Submissions Published for Victorian Federal Redistribution

Victoria is currently undergoing a redistribution of federal electoral boundaries that will reduce the state’s representation from 39 seats to 38.

This has come about due to Section 24 of the Constitution which determines state representation in the House of Representatives. I published a post in June explaining how the allocation of House of Representatives seats to states is assessed one year into each term or parliament.

Using the formula set out in Section 24 of the Constitution, it was determined that New South Wales and Victoria will each lose a seat for the next Federal election, while Western Australia will gain a seat. The size of the House of Representatives will be reduced from 151 seats to 150.

The change in numbers has triggered a redistribution in all three states. In the last month I have published posts looking at the major party proposals for New South Wales and Western Australia. Both posts include links to earlier posts looking at how projected enrolment numbers will drive the redistributions in each state.

With today’s release by the AEC of submissions to the Victorian redistribution, it is time to look at what the major parties have suggested for Victoria. For background on how the Victorian redistribution might unfold, you can read my previous post on the projected enrolment data.

I had planned to write a summary of the various submission yesterday but the submissions were not published until evening. I will update this post with key suggestions made in the party submissions. You can find all 63 lodged submissions at the AEC website. The submissions are now open for comment by the public as set out on the AEC website.

You will note there is no Liberal Party submission. I understand the party missed the deadline for submission, but you can find what they proposed to submit on the Victorian Liberal Party’s website. Having missed the suggestions deadline, the Liberal Party will submit it as part of the Comments process before the Commissioners draw draft boundaries.

Proposed Abolitions

The Labor Party proposes to abolish Casey in Melbourne’s outer east. McEwen is proposed to straddle the upper Yarra. Labor proposes to re-name Gellibrand as Tucker.

The Liberal Party proposes to abolish Maribyrnong (or Fraser if the Commission thinks it more appropriate). The Yarra is crossed opposite the CBD with Macnamara abolished. Melbourne is proposed to run from the CBD to Post Phillip Bay generally west of Punt Road. The Liberal proposal creates a new seat called Peacock which takes in Richmond and Collingwood before extending west to Ascot Vale.

The National Party Submission concentrates only on rural Victoria and recommends minimal changes.

The Greens proposed abolition is McEwen, resulting in Menzies straddling the upper Yarra to include eastern parts of Jagajaga.

Regional Victoria

The last redistribution three years ago set most regional and rural electorates over quota based on pre-Covid enrolment projections. As a result, almost all rural and regional electorates fit within quota though both Ballarat and Bendigo require augmentation.

Labor’s submissions moves Hepburn Shire from Ballarat to Bendigo, with the balance of Golden Plains Shire moved from Corangamite to Ballarat and the Surf Coast down to Lorne moved into Corangamite and the balance of Moolap moved into Corio.

Labor’s submission splits Bacchus Marsh between Hawke to Ballarat. Hawke moves north to take in Gisborne, Macedon, Woodend and all of Macedon Ranges Shire from Ballarat and McEwen, while McEwen moves east into the metropolitan area. Casey is abolished but this is better dealt with in discussion of the metropolitan area.

Labor’s Proposed Changes to Hawke

The Liberal submission makes fewer rural changes including moving Macedon and Woodend into Bendigo, with consequential smaller changes to Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh transferred from Hawke. Sunbury is moved from Hawke to McEwen. The Liberal submission attempts to make Corangamite more rural by moving parts of Golden Plains Shire from Ballarat to Corangamite while moving Leopold into Corio.

In short the Labor submission protects Hawke and helps avoid a seat being abolished in western Melbourne while the Liberal submission improves the party’s position in Corangamite and tries to ensure a seat is abolished in western Melbourne.

North and West of the Yarra

The Liberal submission abolishes Bill Shorten’s seat of Maribyrnong, though it also suggests that retaining the geographic but indigenous name Maribyrnong might make it more appropriate to abolish Fraser, a seat named after a Prime Minister. Most of Maribyrnong ends up in the proposed Fraser.

This change pulls north-western Melbourne seats inwards, Gorton taking the western end of Fraser while Hawke moves east to Caroline Springs and also loses Sunbury to McEwen in the north. The Liberal submission makes far fewer changes to McEwen than Labor’s.

Labor’s Proposed Changes to McEwen

A big change proposed in the Liberal submission is to cross the Yarra in its lower reaches. It proposes that Macnamara be abolished south of the Yarra and the proposed Melbourne run from the CBD to Port Phillip Bay west of Punt Road. A new seat called Peacock is created that runs across several council boundaries in running from Richmond and Collingwood to Ascot Vale north of the CBD. The proposed seat is named not after former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock, but rather Lady Millie Peacock, the first woman elected to the Victorian Parliament.

