QLD federal redistribution – draft released


I’ve been quite busy recently and hadn’t had time to deal with the recent draft released for the Queensland federal redistribution.

To be honest it’s the least interesting redistribution I’ve encountered in the nine years I have written for this blog. Queensland is maintaining its 30 federal electorates after a series of rapid redistributions which repeatedly increased its seat numbers. Twelve electorates were left entirely untouched, and most of the others underwent very minor changes.

Antony Green has analysed the boundaries and made estimates for the electoral boundaries. No seat flipped party, although a few have a changed margin.

You can now download my boundary map for this draft proposal.

I have also recently updated a number of other maps: the final Tasmanian federal map, the final NSW local government boundaries as of 2017, and the New Zealand electoral map updated to reflect the results of the 2017 election. You can download them all from the maps page.

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  1. One item of small interest is the proposed changes to the Dickson/Lilley and Blair/Ryan boundaries which discard the recent practice of sticking fairly rigidly to the Brisbane LGA boundary.

  2. Ben
    I’m with you all the way on this redistribution. What a boring anti-climax.

    As usual the AEC passed up the opportunity to correct it’s previous mistakes. For example, submissions mentioned Wright as a particularly poorly constructed seat.

    It is difficult to see how their treatment of Leichhardt, & Kennedy was very sub-optimal. Most submissions had better outcomes.

    As usual the AEC has demonstrated a considerable lack of intellectual, & practical vigour. Or just plain lazy minimalism.

  3. It certainly did seem to me that they made the absolute minimum possible changes to bring every seat within quota.

    I’m sure both major parties will be happy with it, though. No major readjustments will keep all their MPs happy.

  4. @David Walsh, I’ve lodged an objection to the Blair/Ryan transfer, on the basis that it can be avoided by making the Brisbane/Ryan transfer smaller than they have proposed.

    The AEC’s approach often seems to be very division-by-division, rather than optimising across multiple divisions. They will make the perfect change to one boundary, apparently without considering that the second-best option might be the one that avoids a poor outcome elsewhere.

    If anyone is working on a submission for Victoria and is interested in swapping ideas, I’m about halfway through figuring mine out, unless I change my mind again…

  5. DW, it’s quite similar to mine in many ways. Some of the specifics are different but the general thrust is very close to what I am working on.

    It’s clear that the area around Diamond Creek where Menzies, Casey, Jagajaga, McEwen and Scullin all intersect is going to get messy. It looks inevitable that some area on the north bank is going to have to go into a ‘southern’ Division, so there’ll be some difficult decisions around there. I personally am looking at pushing Menzies into Ivanhoe, with Diamond Creek going into Jagajaga….it might not be a perfect solution, but it does make the other boundaries fall into place very naturally.

    I didn’t go quite as far as you in the south-eastern suburbs, but the eastern suburbs arrangement is very similar to mine. I agree that pushing Bruce right down into Dandenong is the best way to transfer the excess in the south-east to the eastern suburbs.

    Your pattern of seats in rural Vic is basically something I tried to do but couldn’t make work. You obviously found the numbers from somewhere I couldn’t see (!)

    I created a seat in the outer west, but the seats you call Gorton, Maribyrnong and Fraser are basically my new seat, Gorton, and Maribyrnong with different names. I agree that McEwen should get rid of as much of his intensely urban territory as possible to Calwell and Scullin.

    It will be very interesting to see what everybody comes up with.

  6. @DW.

    My current framework is a little different in the west, although I may yet revisit. I left Loddon in Murray and added the northern half the Pyrenees Shire to Mallee to make the transfer of Central Goldfields a little less egregious than from a contiguity perspective than it would otherwise be. Instead of regaining part of the North Grampians, I had Wannon gain the western half of Golden Plains (including the bits that were in Ballarat) in addition to Colac-Otway. That left Corangamite and Corio very tight, but I found a decent boundary (I still need to tidy it) that gets them both within quota.

    My McEwen looks very similar to yours, albeit retaining a little more territory in the north (Murray retaining Loddon does not need to gain as much) and not gaining Woodend. I may revisit that in search of a northern boundary better reflecting the Great Divide.

