|The Electoral Boundaries Commission released proposed new state electoral boundaries for public comment on Wednesday.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) has been conducting a redivision of electoral boundaries for both Houses of State Parliament to ensure that each vote in Victorian State elections has an equal value and that each elector is represented equally in the Victorian Parliament.
“The EBC in December 2020 invited submissions from the public, and received 58 submissions – five from political parties, 15 from organisations and community groups and 38 from individuals,” Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately, one of the three members of the EBC, said.
“‘Anyone interested in providing comment on the proposed boundaries should lodge a written submission before 5 pm Friday 30 July 2021.”
The report released by the EBC notes the following regarding the Lowan District:
Lowan District is the largest by geographical area in the state, stretching from within 10 kilometres of the coast on the Lower Glenelg River to the Big Desert north of Nhill. It is based on two major centres (Horsham and Hamilton) and includes the bulk of the Wimmera area. The district’s enrolment has been trending downwards; currently it is 10.32% below the average, and is predicted to decline further. Lowan District has to gain electors to meet legislative requirements.The process of developing this proposal also considered the need for the Polwarth District to have its numbers reduced. The varied and complex associations between towns within a region were also considered, for example, ensuring that the Wimmera is not split across two electorates.
The EBC suggests that:
In the east… to transfer 5,585 electors in Stawell, Great Western and Glenorchy from Ripon District to Lowan District, using the Wimmera River as a boundary. This area has strong links along the Western Highway with Horsham and the Wimmera.With these additions, Lowan District’s enrolment would be 4.68% above the average, and will remain comfortably within the 10% tolerance over the forecast period.
In the south-east, the EBC proposes to transfer 1,591 electors in the Mortlake area from Polwarth District to Lowan District. This area has a link with Hamilton along the Hamilton Highway, and a clear eastern boundary following the Moyne Shire boundary and Mount Emu Creek.
The district boundary would be strengthened by transferring 114 electors in Caramut from South-West Coast District to Lowan District.
The EBC will take account of community suggestions and objections and prepare final boundaries by late October 2021. These boundaries will take effect at the 2022 State election.
A full map of the proposed Lowan boundaries is available on the EBC website at this link.