Queensland redistribution – first draft released


The first draft of Queensland’s new state electoral map was released this morning, after a broad outline was leaked last night.

The redistribution is the first in almost a decade, and the redistribution will see four additional seats created in the Assembly. The combination of these factors has meant that the changes are quite dramatic.

Five new seats have been created, while two inner-city seats have been merged.

At least three prominent MPs face a significantly tougher task in winning re-election. Labor minister Steven Miles and LNP frontbencher Scott Emerson represent neighbouring seats of Mount Coot-tha and Indooroopilly. The two seats have both been abolished and replaced by the seat of Maiwar – a seat with a margin of approximately 2.8% for the LNP. They now face the choice of a tough contest or looking for a safer seat elsewhere.

Shane Knuth, a member of Katter’s Australian Party, represents Dalrymple in north Queensland. That seat has been broken apart, with a majority of the seat going into the new seat of Hill – but only 60% of that seat is areas previously contained in Dalrymple.

There are eighteen seats, including Hill and Maiwar, where the incumbent MP currently represents less than 70% of their new seat’s population.

The five new seats are Bancroft, in northern Brisbane; Bonney, on the Gold Coast; Jordan, in the Ipswich area; Macalister on the Gold Coast-Logan boundary and Ninderry on the Sunshine Coast. Some would count Hill as a new seat, but I think it’s an obvious successor to Dalrymple.

Numerous seats have been renamed, with the Commission moving away from the norm where state electorates are named after localities. The Commission instead chose to name a dozen seats after distinguished Queenslanders, following the practice of the Australian Electoral Commission, who traditionally name seats after people. The range of individuals selected for this honour are more diverse than those with federal electorates named in their honour – less politicians, and a lot more women.

This map shows the old and new Queensland state boundaries – red represents the 2009-2015 boundaries, while green represents the draft boundaries released today. Below the map I’ve also posted my own estimates of the margin in each seat. I’m sure others will do more precise analysis, but I thought I should nail my colours to the mast and post my own estimates.

