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HomeLatest NewsElectionNew federal electorates proposed: Curly divided as north defects to Mackellar

New federal electorates proposed: Curly divided as north defects to Mackellar

Two ‘teal’-led seats of Warringah and Mackellar will be  shuffled and expanded and a third, North Sydney, abolished completely, under a proposal just announced by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) (14 June).

The main changes affecting Northern Beaches residents is that residents of North Curl Curl would move from Zali Steggall’s seat of Warringah to Dr Sophie Scamps seat of Mackellar, Warringah would take in the suburbs of North Sydney and Cremorne but lose Killarney to Mackellar.

How did we get here?

The Commission says a slower rate of population growth necessitates the redraw  of NSW electoral boundaries reducing them from 47 constituencies to 46. Furthermore, 39 of those electoral boundaries would be altered. This is because, according to the AEC, only 12 meet the two numerical requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act).

The proposals were first mooted in November 2023, when Manly Observer reported that the NSW Liberals suggested to the Redistribution Committee of the AEC that Warringah be abolished.

However, the proposed new voter boundaries presented by the AEC will see a shift for Beaches voters from one teal to another (next election outcome pending), and adversely affect only one Independent: North Sydney MP Kylea Tink. Ms Tink will effectively be made redundant as North Sydney electorate will be dissolved and absorbed into Warringah in the AEC’s proposed carve-up.

North Sydney Independent MP Kylea Tink. (Screenshot from her website)

Ms Tink, who defeated incumbent Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman in the May 2022 NSW State Election (who’d been in power for 7 years, perpetuating a safe Liberal seat for 26 years), released a statement yesterday expressing her dismay at the AEC proposal.

In the online statement, Ms Tink said, “As the proud independent representative for the people of North Sydney, I am obviously disappointed by today’s draft boundary announcement from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)….”

After declaring her commitment to continue to “hold both major parties to account for their lack of ambition and action on climate change,” she promised to “remain committed to the independent political movement.”

In finishing, she asserted, “This is a draft proposal and there is now a further process to go through. I will have more to say on this in due course.”

Dr Sophie Scamps, Independent contender for Warringah, at Waratah Park, Duffys Forest. Photo: Alec Smart

How does this affect the Northern Beaches?

Warringah realignment

If North Sydney electorate is abolished and the communities absorbed into Warringah, which suburbs will be affected?

As stated above, the main changes affecting Northern Beaches residents is that residents of North Curl Curl would move from Zali Steggall’s seat of Warringah to Dr Sophie Scamps’ seat of Mackellar; Warringah would take in the suburbs of North Sydney and Cremorne but lose Killarney to Mackellar.

In a statement released on 14 June, Ms Steggall summarised the statistical outcome of the recommended merger: “The AEC has proposed significant changes to the Division of Warringah boundaries with approximately 36,409 new constituents, formerly a part of the Division of North Sydney, and a loss of 15,257 constituents to the Division of Mackellar as part of its proposed redistribution of Federal Electoral Divisions in New South Wales.

“The proposed plan would see an increase in 21,152 constituents to the [Warringah] electorate.”

Existing Northern Beaches federal electorate boundaries 

These are the current boundaries for the federal seats of Mackellar, North Sydney and Warringah.

Proposed new Northern Beaches federal electorate  boundaries 

The proposed new map of Mackellar
The proposed new map of Warringah

Ms Steggall added: “Under the proposed changes Warringah would lose the suburbs of Killarney Heights, Forestville, Dee Why and North Curl Curl (the rest of Curl Curl would be retained). The new suburbs proposed to be included are Cammeray, Cremorne, Crows Nest, Kirribilli, North Sydney, Waverton and Wollstonecraft.”

Ms Steggall reminded people that electoral boundaries often change, including those of her electorate.

“There has been a division named Warringah since 1922… Prior to 1949 it included areas now in the electorates of Mackellar and North Sydney. Since 1968, the core of the division has been the suburbs of surrounding the two main commercial hubs of Mosman and Manly – and there have been a range of additional suburbs included or removed, including Cremorne, Castle Cove, Dee Why, East Lindfield, Forestville and East Killara.”

Ms Steggall, although potentially directly benefitting from the AEC’s proposed demise of Kylea Tink, was kind enough to pay her respects.

“I am mindful these proposed changes will have a significant impact on the North Sydney community. I am disappointed with the proposal to cut the Division of North Sydney. My fellow Independent, Kylea Tink MP has done a fantastic job representing her community. She is an excellent MP and has my full support.”

The AEC’s draft proposal for electoral boundary changes will be opened to the public for comment and submissions soon before the Redistribution Committee make its final determination in October 2024.

AEC proposal of NSW electoral boundary changes: https://www.aec.gov.au/redistributions/2023/nsw/proposed-redistribution/files/Proposed-redistribution-of-New-South-Wales-into-electoral-divisions-May-2024 .pdf

Listen to Michael Lester’s interview with Ben Raue from Tally Room

Article written by Alec Smart with Kim Smee 

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