Re-drawn: proposed changes to Federal electorates in Victoria could see big changes to who people in the Shire vote for. Image: AEC

Redistribution has big impacts on Shire

April 8, 2021 BY

THE Australian Electoral Commission has released proposed adjustments to Federal electorates in Victoria and they potentially include big changes in Golden Plains.

Statewide, Victoria is getting an extra electorate due to population growth and that’s resulted in a new division, set to be named Hawke after former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, located east of Ballarat and taking in Bacchus Marsh and Melton.

Member for Ballarat Catherine King. Photo: FILE

In turn that would see the current western portion of the Ballarat electorate redistributed into Golden Plains, with all but Bannockburn and localities south-east of there, like Batesford and Stonehaven, joining Ballarat.

If the changes are approved, it wouldn’t be the first-time parts of Golden Plains were included in the Federal electorate of Ballarat.

Back at the 2004 national poll small segments from the north-east of the Shire voted in the Ballarat electoral division.

Current Labor member for Ballarat, Catherine King, welcomed the proposed changes.

“Golden Plains is a region I know well,” she said. “Parts of the Shire council have been included in the Ballarat electorate previously and I would be excited to once again be those communities’ voice in Parliament.

“I am looking forward to continuing to represent the diverse communities that make up the seat of Ballarat and listening to the needs of the many communities that may come within the seat in the future.”

Currently the Shire is split geographically about 50/50 between Wannon in the north-west and Corangamite in the south-east.

As part of the redistribution Corangamite would be renamed to Tucker, after Yorta Yorta women and Aboriginal rights campaigner Elizabeth Tucker, with the electorate losing parts of the Otway’s due to population growth around Geelong.

Speaking in Parliament recently, current member for Corangamite Libby Coker said she backed the name change.

“While I love being the member for Corangamite, I wholeheartedly believe that this is the right decision,” she said.

Member for Corangamite Libby Coker. Photo: AAP IMAGE

“Corangamite takes its name from Lake Corangamite. The name is from the Gulidjan word koraiyn, meaning bitter or salty. But I am neither bitter nor salty about this decision to rename the electorate.

“We have 151 electorates in this place. Only 17 are named after a woman. The number of electorates named after a First Nations person is even smaller – only seven. We have more electorates named after former prime ministers than we do women.”

If approved, the electorate of Wannon, which is currently represented by Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan and includes all of south-west Victoria from Ross Creek to the South Australian boarder, would be removed from Golden Plains altogether.

The AEC is currently seeking feedback on the proposed changes to electorates across Victoria, including those that affect Golden Plains.

“Under the proposal, the boundaries of all but nine of Victoria’s existing electoral divisions would change,” said chair of the committee responsible for the changes, and electoral commissioner, Tom Rogers.

“Ongoing population growth in parts of Victoria has led the redistribution committee to propose a number of substantial changes to some of the state’s electoral division boundaries.”

A statement from the AEC said, “The best way to lodge an objection is online,” however feedback is also being taken via email to [email protected],  post at The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), GPO Box 768, Melbourne, 3001, and fax on 03 6293 7664.

For more information visit bit.ly/3wuQR77.