City News

Pushing boundaries: changes proposed for Sydney electoral district

The NSW Electoral Commission has released details on their proposed electoral redistribution. Photo: NSW Electoral Commission

By ALLISON HORE

The NSW Electoral Commission has released proposed new state electoral boundaries for NSW.

On November 9th, the NSW Electoral Commission published their list of proposed district names and boundaries, which included changes to the Sydney electorate. 

The proposed changes would mean most of Surry Hills, which is currently split across two state electoral districts- Sydney and Newtown, would move back into the Sydney electorate, as well as Moore Park and Centennial Park. To keep the population balanced, in Sydney’s East, Woollahra and Edgecliff would be shifted to the Vaucluse electorate. 

Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, said the “arbitrary boundary” splitting Surry Hills in two has been confusing for residents. In July, he made a suggestion to the NSW electoral commission that the boundaries be changed to reflect the catchment of local services.

“Under the current boundaries, the Surry Hills Police Centre is located within the Sydney electorate, while the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre is within the Newtown electorate,” he said in his submission.

“Residents who live south of Foveaux and Fitzroy Streets have continued to contact my office and are confused and dismayed when they are told they live in the Newtown electorate, which is some suburbs away and divided from Surry Hills by the railway line.”

The proposed changes are part of the commission’s regular redistribution process which occurs after every second state election. The aim of the redistribution process is to ensure there are approximately the same number of voters in each of the state’s 93 electoral districts.

Just under 60,000 people live in the division of Sydney.

The redistribution panel also suggested transferring Lord Howe Island to the electoral district of Sydney from the district of Port Macquarie. 

This change was made to make it easier for constituents in Lord Howe Island to meet with their representative. At the moment flight arrangements mean Lord Howe Island residents have to stay at least overnight in Sydney before they can transfer to Port Macquarie. 

Comments on the proposals can be made online until Wednesday 9 December.

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