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Gungahlin sundered for 2012 in the electoral redistribution

By johnboy - 29 September 2011 21

close shot

Elections ACT has announced their redistribution of electorates in the ACT for the 2012 election.

Crace and Palmerston are being shuffled into Ginninderra, further splitting Gungahlin. But the lunatic plan to split the Inner North along Northbourne Avenue with Turner, Lyneham and O’Connor smashed into Belconnen, has thankfully been consigned to the dustbin of history.

The Augmented Electoral Commission held a public hearing into the objections on 30 August 2011. After considering the objections the Augmented ACT Electoral Commission decided to alter the existing electoral boundaries by adopting the Redistribution Committee’s proposal to transfer the Gungahlin suburbs of Crace and Palmerston from the electorate of Molonglo to the electorate of Ginninderra. This change was made to ensure that each of the ACT’s three electorates will be within 5% of the enrolment quota at the time of the 2012 election. The electorate of Brindabella was not changed.

The redistribution of electoral boundaries will formally be completed by notification of an official instrument. A formal report will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

UPDATE: The ABC’s Antony Green has opined that this will mean minimal changes.

electoral map for 2012

What’s Your opinion?

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21 Responses to
Gungahlin sundered for 2012 in the electoral redistribution
damien haas 3:31 pm 29 Sep 11

Canberra needs more local electorates and the ability to hold MLA’s accountable for individual electorates. I’d like 25 members and 25 electorates. The current system delivers substandard democracy. Particularly for voters in Molonglo.

Fortunately im in Ginniderra, and i welcome our new Crace and Palmerston brethren!

Gungahlin Al 2:56 pm 29 Sep 11

chewy14 said :

Actually looking at it now,
what happens when the Molonglo development fully gets going in the next year or two?
Will they slowly leak the Gungahlin suburbs back to Ginninderra or something else?

Chewy: yes most likely – so we’ll end up in much the same place anyway, just slower.
Unless we get a remake on the Assemby size first – preferred.

Gungahlin Al 2:55 pm 29 Sep 11

Indeed JB. And I’d add that having offices out in the electorates makes for one less thing people have to commute out for. It has been working well since Brisbane City Councillors started moving out of Town Hall. Why not here?

BTW one other thing I said was that perhaps with three Gungahlin suburbs in Ginninderra instead of just one, maybe certain Ginninderra MLAs who’ve been ignoring Gungahlin the last 8 years could be expected to show up a bit more often that just the “meet the candidates” night…

chewy14 2:50 pm 29 Sep 11

Actually looking at it now,
what happens when the Molonglo development fully gets going in the next year or two?
Will they slowly leak the Gungahlin suburbs back to Ginninderra or something else?

johnboy 2:31 pm 29 Sep 11

There is absolutely no reason why every member of a parliament needs to have offices in the parliament building.

talk about tail wagging dog!

Gungahlin Al 2:24 pm 29 Sep 11

Just did an interview with WIN for tonight on this. As you never know exactly which grabs they’ll use, in a nutshell what I said was:

* we expected they’d back down after the backlash from North Canberra people
* we warned them that their proposal fragmented too many suburbs from their natural community
* the proposal we put forward way back was all of Tuggers and Weston in Brindabella with 5, all of Gungahlin and Belco in Ginninderra with 7, all of Woden, South and North Canberra in Molonglo with 5, except for one, maybe two suburbs from North Canberra into Ginninderra to make the numbers work, but likely to drop back to Molonglo at the next redistribution – so almost all suburbs not fragmented, including fixing the existing Molonglo, Gungahlin and Woden problems
* the take home message being that even the Electoral Commission are now on the record as admitting there is a problem with the strung-out Molonglo electorate
* and that this “minimum change” solution is only a holding pattern
* so…calling on all the MLAs to put their collective differences aside and work together to put an agreed position (with broad community support) to the Feds for an expanded Assembly at the 2016 election of either 5×5 or 3×7.

Interestingly, I understand that the government has done some work around accommodation needs for the existing Assembly building, and that it could hold the MLAs for 3×7, but 5×5 wouldn’t fit and the building would need extending.

We have done some modelling on 3×7 solutions, and it is pretty easy to do a north/centre/south split, just like Chewy said.

watto23 1:57 pm 29 Sep 11

The numbers are designed so that each person has a similar amount of electoral power. Of course it rarely works that way. I’d argue the members don’t actually represent the local areas that much anyway.

I think other than maintaining odd numbers, we could in theory have any number of electorates, but its highly unlikely you’ll get geographic representation, several woden suburbs have been grouped with tuggeranong for many years and despite being just over the hill, local issues are unlikely to affect these suburbs jointly.

chewy14 1:26 pm 29 Sep 11

should be 3×7.
1.Tuggeranong and Weston Creek.
2.Woden, South Canberra and the North of the Lake to Watson
3.Belconnen and Gungahlin.

johnboy 12:54 pm 29 Sep 11

It’s not local representation without local accountability.

personally I’d love to see 5×5.

but I’d also have each of the districts with a part time council, with real powers and a budget, sending a mayor to form an upper house of the Legislative Assembly.

Bosworth 12:51 pm 29 Sep 11

at least I can be thankful that I’m in the 7-member electorate, where the outcome is uncertain. My vote actually counts, unlike the 5-member electorates which will very probably be 2 Lab, 2 Lib, 1 Grn.

Also, why don’t we have one electorate with 17 members? That way the minor parties might have a chance. The Community alliance and Motorist Party miss out. They would have one seat each under this system in 2008. ‘local representation’ can be solved by the major parties assigning members to deal with local issues from specific areas

Growling Ferret 12:39 pm 29 Sep 11

Most Weston Creek-ites have never heard of Throsby, Forde or Casey

Thumper 12:19 pm 29 Sep 11

Yes, I can see the logic in grouping residents of Forde with Braddon.

johnboy 12:00 pm 29 Sep 11

We we’d end up with all-labor representation.

But then the fighting over which labor member we’d each have would get interesting.

Snarky 11:59 am 29 Sep 11

Ah, make that “five geographically disparate areas” in para 2. I appear to have forgotten how to count.


Snarky 11:55 am 29 Sep 11

While I understand that the question of how to divide up areas into electorates is hazy at best and therefore a probably impossible-to-satisfactorily-solve puzzle I’m baffled as to why the northern chunk of Gungahlin apparently has more commonality with my Molonglo suburb in Weston Creek than with the other southern chunk of Gungahlin that’s ended up in the Ginninderra electorate.

I understand EA are simply trying to divvy the place up with more or less equal populations, but I can’t see the logic of slapping three geographically disparate areas (Gungahlin, Canberra central, Jerrabomberra, Weston Creek and a bit of Woden) together to do so. How can 7 members effectively act on behalf of such a disparate collection in the one electorate?

Personally, and with absolutely no thought-preparation at all, I reckon we’d be better off with (say) 10 smaller electorates but only one member per electorate. At least there’s a local incentive for members then.

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