PumicestoneALP vs LNP 50.2%WhitsundayLNP vs ALP 50.7%
MansfieldALP vs LNP 50.6%HillLNP vs KAP 50.8%
BundabergALP vs LNP 50.8%TibrogarganLNP vs ALP 51.4%
MaryboroughALP vs LNP 50.8%Toowoomba NorthLNP vs ALP 51.6%
Mount OmmaneyALP vs LNP 51.1%RedlandsLNP vs ALP 51.8%
SpringwoodALP vs LNP 51.3%AspleyLNP vs ALP 52.5%
MundingburraALP vs LNP 51.6%BonneyLNP vs ALP 52.6%
CooperALP vs LNP 53.0%ChatsworthLNP vs ALP 52.7%
Barron RiverALP vs LNP 53.3%EvertonLNP vs ALP 52.7%
McConnelALP vs LNP 53.5%MaiwarLNP vs ALP 52.8%
KeppelALP vs LNP 53.9%GavenLNP vs ALP 52.8%
MiraniALP vs LNP 54.0%HinchinbrookLNP vs ALP 53.7%
Ferny GroveALP vs LNP 54.4%CaloundraLNP vs ALP 54.7%
D’AguilarALP vs LNP 55.1%TheodoreLNP vs ALP 55.1%
GreenslopesALP vs LNP 55.3%LockyerLNP vs ON 55.2%
TownsvilleALP vs LNP 55.7%McMasterLNP vs ALP 55.5%
StrettonALP vs LNP 55.7%BurleighLNP vs ALP 55.6%
MacAlisterALP vs LNP 55.9%ClayfieldLNP vs ALP 55.7%
ThuringowaALP vs LNP 56.1%CurrumbinLNP vs ALP 55.7%
BulimbaALP vs LNP 56.1%CoomeraLNP vs ALP 55.9%
CapalabaALP vs LNP 56.2%OodgerooLNP vs ALP 56.1%
LoganALP vs LNP 56.2%Hervey BayLNP vs ALP 56.5%
MurrumbaALP vs LNP 56.5%KawanaLNP vs ALP 57.7%
MillerALP vs LNP 56.7%NoosaLNP vs GRN 57.8%
CookALP vs LNP 56.8%BurnettLNP vs ALP 58.1%
CairnsALP vs LNP 57.5%MoggillLNP vs ALP 58.2%
KurwongbahALP vs LNP 57.5%GympieLNP vs ALP 58.6%
RedcliffeALP vs LNP 57.6%Toowoomba SouthLNP vs ALP 59.1%
AlgesterALP vs LNP 57.7%SouthportLNP vs ALP 60%
BancroftALP vs LNP 57.8%MaroochydoreLNP vs ALP 60.4%
TooheyALP vs LNP 57.8%MudgeerabaLNP vs ALP 60.7%
NudgeeALP vs LNP 58.6%Mermaid BeachLNP vs ALP 61%
StaffordALP vs LNP 58.9%GregoryLNP vs ALP 61.5%
Ipswich WestALP vs LNP 59.0%Scenic RimLNP vs ALP 61.7%
JordanALP vs LNP 59.6%CallideLNP vs PUP 62.2%
LyttonALP vs LNP 59.6%BroadwaterLNP vs ALP 62.8%
MackayALP vs LNP 59.7%BuderimLNP vs ALP 63%
SandgateALP vs LNP 59.8%WarregoLNP vs ALP 65%
MorayfieldALP vs LNP 61.5%CondamineLNP vs ALP 66.9%
GladstoneALP vs IND 62.6%NanangoLNP vs ALP 67.4%
MulgraveALP vs LNP 62.8%Southern DownsLNP vs ALP 69.2%
South BrisbaneALP vs LNP 63.5%Surfers ParadiseLNP vs ALP 69.6%
RockhamptonALP vs LNP 63.9%NinderryLNP vs ALP 71.4%
WaterfordALP vs LNP 64.4%
IpswichALP vs LNP 65.2%
InalaALP vs LNP 69.7%
WoodridgeALP vs LNP 74.1%NicklinIND vs LNP 57.0%
BundambaALP vs LNP 74.5%TraegerKAP vs LNP 65.8%
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  1. There’s quite a few interesting things in here which didn’t seem to feature in any major submissions – the two I’ve noticed are Clayfield crossing Lutwyche Rd (which admittedly allows a very strong northern boundary) and the treatment of the acreage parts of Ferny Grove -I’m rather confused as to why Camp Mountain is still in FG, rather than D’Aguilar. Milton is also arguably in the wrong electorate, but numbers are firmly to blame there.

    Other things I’ve noticed: Waterford is very skinny. The Ipswich electorates seem to have been drawn in an attempt to spread the future growth areas fairly evenly.

    With Lockyer’s contraction to Gatton, I’d say PHON are the favourites there now.

  2. Don’t really like the name changes. If there is a name that can meaningfully describe the area, that should be used for the electorate. Same goes for federally IMO, but with larger electorates it gets more difficult to keep everyone happy. “Brisbane Central” seems like the last seat you’d give a non-geographic name, especially since it’s in the federal seat of Brisbane.

  3. I agree with John, to the extent I am vehemently opposed to the new names — Queensland electorates have ALWAYS been named after places, and the silly practice of naming electorates to “honour” people might be engaged in with good intentions, but it is hokey, jingoistic, and in this case entirely cringeworthy.

    These names are so ridiculous as to completely overshadow the fact the Commission actually appears to have made a very good fist of the task it faced. Setting partisan considerations aside, it has managed to more or less maintain the notional balance of the Parliament, whilst creating electorates that meet the “community coherence” test (for example, the river-leaping Indooroopilly electorate has been replaced with something more akin to the pre-1992 Toowong).

    On balance (and to the complete exclusion of the new names) I think this is a job well done but of course, this is merely a curtain-raiser to what might be some interesting games at the preselection table on both sides, particularly in western and southern Brisbane.

  4. When the redistribution was announced it was accompanied by breathless reports of earth-shattering transformations set to end the careers of several MPs. After looking at the extent of these changes, and reading the more sober analyses, it’s clear that this was a massive beat up.

    Of the 89 current seats, almost all of them have recognisable successors under this proposal. The only seats that have really disappeared are Dalrymple, which has been split three ways, and Indooroopilly and Mount Coot-tha, which have effectively been amalgamated. Three more, Mansfield, Mount Ommaney and Pumicestone, have apparently switched sides of the pendulum; but this is perfectly normal for highly marginal seats at redistribution time.

