reporting in Charlestown (seven so far) and Labor is now over 52% of the primary vote. I project this to drop to about 51.6% but still it’s an easy win for Labor in Charlestown.

7:38pm – I’ve added a results table for Charlestown at the bottom of the post, but bear in mind that the projections are completely disconnected from reality until we get booth results for somewhere that was used in 2011. Newcastle will be available shortly.

7:26pm – Still no more substantial results from Charlestown.

7:23pm – We now have a second booth for Newcastle, which is Merewether Heights, and again Karen Howard has topped the poll, with 41.5% of the vote. If you compare her vote to the 2011 Liberal vote, this is a swing of 16.3% against her, but very impressive for an independent. Labor is second on 22.9% (+6.9%) and the Greens third on 17.3% (+6.8%).

7:09pm – First booth for Newcastle is also New Lambton South, and the primary vote was won by conservative independent Karen Howard, with 37.7%. Labor is second on 32.9% and the Greens third on 16.2%. In comparison, the Liberal Party won 47% of the primary vote there in 2011, compared to 21.6% for the ALP and 14.6% for the Greens.

6:54pm – Another small booth in Charlestown at the northern end not used last time – New Lambton South PS. Labor on 35.9%, Greens 25.1%

6:34pm – Hamilton South was not used in Charlestown in 2011, so no swing available.

6:30pm – First booth in Charlestown is very small – Hamilton South Public, at the northern end of the seat. Labor on 44.3%, Greens second on 18% followed by independent Hope third on 11.5%. Still working on my spreadsheet so will come back with more data shortly. Only 67 votes cast at that booth.

6:00pm – Welcome to live coverage of the results of the NSW state by-elections in Charlestown and Newcastle. We should start to get results shortly before 7pm.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

NSW electoral funding changes

In recent weeks, the news has been dominated by stories about the desire of the NSW Liberal Party to reform the state electoral funding system in New South Wales – supposedly to reduce the influence of private donations. Today, Mike Baird announced new legislation to change the electoral funding system in the lead-up to March’s state election.

The media reporting has focused on tougher sanctions, and a supposed increase in the proportion of election spending that will be publicly-funded.

But it’s missed a major story – about how the public funding regime will substantially favour the major parties over smaller parties, giving major parties 55% more public funding per vote, and possibly locking out some smaller parties out of getting any public funding at all.

Under the proposed changes, funding will again be based on how many votes you receive (unlike in 2011), but this funding will be disproportionately weighted towards the major parties. Substantially more funding will be provided to a party that wins seats in the Legislative Assembly.

On my reading of the law, a major party that wins 32% of the vote in both houses would be entitled to spend $9.3 million, and receive back the same amount, effectively funding their entire campaign.

Smaller parties would be entitled to spend more than they would be entitled to receive in funding, but if they spend less than they are entitled to receive, they will receive less funding. This effectively provides certainty to the major parties while denying it to smaller parties. I may be wrong on that point – this law is quite a mess.

There is in particular a huge amount of uncertainty for the Greens, who could be entitled to approximately $3 million or $2 million based on the result in two inner-city seats.

Read the rest of this entry »

NSW redistribution – what could happen?

Every three years, approximately one year after the federal election, Australia’s population is assessed, and each state and territory is given a set number of seats to be filled in the next Parliament, based on population. When the number of seats allocated to a state changes, a redistribution is immediately triggered to draw up new electoral boundaries.

This time around, population shifts have guaranteed that New South Wales will lose its 48th seat, and Western Australia will gain a 16th seat. It now appears that the ACT’s population will not be sufficient to give them a third seat, after it first appeared to be possible in late 2013.

These redistributions will by necessity cause significant changes to borders, in order to create a whole new seat in WA and squeeze NSW’s populations into 47 seats.

Electorates will need to be drawn to be within two quotas. A quota is drawn up as the average population per electorate as of the time of the redistribution, and another one which is the average projected population of each new electorate as of 3.5 years after the conclusion of the redistribution. These quotas will be 1/47th of the NSW population, and 1/16th of the WA population.

Below the fold, I’ve posted my analysis of the likely trends in the NSW redistribution, and have produced an interactive map showing the population quotas in each electorate.

In short, I think the seat most likely to be abolished is Hunter, which will have significant knock-on effects in the Hunter region and in western NSW. Seats in inner Sydney will shift east, while seats throughout Western Sydney will expand in size in southwestern direction, shifting Werriwa and Macarthur further into the fringe of Sydney.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a similar analysis of the prospects in Western Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miranda results wrap

Last night’s result was very dramatic, and something most people weren’t expecting.

Miranda isn’t exactly strong Labor territory, and the massive 22% swing in 2011 seemed to indicate a reversion to form for an area that’s mostly contained in the federal seat of Cook, a very safe Liberal seat.

There’s no way to read the result as anything but a sweeping victory for Labor and a major defeat for the Liberal Party, but it’s hard to know how much broader implications can be read into the result.

There’s no indication in statewide polling that Labor is close to competitive with the Coalition, which you’d expect if Miranda was an indication of broader trends.

The newly-elected MP, Barry Collier, previously held the seat from 1999 to 2011, but chose to retire in 2011. He would have been likely to lose in 2011, with only a small swing needed, but it is likely that his absence massively increased that margin, and his return on its own brought Labor closer to a win.

The by-election was also very unnecessary and in unsympathetic circumstances for the incumbent, who resigned after less than three years to move interstate to run a football team, giving up a ministerial career.

