Geelong – Victoria 2022

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  1. The boundaries of this seat now looks very weird. Is there a reason the seat extended west to pick up Bannockburn.

  2. Im not that familiar with Victorian state districts, but I read parts of the recent state redistribution report and it appears this odd boundary is caused by changes made in the outer/fringe Geelong areas to accommodate the rapid growth of southern Geelong suburbs (around Waurn Ponds).

    Most of the Golden Plains Shire (including Bannockburn) was in Polwarth, however it had to gain the surf coast towns (including Torquay) from over quota South Barwon. This forced Buninyong/Eureka to absorb the Golden Plains shire towns of Inverleigh and Teesdale, and I believe Eureka didn’t have enough surplus to absorb any more towns/localities even after losing some areas to Ripon.

    That is probably why Geelong had to take the residual parts of Golden Plains Shire around Bannockburn.

  3. This problem also arises for Federal redistributions, with the last two conducted for Victoria having many objections as to what rural/fringe areas to include with Geelong proper. Bannockburn and other Golden Plains shire communities face a dilemma as to whether to be placed in a district with Geelong, Ballarat or the Western districts (stretching out to Warrnambool).

  4. Looking at the old vs new district maps, another reason for Eureka not having enough surplus is due to it gaining Bacchus Marsh from Melton.

    I think that is the fundamental reason why there has to be compromise when drawing boundaries in this part of Victoria, as the Golden Plains Shire essentially straddles the border between both Ballarat and Geelong metropolitan areas and thus will inevitably have to be split between electoral districts as occurs Federally with the Golden Plains shire towns spread out between Corangamite, Ballarat and Wannon.

  5. I have noticed that the corridor between Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo seem to vote strongly for Labor despite being in regional areas (a bit like Newcastle and Wollongong area in NSW). Searching up those areas, this might be due to those area having industrial past (meaning many working class voter) but this does not Shepparton which vote conservative despite lots of manufacturing. I believe those areas tend to be traditionally socially progressive and left-wing looking at the SSM vote so those areas might not have gotten the conservativism unlike the rest of regional Victoria and regional Australia

  6. @Marh Probably due to industrial past like you said but also tree changers moving to places like Castlemaine and Daylesford. Also the more regional towns and rural towns in the same electorate as regional cities getting swamped by the higher population in the regional cities. Bendigo East and Ripon are good examples of seats where the rural/regional parts favour the coalition more but are drowned out by the suburbs of the regional city (Ripon even more now that it has more of Ballarat). Outside of the Ballarat suburbs Eureka also seems somewhat competitive in a normal election.

  7. In the draft redistribution, Bannockburn was drawn into Buninyong (sic – the name change to Eureka also happened in the final stage). From the final report:

    “Several submitters pointed out that the Bannockburn area has much closer relations with Geelong than with Ballarat, and suggested that the area be transferred from Buninyong District to a Geelong-based district.”

    The 1990s council amalgamations left Victoria with a lot of strange looking rural LGAs with dubious commonality of interest. Golden Plains is a standout example. No wonder the regions revolted against Kennett.

  8. Adding to your point, all three cities plus Newcastle and Wollongong do have neighborhoods near the CBD that look like the inner-city like Melbourne and Sydney both without the trams and crowd. Eureka is not a swing area, it is actually a left-wing stronghold as there is also a large green vote alongside the ALP vote.

  9. Agree with your point David, Bannockburn probably belongs as part of a Geelong based council area which is why it is usually placed in Geelong based districts (Federally it falls into Corangamite rather than Ballarat).

  10. @David Walsh, Kennett LGA reforms do have a legacy of terrible LGA boundaries. Even in Melbourne, their many boundaries are on side streets, councils where there is no one major area for association (e.g. Kingston) and the Mitchell Shire seems arbitrary in including both Regional Victoria and the Northern outskirts of Melbourne despite having different community interest

  11. @Marh The greens only polled 9.2% in Buninyong and the redistribution for Eureka has it at 9.3%.

  12. @David Walsh I’m not Victorian so I don’t really know much about all the towns and cities there, or the pre-amalgamation boundaries, but even the modern LGAs at least seem decent down there as opposed to the mess that was made in Queensland by the Beattie government. NSW Council reform also had a lot of controversy around it and still does.