    This redistribution is arguably less disruptive than the last one, which abolished three regional seats. Indeed it appears the expansion of parliament has had its intended effect. The new seats have soaked up voters in the high growth areas, allowing the low growth areas to maintain their representation.

  5. I concur that moving away from locality based names is an unwelcome development. I hope they reverse course like in WA two years ago.

    I don’t see why this particular redistribution would cause much preselection trouble for the major parties. It looks as if Steven Miles will flee to safer ground now that Mount Coot-tha has been abolished. And with three new Labor seats in Brisbane this can easily be accommodated. But I don’t see why anyone else would do likewise. Where new districts have been created, some incumbents may have a choice of two seats; but this uneventful.

  6. I also agree that the move to naming seats after people is a poor decision. I always thought it was quite good that (with the exception of BCC), each level of government generally used different naming methodologies for their seats:
    Local = Division numbers
    State = Localities
    Federal = People or significant geographical features

    With regard to the seat changes, generally I agree with much of what is being proposed. There are, as always, a few areas that if I was commissioner, I would change (looking at the small stretch between Nerang-Broadbeach Road and the Nerang River which is moving from Mudgeeraba to Southport).

  7. Agree with all the comments above. Most people have very little understanding of politics anyway, changing the names like this certainly doesn’t help. Continuity is also important for this reason.
    My suggestions for the names are as follows. Most of them are fairly obvious:
    Maiwar (Toowong) As noted by Yale Stephens above, this is basically a reversion to the Toowong electorate that existed prior to 1992
    Hill (Mourilyan) Again covering an almost identical territory prior to 1992. Johnstone or even Bartle Frere might be other alternatives here.
    McAlister (Beenleigh),
    Theodore (Oxenford)
    Bonney (Labrador)
    Jordan (Springfield)
    Bancroft (Deception Bay)
    Ninderry (Coolum)
    And while they are at it, Nicklin could be renamed Nambour.
    Agree that Mt Isa and Burdekin may? not be appropriate names for the new districts, but they should still try to come up with a geographic feature (perhaps reviving the name Flinders for Mt Isa, or even Carpentaria??
    I see absolutely no justification for renaming Yerongpilly, Brisbane Central or Cleveland.

  8. It is reported that Steven Miles will contest Murrumba at the next election. That could make Maiwar interesting at the next election, whilst I doubt Emerson will lose the Greens could even threaten for second without a high profile Labor candidate running. As for other Green target seats, they should do okay in Cooper, Moggill and Miller, although still a distant third. McConnel they’re still a fair way off, South Brisbane should be their best seat but Trad is far too popular there. However Noosa could be quite interesting, weaker territory to the south west of Noosa has been removed with more friendly areas added in the north west of the seat. One Nation could do okay there and would weaken the LNP position and should help them solidify second taking some Labor votes too, it could help the Greens too if the LNP and ON went into a preference deal and some younger cosmopolitan type voters moved towards them.

  9. The Greens best bet is LNP and One Nation (voters) put each other last. If the WA preference deal backfires horribly then the former could happen (LNP voters are the most loyal HTV followers), while the latter is known to preference incumbents last. That will open up a bunch of Sunshine Coast seats where the ALP is weak and PHON is strong.

  10. Really disappointed to read so many negative comments about the new boundary names – especially after being the architect of 5 of the new names proposed.
    As I pointed out in my submission to the ECQ, the key difference between a locality-based district name and a person-based district name is that a person-based name is transportable – unlike a locality-based name that can become irrelevant over time as boundaries change and the locality that it was based on moves to the edge of, or even out of the district altogether.
    Locality based district names can also be irrelevant to people living in neighbouring suburbs in the same District.
    There were many objections about the district name of Beaudesert. People in other localities within the district had no affiliation to the name Beaudesert whatsoever – hence the ECQ changed it to Scenic Rim.
    Districts named after people rather than localities in Queensland are hardly new. The district name of Cook has been in use since 1875, Gregory has been in use since 1878, and Nicklin since 1986.
    Queensland is only following the lead set by SA in naming Districts after people.
    Good on them, I say. And I, for one, will be pushing other States to do the same at their next Redistributions.
    (I’m still working through my analysis of the proposed boundaries so can’t contribute in this forum as yet)
    Ben, your top row of data seems to have margins for both Pumicestone and Whitsunday repeated on the row below.