On election day, the Fire Brigade Employees Union targetted the electorate, with firefighters (partially dressed in firefighters’ uniforms) handing out leaflets urging voters to ‘Put the Liberals Last’. I have posted images of this leaflet below the fold.

This followed days of massive bushfires on the edge of Sydney, and took place under a pall of smoke. Early yesterday morning, there was no smoke in the inner west of Sydney, but once you drove down to Miranda the sky was covered in it.

Overall, I think it’s mostly the return of Barry Collier, the unnecessary nature of the by-election and local issues that were decisive, with the fires playing a secondary role. The ALP gained a 27.3% swing at prepoll booths, compared to an overall swing of 26.2%, despite the FBEU having no presence at prepoll.

I’m reposting here the two-party-preferred maps from last night – one shows the overall percentage, the other shows the swings to Labor, for each booth.

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2013 Miranda by-election.

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2013 Miranda by-election.

Two-party-preferred swings at the 2013 Miranda by-election.

Two-party-preferred swings at the 2013 Miranda by-election.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miranda by-election 2013 – results live

Primary vote results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Murray Scott GRN 1,729 4.35 -4.42
Lisa Walters IND 825 2.08 +2.08
Barry Collier ALP 18,504 46.56 +24.31
George Capsis CDP 2,791 7.02 +3.49
Brett Thomas LIB 15,567 39.17 -21.55
John Brett IND 328 0.83 -3.90
Total formal votes 39,744

Two-party-preferred vote results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Brett Thomas LIB 16,565 44.79 -26.21
Barry Collier ALP 20,418 55.21 +26.21
Total votes in final count 36,983
Exhausted votes 2,761

Click through to read commentary and view booth maps.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miranda by-election guide

miranda1-2ppA by-election will be held in the NSW state seat of Miranda on 19 October. Miranda covers parts of the Sutherland Shire in southern Sydney.

The seat has traditionally voted Liberal but Barry Collier held the seat for Labor from 1999 to 2011.

In 2011, Collier retired and the Liberal Party’s Graham Annesley won the seat – with a massive swing of 21.8% across the seat.

Annesley was a former senior executive at the NRL and was appointed immediately as Minister for Sport and Recreation. In August 2013 he resigned both as a minister and as Member for Miranda to take up the CEO’s role at the Gold Coast Titans NRL team.

The Liberal Party should comfortably hold Miranda, which they now hold with a 21% margin. But that 2011 margin was inflated, and if the ALP has made any kind of recovery in its performance in NSW state politics, it should be able to drag that margin down. The seat will be interesting to watch to see whether this happens.

Read the Miranda profile here.

NSW and Victorian redistribution updates

Last Thursday, the Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission released the draft boundaries for the Victorian state redistribution. These boundaries are expected to cover the 2014 and 2018 state elections.

Antony Green has produced his estimates of the margins for all eighty-eight electorates.

In short, two Nationals and one Liberal seat were abolished. A new Liberal seat and two new Labor seats were created. Four other marginal Labor seats have flipped to be notionally Liberal or National.

On paper, the Nationals have lost one seat and Labor have lost two, with the Liberal Party gaining three. However the swing for Labor to win government has been reduced. On current boundaries, the ALP needs to win two seats with a swing of 1.2% to form a majority government. On new boundaries, the ALP will need to win four seats, but only need a 0.4% swing.

New South Wales is also in the process of redrawing its boundaries.

Two weeks after draft boundaries were released for the New South Wales state redistribution, I have finally completed the Google Earth map of the state.

You can download the map here.

redistribution banner

I’ve previously blogged about this redistribution, and Antony Green has already posted a similar analysis to the one he did for Victoria. In addition, he has released a more detailed research paper with estimates for margins and primary votes for all 93 electorates.

I have also done one extra bit of analysis, looking at which parts of the state have been drawn under- or over-quota.

The Commissioners were required to fit electorates to two quotas: within 10% of the average for the number of voters as of February 2013, and the estimated number of voters as of April 2015.

Region 2013 quotas 2015 quotas
Central Sydney 10.8169 10.8921
Hunter & Central Coast 14.0397 13.9789
Northern NSW 6.9952 6.9832
Northern Sydney 11.0712 11.0423
South-East NSW 9.1528 9.1280
Southern Sydney 5.1172 5.0696
South-West Sydney 10.8176 10.8978
Western NSW 10.2230 10.1182
Western Sydney 14.7664 14.8897

The Commissioners have clearly chosen to draw seats larger than the average in regions with a declining population (Northern Sydney, South-East NSW, Southern Sydney, Western NSW), and draw smaller seats in regions with a growing population (Central Sydney, South-West Sydney, Western Sydney). The Hunter, Central Coast and the north of the state have been drawn very close to the quota.

These numbers reflect the approach of the ALP, rather than the Nationals who advocated using the loose quota rules to draw less-populated electorates in regional areas. The Liberal Party and the Greens proposed boundaries that stuck very closely to the quota.

The Commissioners only drew three districts that diverge from the 2015 quota by more than 3.5%, and thus would have been prohibited under the previous rules. One of these seats is the far-western Barwon, that is declining in population rather quickly. The other two are Shellharbour and Wollongong in the Illawarra region. Both are also declining, and have been drawn to be above the quota.

UPDATE: Edward Boyce in comments has pointed out an error. In addition to the three seats that have been drawn more than 3.5% over the quota, the Western Sydney seats of Camden and Riverstone, which are both growing very fast, have been drawn more than 3.5% under quota.

UPDATE 2: My error: the former threshold was 3%, not 3.5%, and eleven electorates vary by more than 3%.