    My new division is a little further south than yours, sitting mainly in the southern part of Brimbank City, drawing from Gorton, Maribyrnong and Gellibrand. Gorton gets replenished by taking the northernmost parts of Brimbank from Maribyrnong. My new division actually looks more like your Maribyrnong, but extending further west (to include Caroline Springs) and less east. Your arrangement may be better because I currently have an ugly three-division split of the northern part of Maribyrnong City.

    In the east, I extended Casey to the west identically to you. I may steal your Jagajaga-Batman-Scullin concept because you seem to have managed to capture more territory north of the existing Scullin than I did. My McMillan and La Trobe are similar to yours, with La Trobe gaining Packenham.

    However I’ve taken a different approach to getting from the under-quota inner suburbs to the growth areas in the south-east. Rather than radically re-draw Hotham and Isaacs, I had Bruce retain its current southern half and then extend east, staying mainly north of Princes Hwy, apart from an area between the Princes Hwy and the railway at Hallam. Holt, having lost not as much from its north as yours, extends east more than south, with Flinders continuing to extend into Casey City and actually taking a little from the south of Holt.

    Having Flinders extend almost into central Cranbourne was something else I’m not entirely happy with but I ran into issues when I tried to shuffle Dunkley and Isaacs north as you have done. I also experimented with extending Bruce to the south as you have done. The one thing I never tried was doing both those things together! I also didn’t consider taking Hotham north to that extent. As a result, my Chisholm is a little deformed, but I’ll live with it.

    I’ve also been working up an alternative approach to the north and west that is more like the Committee’s rejected approach from 2010 (i.e. abolish Murray), but only to allow me to discuss and dismiss it on the basis that despite the imperfections of the current arrangement (including Central Goldfields being passed around like a football and Indi extending into the middle of the state), and the benefits of being able to collate some of the growth areas in the south-west of McEwen (Sunbury, Gibson etc) into another new division, it’s still not worth dismembering Murray to end up with a McEwen that needs to stretch from Shepparton to Mernda.

    I use Google Earth and my current concept (not the alternative one) is on dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/s/uzi76qulqq1kx08/victoria%201.zip?dl=0.

  7. Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Mark, I can see the merits of putting Diamond Creek in a suburban division, but moving Ivanhoe into Menzies seems like a stretch. The Yarra as a boundary is a long standing convention and I don’t think there’s a natural community interest there.

    Dean, with so many eastern divisions well outside quota I decided a radical revision was appropriate. The train line currently used as a boundary certainly isn’t inviolate like the Yarra and there’s a good argument for using major roads instead.

    The names of my Marybyrnong and Fraser are fairly arbitrary. I chose Marybyrnong for the southern division because it contains the namesake suburb.

    Given the outcry last time over the proposed abolition of Murray, I took it for granted that abolishing a rural seat was a non-starter. But it is interesting that despite the state getting an extra seat, all of them have to expand. (Or at best stay the same in the case of Indi.) If Victoria still has 38 seats at the next redistribution, the logic of abolishing a rural seat may be inexorable.

    Anyway, here’s South Australia:


  8. Hi David,
    Really well done, I particularly like the fact that you keep the Principal and major activity centers intact and within the electoral boundaries. Given that 46% of Melbourne growth (Melbourne 2030 Plan) will occur with in the boundaries of these areas to ensure that projections are accurate it’s important as the distribution of construction withing a growth boundary is unpredictable. I think you captured that really well with the only big split being Cheltenham Southland.

    I like that fact that you keep the whole of Ringwood activity center within Deakin due to the use of the Ringwood bypass

    I’d only ask a couple some small boundary charges under the community of interest rules.

    Should Moe rejoin the rest of the City of La Trobe in Gippsland?

    Is it worth putting Dandenong North into Hotham, Keysborough into Bruce and everything south of South Road/Dingley bypass goes into Issac. Its grounds Bruce in Dandenong and Isaac’s in Kingston.

    You could use the Princes Freeway as the south boundary of La Trobe, as I’m pretty sure the growth boundary doesn’t cross it and it’s only industrial construction to the south of the freeeway.

  9. Thanks Sandbelter!

    I’ve deferred to your local knowledge and implemented the suggested transfers in the south east. To get it all to work I moved the Chisholm-Hotham boundary from the freeway to Ferntree Gully Rd. This provided some additional flexibility in the north east where I’ve rearranged the Deakin-Chisholm boundary and slightly expanded Kooyong.

