Submission to the Australian Electoral Commission on the Proposed Boundary Redistribution of the Macarthur Electorate
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed boundary redistribution of the Macarthur Electorate.
MACROC is the regional organisation of councils for the Macarthur area of South West Sydney. Formed in 1985, it represents the local government areas of Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly. MACROC’s role is to identify issues of regional importance and advocate for positive regional outcomes. Regional issues for the Macarthur region include transport infrastructure planning, managing population growth, employment generation, economic development and land use planning. The Macarthur region is targeted to accommodate the major proportion of Sydney’s projected growth over the coming years.
MACROC understands that under the proposed changes, the Macarthur electorate boundaries would move north to include Macquarie Fields, Denham Court, Leppington and Bringelly Rd with the western boundary contracting to The Northern Rd.
The projected enrolment in the existing Macarthur Federal seat is 113,762, which means it can gain up to 649 electors from other electoral divisions, or transfer up to 7089 electors to remain within the acceptable tolerances, according to the draft plans.
Under the proposed adjustment the seat of Macarthur would stand to gain 43,445 electors from Werriwa, and transfer 18 electors to the proposed Federal seat of Cunningham, located in the Darkes Forest area, and transfer 47,569 electors to the seat of Hume.
This means most of the population residing in the Camden area would be voting in Hume, previously covering the Wollondilly and the Southern Highlands areas.
MACROC does not support the proposed boundary redistribution of the Federal Electorate of Macarthur.
Rich in history and character, the Macarthur region was the birthplace of Australia’s wool, wine and wheat industries. Today, these links with the history of colonial settlement are reflected in the large number of heritage listed buildings that are still scattered throughout region.
If the proposed boundary redistribution was approved, the Macarthur electorate would lose its well-developed sense of community association with the historically significant Macarthur District, The very reason for the Macarthur Electorate’s existence is Camden itself, the place where the Australian sheep industry was born. John and Elizabeth Macarthur pioneered that industry as well as wine, horticulture and dairy enterprises at their property “Camden Park”.
The name “Macarthur” is indelibly linked to Camden and the region’s rich heritage. Macarthur is more than just a name on the electoral map. It is the symbol of a dynamic and progressive region, but at the same time, a region which is intensely proud of its connections with the past.
MACROC therefore submits that the boundaries of the Macarthur Federal Electorate and its name should remain unchanged, in recognition of the strong community association that has existed previously, and continues today, with the historically borne spirit of pioneering, enterprise, prosperity and community cohesion The association of a significant and growing community with the name “Macarthur” stands to continue to help “galvanise” the range of broad interests that contribute to our region’s community spirit and resilience. These are values that the Macarthur has always been renowned for, from its very beginnings.
This regional submission should be read in conjunction with the submissions made by our Member Councils.
11 November 2015
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