Liberal Proposed New Seat of Peacock

In my opinion, the Liberal proposal is designed to avoid crossing the Yarra further upstream, and designed to mess with the minds of Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, and Labor MP for Macnamara Josh Burns. Bandt would have to decide which seat to contest, while lopping off Caufield would make Macnamara a notional Greens seat.

The Labor submission also removes Sunbury from Hawke but places it in Gorton while Hawke is proposed to combine Melton with Macedon Ranges Shire. Gellibrand, an early explorer’s name, is removed and replaced by Tucker after Margaret Tucker, an early female indigenous activist.

Labor’s submission extracts Whittlesea from McEwen and places it in Scullin. McEwen keeps Doreen, keeps parts of Nillumbik Shire, adds area around Research and Kangaroo Ground, parts of Mill Park from Scullin, and crosses the Yarra River to include the entire upper Yarra east to Warburton and also includes parts of the Dandenongs. McEwen goes from being a bits and pieces electorate to the north of Melbourne to a bits and pieces electorate to the north-east and east of Melbourne.

Labor makes only minor changes in inner northern Melbourne as do the Greens. The Greens propose abolition of McEwen and extend other electorate northwards but it is a little hard to understand from the submission where the different parts of McEwen end up. The Greens submission refers to attached maps but they are not present on the AEC website.

South and East of the Yarra

By abolishing Casey on the eastern edge of Melbourne, Labor has created space for all other electorates to move east and south east. Labor proposes no changes to Macnamara and only minor changes to Kooyong, Higgins and Goldstein. From there changes grow. Chisholm moves its northern boundary back to Koonung Creek, Hotham also moves north. Menzies and Deaking move east as a result splitting the suburban parts of the abolished seat of Casey. There are only minor changes to boundaries running south east from Dandenong.

Liberal Proposal for Melbourne extending south of the yarra

By abolishing Macnamara, (it may be better described as abolishing Melbourne), the Liberal submissions creates greater suggested changes. Caufield is transferred into Higgins while Labor voting areas around Carnegie are transferred to Hotham, most likely turning Higgins into a notional Liberal seat. No changes are proposed to Independent held Kooyong and only a small change to Independent held Goldstein. By abolishing Macnamara, the Liberal Party avoid having to make many changes across the rest of Melbourne.

By abolishing McEwen north of the Yarra, the Greens submission pushes inner-eastern seats north and east while Menzies is pushed across the Yarra.

Independent MP Dr Monique Ryan suggests no changes to her electorate of Kooyong, and Independent Zoe Daniel suggests only minor changes to her seat of Goldstein.

Summary of Submissions

The Labor and Liberal submissions do what you would expect, offer up one of your opponents seats for abolition. Labor abolishes Casey in outer eastern Melbourne pushing McEwen across the Yarra, while the Liberal Party chooses to cross the Yarra opposite the CBD, abolishing two seats in Macnamara and Maribyrnong while creating the new seat of Peacock.

The Liberal proposals create major change all across western and northern Melbourne with less change in the east. Labor’s proposals cause most change in outer east, north and west of Melbourne with only minor changes closer to Melbourne’s centre.

The Liberal proposal for Melbourne and the new seat of Peacock are messy, but then so is Labor’s proposed McEwen. But McEwen has a history of being a bits and pieces electorate since it was first created in 1984.

The next stage of the process is comments on the submissions, at which point the Liberal Party will formally lodge its missed deadline submission.

13 thoughts on “Submissions Published for Victorian Federal Redistribution”

  1. ‘while lopping off Caufield would make Macnamara a notional Greens seat.”

    Given how close the 3CP was between Labor, Greens and Liberals, wouldn’t it just push the Libs to 3rd on the 3CP and their preferences would then go on to elect Labor? Caulfield was their best area and replacing it with low Liberal voting areas surely turns it into a Labor vs Greens matchup, where Labor would win off Lib preferences.

    COMMENT: Those boundaries produce a big lift in Green vote, plus the Victorian Liberal Party directed preferences to the Greens last November. They haven’t proposed those boundaries to help Labor.

    1. You are probably right about the Liberals falling behind, the addition of Melbourne will probably give the Greens a 2-4 point lead over Labor on 3cp, which would mean a second last distribution giving about 35-36 for the Greens, 32-33 for Labor and then 30-31 percent for the Liberals. If you then think that Labor will get about 65% of Liberal preferences (a bit lower than in Cooper and Wills) you get about 53-54 percent for Labor, which is close enough to be in doubt, but still a Labor party.

      If the Federal Liberals were to direct preferences in How To Vote cards to the Greens ahead of Labor, then it would be notionally Green, by quite a large margin. So, on these borders, Macnamara would be firmly in doubt, in my view.