  13. Geelong was in danger of becoming a rust-belt city more so than Wollongong and Newcastle. Wollongong and Newcastle have more diversified economies, with busier ports and bigger universities, and boomed over the past decade as they were cheaper alternatives to Sydney for homebuyers and investors. Geelong has gentrified in more recent years and is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities and is a commuter town for Melbourne workers.

    The demographic shift means road and rail infrastructure and connections with Melbourne and regional jobs growth are important electoral issues. The transition to the service-based economy is also important.

    I agree that Geelong’s boundaries look weird and look quite “Gerrymandered”.

  14. @ Votante, agree with your point about Geelong being in danger of being a rest belt city. I would say one major thing that has prevented it has been the investment in the rail line since Bracks came to power in 1999. Firstly, it was the Regional Fast Rail Project then Regional Rail Link, Regional Rail Revival, South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail duplication and recently the Geelong Fast Rail Project. This has not only been allowed Geelong to be a bedroom community for Melbourne workers but a jobs hubs in its own right. Many public service jobs have moved here including Worksafe Victoria, NDIS, TAC etc a new Medical School has been established at the Deakin Geelong Campus. Agree, Inner Wollongong, Newcastle have seen the same trend the high Green Vote in Newcastle and Cunningham are evidence of this. I think the recently announced Sydney-Newcastle fast rail will prevent Shortland and Hinter becoming rust belt electorates going forward especially around the Pacific Ocean and Lake Macquarie.

    @ Marh, regarding Ballarat, Bendigo versus Shepperton. Ballarat and Bendigo used to be swing areas but like Geelong benefited with investment in the rail line and seen a lot of the same demographic trends i mentioned above. Furthermore there was always more of a Labor tradition there maybe a legacy of the gold rush etc. You can see even smaller former Goldfields towns such as Maryborough, Ararat, Beechworth etc have always had some level of Labor support. Ripon is competitive for this reason. Shepperton manufacturing is based on the food industry such as canned fruit etc so many too close to agriculture for Labor to have a chance.

  15. @Nimalan the Regional Rail link actually increased travel times between Geelong and Melbourne by re-routing the service through the Wyndham growth corridor. The duplication to Waurn Ponds is only in consultation stage, 18 years after first being promised. Meanwhile no-one expects fast rail to Geelong any time soon. Investment in public transport is not keeping up with growth in the Geelong region. Overcrowding was a major issue, pre-COVID, on any Melbourne-bound train beyond North Geelong. Likewise anyone returning home of an evening could be faced with trains that are at capacity before even leaving Southern Cross, meaning suburban commuters bound for Geelong would be left standing on the platform as stops were cancelled without notice. But PT in Geelong is not just about travel to and from Melbourne. There is no real commitment to a Metro system in Geelong, no commitment to extend rail to the growth corridors or increase services beyond Waurn Ponds. Meanwhile the bus service in Geelong is very poor, with convoluted routes, poor frequency and many routes having little or no service in evenings and on weekends. Yes Geelong has become much more of a dormitory city for Melbourne workers but this is driven much more by housing affordability than quality public transport.

  16. @ Wonder west, firstly i would say i hear you especially as i am from Manningham the only LGA in Metro Melbourne with no rail service at all. I am passionate about PT transports generally not just in my neck of the woods including Rowville rail, Cross River rail, Perth metro net and Sunshine coat railway. The reason i mentioned the rail projects is that i see a virtuous cycle of PT projects. For example, i feel the original Regional Fast Rail Project has become a victim of its own success and led all the subsequent rail projects i mentioned. With respect to Regional Rail Link it did allow for an increased frequency of rail services across the Vline and metro networks and did allow dedicated tracks in many parts of Metro Melbourne for regional services. As you pointed out correctly, it did lead to an issue of it becoming a suburban service due to new stations in the booming suburbs of Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. These suburbs need a metro service. Regional rail link was one biggest PT projects and the first major one to receive majority federal funding. One reason i was pleased about Geelong Fast rail and Waurn Ponds rail duplication is that is received federal funding and was bipartisan (Federal Coalition/State Labor). Sometimes the growth is Geelong and overcrowding trains is a good problem to have especially if it drives investment. In the past people used to say no one would use it. I agree PT within Geelong matters not just to Melbourne. I want to see Geelong being more than a Far Outer Suburb of Melbourne or a dormitory suburb but a jobs hub in its own right which is why i mentioned all Public Services that relocated to Geelong in my previous post.


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