  11. Look, I think some of the renamed seats are good. I fully support changing Beaudesert to Scenic Rim and Glasshouse to Tibrogargan as they are more representative of the entirety of the seat. D’Aguilar and Toohey are also good names based on a key feature of the local area. I’m also quite partial to aboriginal names for a local area, such as Maiwar and Oodgeroo.

    But at the same time, there is absolutely no reason why Brisbane Central should have been renamed. Brisbane Central will always be based on the Brisbane CBD. Why change it to something that means nothing to residents, like McConnell?

    With regard to the transportability of district names, does it really matter if they’re transportable? To me, if a seat moves to such an extent that it no longer reflects a name and it needs to be changed, it makes no difference if the name is locality-based or person-based.

  12. Sorry Jeff, I tend to disagree. There’s already a large amount of change at this redistribution…adding in a bunch of seemingly random name changes just adds to the complexity and confusion. Plus you’ve got things like “McConnell”, “McMaster”, and “Macallister”…all similar-sounding names for seats in completely different areas.

    Plus, as we saw in WA, it’s better to save some of these names of important individuals for federal Divisions.

  13. Well that opened a can of worms!
    In all honesty, I was just as surprised as everyone else that the QRC replaced as many District Names as they did. They had to create 4 new names, but they’ve ended up proposing 19 new and changed names in total.
    Too much, too fast, maybe?
    Perhaps the QRC should have stuck to the 4 new names plus forced renames due to elector movement only?
    This all might have been a little easier for everyone to swallow if they hadn’t also proposed to rename; Albert, Brisbane Central, Burdekin, Cleveland, Glass House; Pine Rivers, Sunnybank & Yeerongpilly – which they really didn’t HAVE to rename this time around.
    That would have meant only 11 changes – 5 new, Indooroopilly abolished plus 6 renamed.
    My original submission only proposed 11 changes, and I thought that was enough for one Redistribution.
    I still support the direction that the QRC are going as far as District Names are concerned, but perhaps not the pace at which they are going there.
    And I’ve still got the names “Mabo” and “Irwin” up my sleeve for the Commonwealth Redistribution.

  14. I reckon the average elector would be hard-pressed to name their local electorate even if it had been the same for 20 years, so I think the confusion will be minimal.

  15. I have no real issue with most of the new names proposed for the divisions, but believe some of the names would be better applied to other locations.

    – McConnel would be better applied to another Brisbane electorate other than Brisbane Central. I would suggest Clayfield.

    – I believe the state electorate name of Bonney is rather close to the federal electorate name of Bonner

    – I would apply the McMaster name to the Mirani electorate, for the reasons that Jeff outlined in his comprehensive submission to the redistribution committee – McMaster’s birthplace is near Rockhampton. I would keep the name Burdekin, despite the reconfiguration.

    – I would rename the Hill electorate Wooroonooran, after the national park that straddles the former Hinchinbrook and Darylmple components of this new electorate. I don’t consider the Hill name to be representative of this electorate at all; the esteemed individual whom this electorate is named in honour has no personal connection to Northern Queensland, and the only location outside SE Qld refered to in her biography by the redistribution committee was Heron Island, near Gladstone. I find the naming rationale to be rather watery. There is also some small irony in naming the electorate that hosts Queensland’s two tallest mountains “Hill”.

    – The electorate of Theodore bugs me for some reason. There is already a town in regional Queensland by the same name and named for the same individual. Additionally, Ted Theodore represented a northern Queensland electorate in state politics, and moved to NSW for federal politics. Finally, if we’re going to rename electorates for premiers found to be, shall we say, less than professional in their tenure, there’s a case for renaming Nanango 😉

  16. Is “Scenic Rim” an appropriate name for an electorate, considering it’s also the name of the local government area? And while the commission has managed to contain the entirety of the Scenic Rim LGA in the Scenic Rim electorate, what happens at future redistributions when part of the LGA may be forced into neighbouring districts? Seems like a lot of potential confusion to me.

    If the commission was consistent with their new naming regime, surely a local landmark name or important dignitary would be a better fit for “Beaudesert”.

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