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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


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21 Responses to
Gungahlin sundered for 2012 in the electoral redistribution
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whitelaughter 8:18 pm 29 Sep 11

Bosworth said :

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

You’ve just answered your own question: a single electorate means fewer plum positions for the major parties. (Labor didn’t have the numbers to inflict self-government on us without bribing the Democrats, which is why we don’t have single member electorates. We were at least able to express our displeasure at the Democrats by keeping them out of the assembly).
Mind you, if the Greens and Liberals between them had a majority in the assembly, they could attempt to change to a single electorate – whether it would get through the Federal govt or not, don’t know. Maybe, at least after the next election! (I guess it depends on whether the preferences of the minor parties go mostly to Labor or the Liberals).

bd84 5:55 pm 29 Sep 11

The electorate boundaries are just there to make the election process easier. After election day, they go out the window as, in general, they are irrelevant.

I have yet to see many issues in this city where they only apply to one particular electorate, if it happens here it normally effects most people, no matter what electorate they live in. Ever seen a member for Molonglo campaigning the government about an issue only applying to that area? The members are either ministers, shadow ministers or useless labor members on the back bench doing nothing.

alaninoz 5:16 pm 29 Sep 11

johnboy said :

Highly democratic, not very representative I’d say.

Not democratic either, as we live in an elective oligarchy rather than a democracy.

cscoxk 4:56 pm 29 Sep 11

We could have one electorate and we the voters tell the candidates (if we wish to) – you are the person I voted for and I want you to represent my interests. Here is where I live, these are things I am interested in, and if you want my opinion on any of these things then here is how to contact me. The system is meant to be a representative democracy. How can people represent us if they do not know who we are and what we want? Of course if you want to keep your vote secret then that is fine but if you want to tell the person they are your representative then you should be able to do that too. This means there is no need for all this bother about electorates.

The existing system means that probably 49% of the people have no representative. The proposed system means we will all have a representative – even if they are not our first choice.

johnboy 4:39 pm 29 Sep 11

Highly democratic, not very representative I’d say.

Gungahlin Al 4:10 pm 29 Sep 11

damien haas said :

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!

Many people would contend Damien that single member electorates are not particularly democratic. Myself included. Baby – bathwater…

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.

🙁

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