Former South Sydney Councillor Sean Macken is tipped for Labor candidacy for the newly-created state seat of Newtown, following Linda Scott’s decision not to contest the seat.
The new seats of Newtown and Summer Hill will be contested in 2015, replacing the seat of Marrickville currently held by outgoing state MP Carmel Tebbutt.
The wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese resigned from her state seat earlier this month, advising she will not recontest the 2015 state election. Ms Tebbutt said she was honoured to have served in different roles in her 15 years as Member for Marrickville.
“It has been a privilege to represent the people of Marrickville in NSW Parliament and to serve as Deputy Premier,” she said.
“During the 15 years I have been in parliament, I have held a range of portfolios including Juvenile Justice, Community and Disability Services, Education, Environment and Health.”
Ms Scott, the City of Sydney Labor Councillor, said she wanted to focus on helping rebuild the Labor Party, despite making history as the first Labor candidate preselected for a seat by a combined ALP member and community electoral college process.
“I am a firm believer that Labor has to be clear about its values,” she said. “I openly acknowledge we must be more transparent and reconnect with the people of the inner city and, as the first Labor candidate to be selected via community preselection, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to be part of this process right across the city.
“Being elected as a candidate in Labor’s first community preselection is a great honour and, at this stage, I feel I can continue to deliver important community outcomes by focusing my work as a councillor in Sydney.”
The boundary shift represents a noteable shift in the urban electoral demographic, which has long been considered safe Labor territory. The ABC’s election analyst, Antony Green, has predicted the new seat of Newtown will be marginal Greens, at a margin of 4.4 per cent.
The Vice President of Electoral Reform Australia, Stephen Lesslie, said the new state seats of Newtown and Summer Hill should be elected using proportional representation. NSW seats are currently single-member electorates.
“With single-member electorates, up to 50 per cent of voters may be represented by a Member of Parliament that they did not vote for,” Mr Lesslie said. “It would be much better to have bigger electorates returning many members elected by proportional representation.
“With proportional representation there are no ‘safe’ seats and every voter in NSW would have the same influence on the outcome of the election as any other voter.
“Up to 85 per cent of voters would be represented by the candidate to whom they gave their number one vote.
“A parliament elected by proportional representation would reflect all the major political opinions of a pluralist society.”
Prominent environmentalist Felicity Wade has also indicated her interest in running as Labor candidate for Newtown.