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Gungahlin’s further electoral fragmentation

By johnboy - 5 May 2011 9

Proposed electoral map

The ACT Electoral Commission is proposing changes to the ACT’s electoral boundaries.

Specifically:

— The suburbs of Palmerston and Crace be transferred from Molonglo to Ginninderra; and
— The portion of the district of Molonglo Valley north of the Molonglo River be transferred from Ginninderra to Molonglo.

A pdf of the proposed map is online, as is the reasoning behind the proposals.

The ACT EC now awaits comments and objections.

Bear in mind the number of electorates and members is beyond the scope of a redistribution.

UPDATE: Gungahlin Al sent this in:

It seems the ACT Electoral Commission’s Boundary Redistribution Committee is baulking at fixing the “Molonglo Problem” yet again.

Today they have released their recommendation to again just tinker around the edges, further fragmenting Gungahlin’s representation across two electorates.

Instead they could be making a more significant step to fix the issue of the Molonglo electorate being sprawled from the northern border, wrapping around Belconnen, and then down almost to Tuggeranong.

It needs fixing because it is a very difficult electorate to represent, and it will only get worse as Gungahlin expands into new development in Harrison, Moncrieff, Kenny, Throsby, Ngunnawal and then Jacka. Likewise, the Molonglo development will make it harder to balance the electorates without further fragmentation.

The Canberra Times sees it as a front-page story, reporting though that the Gungahlin Community Council proposal to fix the problem is getting significant support:

A campaign by Gungahlin community activists may be about to force one of the territory’s biggest electoral boundary carve-ups.

The proposed changes would throw political preparation for next year’s territory election into turmoil and create a new ”super electorate”, taking in nearly all of Canberra’s north.

The push for the radical shake-up that would see 34,000 voters shunted into a new electorate is being driven by lobbying by Gungahlin residents who are fighting to keep the cluster of new suburbs voting as a bloc.

The GCC submission proposes that all of Belconnen and Gungahlin be combined into one 7-member electorate. In the interim it would also need to include one North Canberra suburb (Watson) to make up the numbers, but this would quickly drop off as the population grows in Harrison and Bonner.

The electorates would then essentially be north, central and south.

The period for objections to the Electoral Commission’s recommendations (or support or object to the alternatives) closes on 2 June.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
Gungahlin’s further electoral fragmentation
colourful sydney rac 9:57 am 06 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Primal said :

Ian said :

Conceptually, I don’t think a bigger Assembly would be a bad thing, maybe 3×7 member electorates.

How about 7×3 instead? We could go back to that quaint notion of a “local member”!

Personally I’d favour 5×5. I think 7 is too big (read: expensive) for an average Joe or Jane independent to mount an effective campaign, therefore guaranteeing most MLAs coming out of it will be from parties, and generally the larger ones. 5 is small enough to be campaigned from a low resource base but enough numbers to be likely to have variable mixes of successful candidates.

GIven the quality of the independents that have been elected in the ACT (think Paul Osborne and Dave Rugendyke) a system keeping independents out may be a good thing.

Gungahlin Al 9:29 am 06 May 11

Primal said :

Ian said :

Conceptually, I don’t think a bigger Assembly would be a bad thing, maybe 3×7 member electorates.

How about 7×3 instead? We could go back to that quaint notion of a “local member”!

Personally I’d favour 5×5. I think 7 is too big (read: expensive) for an average Joe or Jane independent to mount an effective campaign, therefore guaranteeing most MLAs coming out of it will be from parties, and generally the larger ones. 5 is small enough to be campaigned from a low resource base but enough numbers to be likely to have variable mixes of successful candidates.

mr sludge 11:50 pm 05 May 11

Ho Ho,it`s thursday night and off we go,tune the fiddle strain the bow.The saw doctors.
@ Gunghadin(sic) Al, your point about the second last criterion on the list getting more consideration than the fifth criterion seasonally adjusted means the redistribution of the objective community is fragmented by the blah blah blah etc.
reading between the lines Al, can I take it you have your hand up for the 17thspot in the legislative assembly?
@ Ian conceptualises an assembly with 3x7representation,what?1x labor,1liberal,1green,1turnip,1kidney?2no trumps?
You blokes should be ashamed of yourselves,if you cant get elected under the current system,try harder.Oh! i was a close 15th last time,lets make it top 17 neck time.FFS
Gunghadin Al, you got my vote,you get elected you answer all my crackpot questions!
In regards to the buses banjoed post,my reply is coming soon

Primal 10:22 pm 05 May 11

Ian said :

Conceptually, I don’t think a bigger Assembly would be a bad thing, maybe 3×7 member electorates.

