New name, now bound­ary

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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