14 May 2023

Proposed boundary changes mean Red Hill, Forrest, Kambah will shift electorates for 2024

| Claire Fenwicke
Join the conversation
person voting

Who you vote for in the 2024 ACT election could look a bit different, depending on where you live and if proposed boundary changes are approved. Photo: Region.

Residents in Red Hill and Forrest could have a new range of MLAs to vote for next year, while all Kambah voters could be united once again, with proposed boundary changes released ahead of the 2024 election.

The ACT Electoral Commission published the new proposed electoral boundaries, which were changed to account for shifting populations to keep within legislated quotas.

Each Canberra electorate of Brindabella, Ginninderra, Yerrabi, Murrumbidgee and Kurrajong should contain one-fifth of the population; however, legislatively, they are allowed wriggle room of 5 per cent above or below the threshold.

Map of proposed boundaries for 2024 ACT election

Map of proposed boundaries for the 2024 election. Photo: ACT Redistribution Committee.

Both the Belconnen and Canberra Central districts are projected to grow to the point where they have more voters than permitted at the time of the next election.

“This dictates, at a minimum, Belconnen and Canberra Central cannot each be wholly contained within a single electorate and Brindabella must expand,” the ACT Redistribution Committee report stated.

To address Brindabella’s need for expansion, a change has been recommended for the suburb of Kambah.

Kambah was split down Drakeford Drive for the 2020 election to ensure the Brindabella electorate stayed within the set quota range, as the district of Tuggeranong would have too many voters.

“However, in 2023, the Redistribution Committee faces the opposite issue,” the report stated.

“Other areas in the ACT have experienced greater population growth than Tuggeranong, resulting in Brindabella needing to gain electors and additional localities to comply with projected enrolment quotas.”

It’s been proposed Kambah be made whole once again, thus enabling the entire Tuggeranong District to be contained in the Brindabella electorate.

“[In this decision] the committee reflected upon the regrettable but necessary approach taken in 2019 to split Kambah,” the report stated.

“In weighing up the possible approaches to Brindabella, the committee determined that the important matters for consideration prescribed in the legislation, such as community of interest and means of communication and travel, would be best achieved by reuniting the suburb of Kambah within a single electorate.”

READ ALSO No holds barred: Government’s new ruthless edge carries big risks

The border separating the Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee electorates has been shifted to accommodate the change, moving Forrest and Red Hill from the former electorate to the latter.

The committee said that by moving both suburbs, it aligned the projected enrolment figures more closely in line with the quota percentages of other electorates.

It argued that while a large nature reserve and golf course separate Red Hill from the current Murrumbidgee suburbs of Garran and Hughes, there was still a “significant road link” via Hindmarsh Drive.

Yarralumla and Deakin are already part of Murrumbidgee, so the committee felt the “potential inclusion of Red Hill and Forrest [to Murrumbidgee], being suburbs similar in locality, culture, history and socioeconomics to Yarralumla and Deakin, [was appropriate],” the report stated.

“The committee unanimously held the view that resolving the need to increase enrolment within Murrumbidgee was best addressed through reallocation of Red Hill and Forrest.”

Map of existing ACT electoral boundaries

Map of existing electoral boundaries. Photo: ACT Redistribution Committee.

As for the Ginninderra and Yerrabi electorates, no change has been proposed.

The committee noted while there was a “longstanding desire” in the community to move Kaleen and Giralang from the Yerrabi electorate to Ginninderra, it wasn’t possible for the upcoming election.

“[C]urrent and projected enrolment figures do not present a simple and logical solution for doing so at this redistribution,” the report stated.

“Any movement of Kaleen and/or Giralang into Ginninderra would necessitate commensurate alterations elsewhere within the electorate and the Yerrabi electorate would have to subsume localities from Kurrajong.”

Some community submissions argued current members for Yerrabi had less incentive to represent the concerns of Giralang and Kaleen residents as they felt Yerrabi members were more focused on the needs of the Gungahlin district.

Therefore, as Giralang and Kaleen are more part of the Belconnen district, they would be better represented by Ginninderra members.

The committee said while it understood these concerns, it was “largely powerless” within the legislation to make change without creating similar issues elsewhere.

“Although splitting the districts continues to be less than ideal, the committee considers that as the entire district of Belconnen is too large to be wholly contained within a single electorate, splitting the Belconnen district is inevitable,” the report stated.

READ ALSO Government urged to get on with building new schools in growth areas as overcrowding worsens

Canberrans have now been invited to make written objections to the proposal to the Augmented ACT Electoral Commission.

Objections need to be lodged by Friday, 9 June.

Following the public objection period, the final decision on boundaries and names of electorates will be made for the 2024 election.

No changes to electorate names have been proposed.

Objections can be made online or by emailing redistribution@act.gov.au.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

The redistribution changes the boundaries and brings the Liberal leaning suburbs of Forrest and Red Hill into Jeremy Hanson’s electorate of Murrumbidgee. This will put a spring in Mr Hanson’s step!
Mr Hanson has been hangin around in the Assembly for too long! With nothing to offer his party or ACT voters he is desperately looking for CM Andrew Barr to offer him a Brendan Smyth escape route!
Dream on Jeremy!!

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.