Redraw redrawn

The federal redistribution of New South Wales has been completed, with a final determination that turns up fewer surprises than the recent effort in Queensland. Antony Green has as always given the new boundaries the once-over; all margins quoted herein are as calculated by him.

• The commissioners have responded to widespread criticism of the original proposal to put the electorate name of Reid out of commission, the general feeling being that Australia’s fourth prime minister deserved better. It has been decided that instead of changing the name of its eastern neighbour Lowe to McMahon (which under the redistribution takes in 32 per cent of the voters from abolished Reid), it will instead change to Reid and the new name of McMahon will be given to Prospect, located further to the west.

• To maintain continuity with local government boundaries, the frequently redrawn Calare will recover the western shires of Parkes and Forbes it was to lose to Parkes, and lose the areas of Wellington Shire Council (including Mumbi and Neurea) and Mid-Western Regional Council (Mudgee and Gulgong) it was to gain from it. This is great news for Calare’s National Party member John Cobb, whose margin is now cut from 12.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent rather than the originally proposed 1.2 per cent.

• The vast interior electorate of Farrer, which was originally to remain unchanged, will now absorb a part of the Shire of Central Darling including Wilcannia from Parkes, with no impact on its margin. Parkes in turn will gain the balance of the Shire of Parkes around Lake Cargelligo from its southern neighbour Riverina.

• A transfer of 1100 voters in the north-eastern part of the Shire of Tenterfield from New England to Page has been reversed. This has been counter-balanced by the transfer of the Shire of Lachlan from New England to its western neigbour Parkes. The collective changes to Parkes cut the Nationals margin from 13.8 per cent to 13.6 per cent.

• A transfer from Hume to Throsby south of Sydney has been slightly clipped so the town of Bundanoon remains in Hume. Hume also has its gain from Macarthur further to the north expanded to bring the boundary into alignment with the Nepean River and Sickles Creek, adding Theresa Park, Orangeville and Brownlow Hill in Sydney’s outskirts. None of the margins are affected.

• A transfer around Duckenfield on the west-east boundary between Newcastle and Paterson has been reversed, returning that area to Newcastle, which has further gained the adjacent area of Millers Forest.

• There have been minor adjustments to boundaries betweeen Cunningham and Macarthur, which have been tidied with elimination of a salient that formerly extended into Macarthur at Darkes Forest; Grayndler and what will now be called Reid, the latter of which gains a few blocks of territory to keep Croydon within one electorate; Bennelong and Berowra, where a proposed transfer of 1900 voters in Beecroft from the former to the latter has been reversed; and to the new boundary between Blaxland and Parramatta (in territory previously covered by Reid), adding three blocks of territory to the former at Granville.

• Other adjustments are more incidental still: a transfer of the unpopulated Spring Hill industrial area north of Port Kembla from Throsby to Cunningham has been reversed; Hughes’s boundary with Cook and Cunningham has been altered to follow the Illawarra Railway rather than nearby roads; and the boundary between Mitchell and Parramatta will now follow North Rocks Road rather than nearby Darling Mills Creek.

Other news:

• According to the ABC, the decision to maintain the name Reid increases the likelihood that its nominal member, Laurie Ferguson, will seek to continue his political career through a preselection challenge against John Murphy, the member for what is currently called Lowe. Ferguson is demanding that the matter be determined by a local ballot rather than the state or national executive processes which tend to prevail in contentious circumstances.

• Thwarted in McPherson, Liberal MP Peter Dutton now confirms he will attempt to retain Dickson, which he earlier swore he wouldn’t do.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports “sources across all factions” agree that Macarthur MP Pat Farmer is certain to lose Liberal preselection at next Thursday’s ballot to former Campbelltown mayor Russell Matheson. It is further said by Salusinszky’s sources that Farmer, who dumped a bucket on his own constituents on election night and has since moved far away from them to the expensive north shore suburb of Mosman, is only running to be eligible for parliamentary superannuation granted to those who serve three terms followed by “involuntary departure”. Soraiya Gharahkhani of the Camden Advertiser reports Labor’s preselection for the seat looms as a four-way contest between Nick Bleasdale (local carpenter and narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 2007), Greg Warren (the deputy mayor of Camden), Michael Freelander (a Campbelltown pediatrician) and Paul Nunnari (a wheelchair athlete). Ben Raue at The Tally Room offers an informed overview of the local political situation. The redistribution has turned the seat from 0.7 per cent Liberal to 0.1 per cent Labor.

