As outlined in a previous post, NSW is set to lose a seat at the next Federal election.
The AEC has released submissions to the redistribution that will reduce the state from 47 to 46 seats. In this post I’ll run through some of the major features of party proposals. You can find the submissions at this link.
Liberal Party Submission
The Liberal submission approaches the major tasks of the redistribution, that is dealing with a shortfall of voters north and south of the harbour, a surplus in Sydney’s south-west, and adjusting the boundary between metropolitan Sydney and the country.
These are the major changes though there are small changes that could have significant consequences.
- The Liberal Party has proposed to abolish Warringah, though a close inspection shows that the seat remains but has inherited the name of neighbouring North Sydney. (North Sydney is a Federation seat.) Splitting the old North Sydney three-ways and re-naming Warringah as North Sydney might cause some people to suggest Kylea Tink and Zali Steggall will contest the same seat. I think the name change is unlikely, but if it happens and Tink contests another seat, she will have opponents (falsely) claiming she is abandoning her seat. If the seat name kept is Warringah with North Sydney abolished, then Tink would more logically follow the majority of her voters and contest either Bennelong or Bradfield, depending on where the boundaries are drawn.
- The Liberal submission retains Windsor and Old Windsor Roads as the major dividing line between the North Shore and Western Sydney. It does this by splitting Macquarie into its two constituent parts with the Hawkesbury Council end of Macquarie combining with parts of The Hills Shire to create a new northern Sydney Liberal seat called Reiby.
- The Blue Mountains end of Macquarie is combined with Bathurst and Lithgow from Calare. Calare is abolished with the rest of the electorate shoring up Riverina and Parkes. Calare is currently held by Andrew Gee who left the National Party and became an Independent earlier this year.
- The re-arrangement of Macquarie means that Hume does not need to move into Sydney’s south-west suburbs. Instead it moves west, shoring up the margin of MP Angus Taylor.
- Mitchell extends further into Parramatta Council, pushing Parramatta south and strengthening the Labor margin, but with the benefit of pushing Bennelong east into more traditional Liberal territory. The changes to Bradfield and Bennelong create a three way split of the existing North Sydney, pointing back to my comment above on why Warringah was re-named North Sydney.
- The southern and more traditionally Labor voting end of Greenway is moved into McMahon making Greenway a future Liberal target, though not on 2022 results.
- South of the harbour, all seats shift west and Blaxland is abolished. Newtown is united in Tanya Plibersek’s seat of Sydney which will interest the Greens.
- Banks stretches east and Cook moves north taking areas from Barton. Moving Cook’s northern boundary avoids Hughes being pushed west of the Georges River to the south of Liverpool.
- Kurri Kurri is moved from Paterson to Hunter almost certainly making Paterson a notional Liberal seat.
- The new seat in Sydney’s west and south west is centred on Western Sydney Airport and proposed to be named Bird Walton.
Labor Party Submission
Labor’s submission abolishes one seat, the southern Sydney seat of Hughes. By not abolishing two seats and creating one as the Liberal Party has, Labor’s submissions involves a lot of shifting boundaries in western Sydney.
- Instead of abolishing North Sydney, Labor proposes to re-draw the seat as a Willoughby, Lane Cove and Hunters Hill based seat. Without a seat abolished on the lower north shore, everything else moves north and west. Bradfield adds Hornsby, Berowra picks up Windsor and Richmond from Macquarie, while Mitchell does not move south. Bennelong moves into the northern part of Parramatta. The Windsor and Old Windsor Road boundary involves only a small shift.
- Removing Windsor and Richmond forces Macquarie to gain voters which it does with a very inelegant split of Penrith with neighbouring Lindsay.
- Labor has kept Blaxland and produced a strong set of boundaries between the Parramatta and Georges Rivers, but only by pushing all the problems south of the Georges River. Coming up with strong boundaries for Barton, Watson and Blaxland has scrambled seats further west and south.
- Everything south of the harbour shifts west, but instead of abolishing a seat, Labor pushes Banks over Alfords Point Bridge to take in the Menai area from Hughes. Hughes is abolished, the eastern part of Hughes is placed in Cook, the southern part in Cunningham, the western end lands in a radically re-drawn Fowler.
- Fowler is held by Independent Dai Lee. The existing seat is divided between McMahon, Blaxland and Werriwa, with Fowler proposed to extend into a completely different area including Holsworthy and Macquarie Fields.
- Kurri Kurri is kept in Paterson, and given the seat must lose voters, produces an inelegant adjustment to the boundary between Newcastle and Paterson.
- Eden-Monaro moves east of the ACT, gaining Batemans Bay from Gilmore, with Gilmore then gaining parts of Shellharbour council. This strengthens Labor narrow margin in Gilmore.
- Angus Taylor’s seat of Hume is pulled into western Sydney.
- In my opinion the redistribution is unlikely to abolish a seat called Hughes given it is named after a former Prime Minister. I think it is also unlikely to do so given the scrambling of boundaries in Labor’s proposal.
National Party Submission
The National Party proposes few changes for its areas of interest, country NSW. Despite having little presence in Sydney, the Nationals have served up some interesting proposals.
- The Nationals have proposed to abolish Grayndler, the seat of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. This provides space for a new seat to be created further west in Sydney.
- The Nationals propose to abolish North Sydney and move Bennelong further east than the Liberal Party’s proposal.
- The Nationals also move Kurri Kurri from Paterson to Hunter which tips Paterson into the Liberal Party fold.
- The Nationals pay more attention to shoring up their own seats which results in Angus Taylor’s seat of Hume pushing into the edge of Sydney.
- In the North Shore game of pass the parcel, the Greens propose to abolish Paul Fletcher’s seat of Bradfield with North Sydney extending up the rail line.
- Newtown and Annandale are proposed to be united in Sydney, Grayndler moves west and Tony Burke’s seat of Watson would be abolished.
For obvious reasons the Independents tend to concentrate on their own seats.
- Sophie Scamps in Mackellar makes the obvious submission to move the seat’s southern boundary into Warringah.
- Zali Steggall suggests moving the western boundary of Warringah into North Sydney.
- Kylea Tink proposes to keep North Sydney but without offering strong suggestions about how the seat can be retained given the shortfalls in Mackellar and Warringah.
- As with other submissions, Allegra Spender in Wentworth suggests extending the seat west into Sydney and south into Kingsford Smith.
- Andrew Gee suggests his seat of Calare should remain unchanged.
- Independent MP for Fowler Dai Le does not appear to have lodged a submission.