The Redistribution Committee for Victoria today published its report proposing names and boundaries for the 38 Victorian federal electoral divisions.
The Chair of the Committee and Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers said the Victorian redistribution is required to enable an increase from 37 to 38 federal electoral divisions.
“Under the proposal the boundaries of all 37 existing Victorian electoral divisions would change, the additional division of ‘Fraser’ would be created and four divisions would be renamed,” Mr Rogers said.
“The high population growth in Victoria together with the dispersed spread of electors has resulted in the Redistribution Committee proposing significant change to Victoria’s electoral division boundaries.”
The proposal would see the following key changes to boundaries:
Mr Rogers said the Committee was faced with the task of inserting a new electoral division while also bringing all 38 divisions within the allowable numerical tolerance.
“The proposed new division has been inserted into Melbourne’s west, reflecting population growth in that area. A number of consequential changes were made across the state to not only meet the numerical criteria but also align communities of interest where possible.”
The Committee proposes changing the Division of Corangamite to ‘Cox’ in honour of May Cox (1883–1953), for her lasting legacy in the teaching of Victorian swimming and lifesaving.
In 1910 May Cox was appointed as the first and only woman Supervisor of Swimming and Lifesaving in the Victorian Education Department. In 1929 May Cox, together with Frank Beaurepaire, launched the Herald and Weekly Times newspaper’s ‘Learn to Swim’ program which continues today through VicSwim.
The Redistribution Committee considers ‘Cox’ to be an appropriate name for an electoral division focused on Victoria’s Surf Coast due to May Cox’s contributions to teaching swimming and lifesaving and her strong connections to Queenscliff.
The Committee was loath to change the name of the division but observed that that the boundaries have changed so much that it is no longer connected to Lake Corangamite or the Corangamite Shire Council.
The Committee proposes changing the Division of McMillan to ‘Monash’ in honour of Sir John Monash CB(M) KCB(M) GCMG (1865–1931) who was one of the foremost Allied military commanders of the First World War and was recognised for his outstanding contributions to the community.
Monash was among the first under fire at Gallipoli and by 1918 was in charge of the entire Australian Corps. He was knighted on the battlefield and at the conclusion of the war was involved in organising the demobilisation and the return home of Australian personnel.
Monash was also an engineer and was known as one of Australia’s foremost experts in reinforced concrete for bridges, railways and other large construction projects. The Redistribution Committee considers ‘Monash’ an appropriate name for an electoral division located in the wider Gippsland area as Monash’s work at the State Electricity Commission contributed significantly to the development of the area.
The Committee proposes changing the Division of Melbourne Ports to ‘Macnamara’ in honour of Dame Annie Jean Macnamara DBE (1899–1968) for her contributions to medical science and improving the lives of patients suffering from paralysis.
While working with Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Jean Macnamara discovered the existence of more than one type of polio virus. As Honorary Medical Officer in the Physiotherapy Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne during 1927–1959, Jean Macnamara organised and supervised the care of children suffering from poliomyelitis, training doctors and physiotherapists in the management of the disease.
Her work extended to victims of lead poisoning and to people with cerebral palsy and those with poor posture. The first centre for children with cerebral palsy in Australia was opened on her recommendation at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 1940.
The Committee notes that the boundaries have altered such that while it once covered the ports area it now has a stronger residential and urban character.
The Committee proposes changing the Division of Murray to ‘Nicholls’ in honour of Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls MBE(C) OBE(C) KCVO (1906–1988) and Lady Gladys Nicholls (1906–1981) for their significant contribution in advocating for Aboriginal rights and welfare.
Sir Douglas Nicholls was a professional athlete, pastor and the inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation. He was involved in organisations such as the Australian Aboriginals League and the Aboriginal Advancement League. Nicholls also became Governor of South Australia in 1976, the first Aboriginal person to hold vice-regal office.
Lady Gladys Nicholls co-founded the Women’s Auxiliary of the Aborigines Advancement League and was involved with several national bodies, including the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the National Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Council, of which she was Secretary and Victorian State President.
Lady Gladys was among a group of resourceful Aboriginal women who worked together to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of their community and established a hostel for Aboriginal girls in Northcote (now the Lady Gladys Nicholls hostel).
The Committee noted the name ‘Murray’ is essentially a supplication of the neighbouring division’s name as ‘Indi’ is an Aboriginal name for the Murray River.
The proposed new Division of ‘Fraser’ is in honour of the Rt Hon. John Malcolm Fraser AC CH (1930-2015), Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983.
Mr Fraser was also a prominent figure in international affairs, particularly in his work on the issues of self-determination and democratic rights for people in southern African countries. In 1987, Mr Fraser formed CARE Australia as part of the international CARE network of humanitarian aid organisations. He remained chairman until 2002. In November 2006, Mr Fraser established Australians All to promote a more inclusive society through discussion and reform of inequalities and discrimination in law and policy.
The consultative nature of the redistribution process continues with individuals and organisations now able to lodge objections to the Committee’s proposed divisions.
Written objections must be lodged no later than 6pm (AEST) Friday 4 May 2018. The best way to lodge an objection is online. Objections can also be submitted via:
All objections received by the deadline will be available for public inspection on Level 1, Urban Workshop, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (business hours only) and on the AEC website from Monday 7 May 2017.
Comments on the objections will then be accepted until 6pm (AEST) Friday 18 May 2018. All comments on objections received by the deadline will also be made available for public inspection from Monday 21 May 2018.