The Courier Mail says the Liberal preselection for new Gold Coast hinterland seat of Wright will be “a five-way affair” involving Cameron Thompson, who lost Blair to Labor’s Shayne Neumann in 2007; Hajnal Ban, Logan City councillor and Nationals candidate for Forde in 2007; and Bob La Castra, Gold Coast councillor and former presenter of the 1980s children’s television show Wombat.

Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the New South Wales Liberal Party is “talking about recruiting everyone from the former ABC broadcaster Sally Loane to the former right-hand man to John Howard, Arthur Sinodinos”. Loane’s services are reportedly sought in Coogee, while Sinodinos might replace the outgoing Peter Debnam in Vaucluse. Conservative Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Devine is apparently not interested.

• Former NRL player Hazem El Masri has also reportedly been approached by the Liberal Party to stand in the ultra-safe Labor seat of Lakemba. However, Andrew Clennell in the Herald relates that “Liberal sources said yesterday they believed Mr El Masri would not agree to stand for Parliament”. Labor is also said to have its sights on El Masri, with earlier conjecture he might succeed Tony Stewart in Bankstown.

• The Progress Leader reports Graham Watt, the owner of a local carpet cleaning business, has been preselected as the Liberal candidate for Jeff Kennett’s old seat of Burwood, currently held by Labor’s Bob Stensholt on a margin of 3.7 per cent. Watt reportedly received 70 votes against 45 for former Hawthorn AFL player Steve Lawrence (who was given a reference by Kennett) and five for David Solly, IT manager and one-time Nationals member.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

811 comments on “Redraw redrawn”

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  1. Labor hasn’t wasted any time taking full advantage of Turnbull’s latest blunder!

    [“We don’t spend any of our time digging dirt,” said one senior source. “This is not the way we operate.”

    Mr Rudd’s spokesman said the email accurately described the Coalition’s tactics.

    “When you don’t have any policies, the only thing you have is smear and dirt.” ]

    And it looks like they got sprung trying out their “new” smear and dirt strategy big time!!!

    [Earlier yesterday the opposition attempted to attack the government by revealing that the Department of Veterans Affairs had spent $1.3 million on an executive training retreat and $10,000 subsidising a departmental sports day.

    But the attack backfired when Veterans Affairs Minister Alan Griffin revealed that the Howard government spent at least three times more on the events when it was in office]

  2. Did you pick up on the statement that the email came out of Senator Romaldson’s office, Scorpio? Another first class clown. The Libs have enough of them to start a circus.

  3. Fulvio Sammut,

    [Did you pick up on the statement that the email came out of Senator Romaldson’s office, Scorpio?]

    Yeah, but it has got Turnbull’s grubby fingerprints all over it.

    He has a bit of form in that regard! 🙂

  4. [According to what’s been reported in the Oz, that alleged muslim fanatic, allegedly preparing to bomb the bejesus out of our society, has a lot in common with that Catch the Fire Ministries prophet Danny Nalliah.

    They both believe that the Victorian bushfires are the punishment of God being visited on the Australian people for not seeing things their way.

    Why is only one of them being prosecuted?]

    Yes Fulvio, what rank double standards indeed – as they say when man’s islamic terrorist is another man’s Christian fundamentalist.

  5. Fulvio, it will be interesting to have a look around lunch time to see what the RWDB’s have to say in the comments. I hope yours gets a run!

  6. I wonder if the staff at News Ltd have their own Liberal Party Branch. There is enough of them for a fairly sizeable and active branch.

    Malcolm Colless is trying to help out with this piece here but seems to be trawling over ground already harvested fairly thoroughly by Rudd and Labor!!!

    [Let’s see some real differences in policy direction]

    [The opposition will face a long spell in the wilderness until it works out what it stands for, writes Malcolm Colless

    ADDRESSING business leaders at a public function recently, Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said a commitment to enterprise and freedom that acknowledged the need for risk-taking was what fundamentally separated the Liberal Party from Labor.

    The problem is that the Liberal Party is remaining silent on critical issues when it could highlight this point of policy difference.