    As per your suggestion I’ve also shifted an SA1 from La Trobe to McMillan to align it to the freeway.

    Alas, with some 12,400 enrolled votes in Moe-Newborough, uniting the La Trobe Valley isn’t possible. I considered shifting all or part of Newborough into Gippsland but figured this would be shot down on community of interest grounds.

    Here’s the link again. Now to rewrite my submission…


  10. Great work David,

    I feel the need to echo Sandbelter’s sentiment, and I acknowledge the hard work put in.

    Although i’d kindly also ask a couple of further points to reassess.

    Perhaps splitting the inner west between two divisions is fraught, keeping the entirety of Footscray within Gellibrand allows it to be a wholly inner west division.

    An idea for Wills, which I admit has extremely rigid boundaries could be to move the boundary with Batman to the Merri Creek, therefore allowing the boundary of Batman and Jagajaga to become Darebin Creek and Plenty Rd, putting Bundoora and Macleod into Jagajaga, whilst also making the boundary far cleaner.

    As for everything else in your proposal I am in steadfast agreement with you, especially adding Pakenham to La Trobe which allows for McMillan to become a wholly country division, whilst also allowing Flinders to become a true Mornington peninsula division and cleaning up much of the awkwardness of its current boundaries.

    Once again fantastic work and thank you for your time.

  11. Thanks L96,

    With Lalor bursting at the seams, the excess of Wyndham LGA has to go somewhere and Gellibrand is the obvious place for it. Moreover, the shape of Gellibrand, Marybyrnong and Fraser was part of a deliberate strategy to align these seats along transport routes to and from the city. The price of a compact inner west seat is an outer west seat straddled across suburban corridors.

    That said, I also dislike the partition of Footscray. I’m considering a rearrangement where the Gellibrand-Marybyrnong boundary is moved to the Princes Hwy so that more of Footscray, everything east of Gordon St, is placed in Gellibrand.

    As for the northern suburbs, whilst I can see the logic of using the creeks as the boundaries, there’s no compelling reason to depart from the current convention of using the LGA boundaries. The Jagajaga I’ve devised is already towards the higher end of tolerance, so packing more voters in is couter-productive. If anything the opposite is desirable so that Jagajaga might push further out to capture Diamond Creek.

  12. Hi David,
    Just one other thing. The Victorian government has long has a position to encourage high density residential building over railways stations. The first effort was at Box Hill in the 1990’s but more recent attention has been focused on the Franktson line.

    The sinking of the railway line at Ormond (Also on the Frankston line) is the first such project but Cheltenham, Mentone Bentleigh and Mckinnon could all conceivably see such developments due to school zones and waterviews provide the premium necessary to make such developments feasible.

    As a result would you consider moving Goldstein’s boundary back to the Nepean highway, removed the risk of building on an electoral boundary line.

    The shame of this redistribution is that it is two years too early. The state government upon it’s election targeted Port Philip. Bayside, Glen Eira, Booroondara and Stonnignton to do the heavily lifting for residential infill which are only coming to the market now.

    I agree with your rationale not to change Melbourne Ports, Goldstein and minimal changes to Higgins and Kooyong. Next time will be a very different story.

  13. Sandbelter, whilst I spend some time justifying ditching the Dandenong railway line as a boundary, I’m reluctant to abandon the Sandringham railway line for a few reasons: (a) not only is the railway line the existing boundary, it’s also the LGA boundary, (b) I now have Isaacs towards the lower end of enrolment tolerance and don’t want to erode it further, (c) my electoral geography is made ‘bottom up’ by combining SA1s and some of those SA1s straddle the Nepean Hwy (the one containing Westfield Southland for instance).

    That being said, you make an excellent point. I’d recommend you make a submission to the AEC on this issue.

  14. DW, I agree that putting Ivanhoe into Menzies isn’t any sort of ‘ideal’ scenario….but the same could be said about putting Diamond Creek into Casey. I think it’s one of those deals where there is no perfect solution because the numbers just don’t fit. I found that making this change to Menzies allowed all the other boundaries to fall into place very neatly.