How about 7×3 instead? We could go back to that quaint notion of a “local member”!

Ian 7:29 pm 05 May 11

Primal said :

“Bear in mind the number of electorates and members is beyond the scope of a redistribution.”

Which is a pity, because that’s quite plainly the big problem. They’re trapped in the 5-7-5 model and the only proposals that make it work…are silly.

Conceptually, I don’t think a bigger Assembly would be a bad thing, maybe 3×7 member electorates. And the extra cost in the overall scheme of things wouldn’t be much.

In practice though, the problem is that in any of the 17 member Assemblies since Self-Government there’s been, maybe 1/3 of the members who are even worth feeding, let alone worth what they’re paid. I suspect a bigger assembly would give us 4 more quality members, but just more dross.

Primal 6:30 pm 05 May 11

“Bear in mind the number of electorates and members is beyond the scope of a redistribution.”

Which is a pity, because that’s quite plainly the big problem. They’re trapped in the 5-7-5 model and the only proposals that make it work…are silly.

Morgan 3:36 pm 05 May 11

I wonder whether it is time to consider increasing the number of electorates. The current system certainly didnt account for the size of Tuggeranong, Weston Creek or Gungahlin.

The Frots 3:14 pm 05 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

The legislation requires them to “duly consider —
(i) the community of interests within each proposed electorate, including economic, social and regional interests;
(ii) the means of communication and travel within each proposed electorate;
(iii) the physical features and area of each proposed electorate;
(iv) the boundaries of existing electorates; and
(v) the boundaries of divisions and sections fixed under the Districts Act 2002.”

Our point is that the second last criterion on the list gets most of their consideration, disproportionately compared to the first criterion on the list.

I note though that down the end of their report it says of the 7-member Ginninderra electorate option:

“The Committee therefore invites the ACT community to comment on the above option
in the objection stage of this redistribution process. Should significant community
support for this (or another) change emerge during the objection process, the
Augmented Commission would have the option of rejecting the proposal of this
Committee and substituting its own proposed redistribution. If that were to occur, the
Electoral Act would require the Augmented Commission to conduct a further round of
objections should the Augmented Commission’s proposal be significantly different from
the proposal made by this Committee.”

So they are saying that significant community support could sway their decision…

Hey Al – I heard your interview again today on the ABC. Excellent interview and your got the issues across really well. It’s hard to believe that this proposal is serious – anyway, you have my vote!

Gungahlin Al 3:04 pm 05 May 11

The legislation requires them to “duly consider —
(i) the community of interests within each proposed electorate, including economic, social and regional interests;
(ii) the means of communication and travel within each proposed electorate;
(iii) the physical features and area of each proposed electorate;
(iv) the boundaries of existing electorates; and
(v) the boundaries of divisions and sections fixed under the Districts Act 2002.”

Our point is that the second last criterion on the list gets most of their consideration, disproportionately compared to the first criterion on the list.

I note though that down the end of their report it says of the 7-member Ginninderra electorate option:

“The Committee therefore invites the ACT community to comment on the above option
in the objection stage of this redistribution process. Should significant community
support for this (or another) change emerge during the objection process, the
Augmented Commission would have the option of rejecting the proposal of this
Committee and substituting its own proposed redistribution. If that were to occur, the
Electoral Act would require the Augmented Commission to conduct a further round of
objections should the Augmented Commission’s proposal be significantly different from
the proposal made by this Committee.”

So they are saying that significant community support could sway their decision…

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