    Worse, it is creating an atmosphere in which the electorate can be forgiven for assuming the Liberals are a Labor look-alike. ],25197,26263360-7583,00.html

  7. The poor old Libs are getting desperate now. The old “interest rate scare campaign” has been dragged out of the box of tricks for another run!

    Matty Franklin again doing his bit for the Liberal cause!!!

    [BATTLERS will be forced into delinquency on their home loan payments unless the Rudd government winds back its economic stimulus spending, according to the opposition.

    Opposition housing spokesman Scott Morrison said government spending would drive up interest rates faster than those in other nations and that if the pace continued it would put increasing pressure on home owners. ],25197,26264712-5013871,00.html

  8. Trying to tie interest rates to the stimulus package is a bit of a stretch. Shows just how much Rudd’s stimulus and handling of the GFC is hurting them.

    I bet when the world economy started to head south at a great rate of knots that they rubbed their hands together with glee. The only trouble was, Rudd saw the opportunities presented to him on a platter and has come through the crisis covered with gold dust and dripping with diamonds.

    What a brilliant cover to flood the “whole” electorate with buckets of money, gather some kudos and pick up a few votes on the way!!!

    Cue, wailing and gnashing of teeth!

    [Mr Morrison said the government’s refusal to wind back its spending on infrastructure, particularly in schools, was putting pressure on inflation and risked leading to increasing interest rates at a time battlers could least afford it.],25197,26264712-5013871,00.html

  9. Sorry William,

    MALCOLM Turnbull’s office has been been advising Coalition press secretaries to demonise special interest groups and attack public servants as fat cats.

    A leaked email from the Opposition Leader’s office, obtained yesterday by The Australian, also urged press secretaries to feed the perception that politicians were like pigs with their “snouts in the trough”.

    The email, headlined Digging Dirt, also called on the media advisers to concentrate on “quirky” stories which drew the attention of journalists, rather than policy discussions.

    Mr Turnbull’s spokesman last night confirmed the existence of the email but said it was sent without his knowledge.

    “This email was not authorised or approved by the leader or his office,” the spokesman said.

    “The staff involved have been counselled.”

    A spokesman for Kevin Rudd said last night the email was evidence of the opposition’s willingness to resort to smear campaigns to attract public attention to conceal its paucity of policy.

    Since taking the opposition leadership more than a year ago, Mr Turnbull has built his push for power on his economic policy credentials and has avoided personal attacks.

    However, the Prime Minister has frequently attacked Mr Turnbull as a smear merchant, in particular demanding his resignation after he used a forged email to demand Mr Rudd’s resignation in the OzCar affair.

    Despite Mr Turnbull’s aspiration to provide policy-based leadership, the email, written to media advisers on September 8, advocated a low-road approach.

    “You don’t get news stories by trying to change perceptions, you get them by reinforcing stereotypes,” said the email, penned by Peter Phelps, media adviser to opposition cabinet secretary Michael Ronaldson.

    Stories worth pursuing should cover: “Fat cat public servants not caring about taxpayers, pollies with snouts in the trough, special interest groups getting undeserved handouts from tax taken from hard-working Aussies, a favoured pro-Labor contractor who seems to be getting all the work for a particular job etc,” the email said.

    “While policy discussions are nice, the simple fact is that in opposition, the majority of our successful news stories are going to be ones which are a little quirky and which draw the attention of journos.”

    Mr Phelps sent the email to Mr Turnbull’s office as a follow-up to a meeting held earlier that day.

    An administrative assistant passed the message on to Coalition media advisers.

    Sources said more senior Turnbull advisers who later saw the email were “outraged” and moved quickly to inform Mr Turnbull and rebuke its author.

    “We don’t spend any of our time digging dirt,” said one senior source. “This is not the way we operate.”

    Mr Rudd’s spokesman said the email accurately described the Coalition’s tactics.

    “When you don’t have any policies, the only thing you have is smear and dirt.”

    Earlier yesterday the opposition attempted to attack the government by revealing that the Department of Veterans Affairs had spent $1.3 million on an executive training retreat and $10,000 subsidising a departmental sports day.

    But the attack backfired when Veterans Affairs Minister Alan Griffin revealed that the Howard government spent at least three times more on the events when it was in office. </blockquote?

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