    Your SA proposal looks similar to what mine will be, I think. I am abolishing Hindmarsh, but your ‘Hindmarsh’ is basically my Port Adelaide, so it’s a similar outcome with different names. I am looking at pushing Makin south towards the Torrens, and putting Norwood into Sturt….just checking to see how this all balances.

    SB, part of the existing boundary is already moved away from the railway line around Ormond and Bentleigh. Even if you used the Nepean Highway, Moorabbin would still be split in two. Perhaps at a future redistribution, they could redraw Goldstein as an east-west seat to unite all of Moorabbin?

  15. I realise that my Hindmarsh is more Port Adelaide than Hindmarsh. But Hindmarsh is one of the original 1903 seats, so I’m mindful of the Bonython/Wakefield precedent.

    I’m intrigued that you’re tinkering with the Sturt-Makin boundary. You must be doing something differently to me in the northern suburbs. I was pleasantly surprised how nicely the numbers fall there:

    Wakefield minus rural shires + Makin + north-eastern (City of Salisbury) part of Port Adelaide = 2 quotas

  16. @Mark Mulcair, @David Walsh. I admit my main reason for sticking with Casey-into-Diamond Creek ahead of Menzies-into-Ivanhoe is the possibility of needing to undo the change if the next redistribution adds a 39th division as seems likely.

    For the current redistribution, there are 19.25 divisions worth of projected electors north and west of a line comprising the Yarra River and then the existing eastern borders of McEwen and Murray, and 18.75 divisions south and east of that line. Hence the need for either Casey or Menzies to reach across that line to the extent of 27,000 electors or so.

    Projecting at current growth rates (dubious) to a possible 2024 projection date (dubious) for the next redistribution and assuming 39 divisions (likely but not certain), I get 19.92 divisions north and west of the same line (still using the old boundaries for McEwen and Murray) and 19.08 divisions south and east. So the extra division would go in the north again, but the reach across “the line” would need to be reversed, plus a little.

    I figure that reversing a Casey extension would be less traumatic, because the consequences could flow via LaTrobe to the SE growth region, whereas reversing a Menzies extension may mean another complete rework of the eastern suburbs, rather than just a continued shuffle to the south and east.

    Of course future redistributions are not strictly among the criteria and I use that fact a few times when arguing for leaving a low growth division at the bottom of the permissible range, so I’m probably being inconsistent, but that’s where I landed.

    I’m still writing up by Victoria suggestion (including an appendix with an alternative scenario abolishing Murray that I was very close to promoting to the base case despite the likely futility – it improves so many other areas).

    I haven’t started on SA with proper data yet. I had a half-baked look a few months back and have a slightly different idea in mind for the country divisions (if the numbers work – basic concept is Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula into Barker, with Mayo moving north). Also was undecided if I was abolishing Port Adelaide or Sturt.

  17. I had a similar starting point for Victoria. The 18 seats east of the Yarra (including Casey) add up to just under 17.8 quotas. Transfer Scullin’s portion of Nillumbik LGA to Casey and you’re at 18 quotas.

    I don’t share the view that the boundaries should be future proofed for the next redistribution. Get the boundaries right under the current set of criteria now, and worry about future boundaries at future redistributions. It’s certainly not something mentioned in the criteria.

    The problem with putting the Fleurieu into Barker is that it involves the transfer of some 40,000 voters. To compensate you’ve got to take out not just the Barossa (which is fine), but some of the northern Murray regions as well (not so desirable).

  18. I agree that moving Diamond Creek into Casey is a numerical necessity, although that being said changing Casey significantly has knock on effects for La Trobe in particular. Especially with its south eastern growth corridor, eventually in the future La Trobe will need to shed the remainder of Yarra Valley LGA and become solely a division based on Casey and Cardinia LGAs and the obvious home for the areas of Belgrave, Tecoma and Upwey will be Casey.

  19. That is true, although for community interests it would be better being united with all of the Hills rather then being placed into a metropolitan electorate.

  20. Submitted my Victoria suggestion at 5.56pm yesterday after spending the previous 15 minutes in panic mode because my Word doc was 80 MB and the conversion to PDF kept crashing. I was happy with my solution but unhappy with my write-up – very rushed after too many distractions the last week.

    Still planning a crack at SA but won’t start until tomorrow. Will need to skip ACT.

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