New name, now boundary
It is proposed to rename McMillan to Monash, in recognition of World War 1 military commander Sir John Monash.
Sitting Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent will no longer live in the electorate, with the redistribution proposing to transfer the Pakenham growth area to the Latrobe electorate.
Bunyip North, Garfield North, Tonimbuk, Tynong North and Nar Nar Goon also will be moved into Latrobe.
To even up the scales, it is proposed the new electorate will gain towns from the Flinders electorate including Koo wee rup, Lang Lang, Grantville and San Remo.
More than 35,000 electors will be transferred to neighbouring Latrobe while 20,000 will be gained from Flinders.
While losing his home patch of Pakenham, Mr Broadbent will gain many of the electors he originally represented as the Member for Corinella in the early 1990s.
Mr Broadbent, who currently holds the seat with a six per cent margin, expects the margin will be reduced to about three per cent.
He said the growth area had essentially been transferred to Latrobe.
While election results in all the Pakenham booths reflected a swing to the ALP at the 2016 federal election, Mr Broadbent said it was difficult to analyse figures.
He said 20 per cent of people voting at the Pakenham booths in 2016 had not voted in the electorate previously.
“It is a massive growth area and they seem to be mainly ALP voters,” he said.
Mr Broadbent said gaining the coastal areas of Bass Coast returned the seat to its regional roots.
The redistribution committee said “the Bunyip River, Princes Fwy and a number of locality boundaries are adopted as the new boundaries in the north-west of the proposed electoral division.”
“They probably have it right in that Gippsland starts at the Bunyip River,” Mr Broadbent said.
On the name change, Mr Broadbent said Monash was a name he proposed some years ago during early discussions but it was criticised.
Calls to rename McMillan has gained momentum in recent years, because of reports that Angus McMillan massacred Aboriginal people in Gippsland area in the 1840s.
“I’ve had representations from the community constantly on this over the past 10 years and it was enough for me to say, people want the change.
“It will be interesting to see how it is received. I’d be honoured to be the first Member for Monash.
“But there is a nostalgic link. Barry Symons and Barry Cunningham were both excellent members and their names are associated with the history of McMillan,” he said.
Mr Broadbent said he thought Monash was an appropriate name given he had an office in Foster and a connection with the Latrobe Valley area.
There were 10 names put forward to the redistribution committee for consideration including one woman Bennett – after Hazel Bennett, a pioneering woman in South Gippsland.
Other names with definite West Gippsland links included Rose in honour of Lionel Rose, Warrigal, West Gippsland, Gurnai-Kurnai and Howitt, in honour of Alfred Howitt’s work on Aboriginal culture and social organisation.
The report said the redistribution committee favoured Monash in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community and because of his work with the State Electricity Commission which contributed significantly to the Gippsland area.
Submissions on the proposed name change and electoral boundary can be lodged with the Electoral Commission by May 4.