    2. On top of that, in the Liberal proposal Macnamara almost becomes Melbourne, so if Adam Bandt tries for the new Melbourne, then the Greens would have a sitting member, which would help, with Peacock presumably an easy Green seat.

      COMMENT: The weakness of the Liberal proposal is it splits Melbourne City Council to move only the CBD to the south side of the Yarra, ignoring all previous connections between the CBD and areas north and east and attaching it to the south. As the City Council crosses the river, you could argue that the council should be united in one seat and MCC areas south of the river be included, but this proposal does exactly the opposite and divides the council’s northern end in a way that makes little sense.

      The prize for the Liberal Party is to detach Caulfield from Macnamara and put it in Higgins. They have done that, but not produced a logical solution for dealing with the rest of Macnamara.

    3. Note that the Liberal Party how-to-vote cards had Labor ahead of the Greens at both the Aston by-election and the Mulgrave state by-election. Therefore I don’t think the Victorian Liberal Party will continue to preference the Greens ahead of Labor.

  2. A number of Suggestions (57 and 60 leap to mind) lambast the AEC for the quality of its projected elector counts. Do you have a view, and is are the calls to start over going to be heeded?

    COMMENT: No I don’t have a view.

  3. Would abolishing Casey and moving McEwen east result in a net seat loss for the Liberals? I haven’t looked at booth data but thought Whittlesea was better for Labor and the loss of that, coupled with gaining notionally Liberal areas from Casey and around Warrandyte wouldn’t be offset by picking up Research?

    COMMENT: I’ve made no assessment of who would win the new McEwen but I suspect it would be more winnable for Labor than Casey.

  4. Having gone through the submissions, I strongly believe that the AEC will feel as though they must abolish one of Macnamara, Higgins and Hotham.

    There quite a few suggestions which recommend the retention of Chisholm as a seat centred around Glen Waverley. Several submissions also make it clear that Hotham is currently not a coherent seat, with its pieces of Dandenong Council much better suited to Bruce. Therefore, if Hotham must move west to gain to offset the loss to Bruce and create a coherent seat, there just isn’t enough space for both Higgins and Macnamara.

    This also allows the Yarra to be crossed in the area that makes the most sense, that being in the CBD itself. Several submissions noted that Melbourne City Counil is the only LGA to cross the Yarra, making it a logical choice.

    This then means that inner northern and western seats can creep in to Melbourne’s north, and McEwen can shift east, allowing Hawke to move into its West, and give McEwen more focus around Whittlesea and the Diamond Valley.

    Deakin and Menzies can then reorient themselves as North-West seats, with Deakin taking Donvale, Park Orchards, Wonga Park and Warrandyte. Menzies would take Kooyong’s small portion of Whitehorse LGA, as well as the remainder of Blackburn and Box Hill in Chisholm. This all means that the Yarra doesn’t have to be significantly crossed north of the CBD.

    Antony, do you think this scenario and the abolition of either Hotham, Higgins or Macnamara is more likely than a western seat or Casey/McEwen?

    Cheers

    COMMENT: What you describe only happens if Melbourne comes south of the Yarra. If it doesn’t then the argument for abolishing an inner-city seat is diminished. The Liberal submission abolishes an inner-city seat by crossing the Yarra at the CBD. Labor’s Yarra crossing seat is upstream so an inner-city seat isn’t abolished. I suspect the Commissioners will work upstream rather than start with a major change at the Yarra’s mouth, but we will see what emerges with the draft boundaries.

    1. Thanks Antony. I really hope they go with Hotham rather than McEwen or Casey if it isnt an inner city seat. Moving rural parts of Casey into Menzies or Deakin while making Hawke and McEwen almost completely different seats makes very little sense .

      1. As someone living in Casey, Labor’s suggestion actually makes the most sense to me.

        Currently, the seat is a strange hybrid of suburban and regional areas united under a ‘community of common interest’ in the Yarra Ranges Shire Council. On a council level this may make sense with the area divided into wards. However, Federally it leads to circumstance of competing interests between the suburban and rural areas of the seat where neither community are adequately serviced by their MP.

        Labor’s proposal addresses this by largely shifting the outer suburban areas of the seat such as Lilydale and Mooroolbark into Deakin. A seat with which those areas arguably share more in common with Ringwood than they currently have with Warburton in the existing Casey boundaries.

        McEwan as it exists today would be in effect abolished and reformed around the regional areas of Casey.

        I believe this arrangement would allow for more appropriate representation for the communities of Casey in the Federal Parliament.

    2. The Liberal Party proposal is ridiculous. Ascot Vale has no connection to Richmond. I am sure people in Ascot Vale would prefer to be in Maribyrnong.

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