THE ELECTORATE candidates are pitching to this state election has changed since the 2010 election.
This story was first published in the 14 November 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
The Victorian Electoral Commission reviews the make-up of each electorate on an ongoing basis, attempting to maintain a consistent number of voters in all districts by adjusting boundaries.
A considerable change has been made to east and west boundaries of Narracan for this election. Just over 5,500 voters from Newborough and parts of Hernes Oak, Tanjil South, Yallourn and Yallourn North were moved out of the seat into the neighbouring seat of Morwell, while Narracan gained 5,720 voters from the Bass district to the west, including people in Bunyip, Cora Lynn, Garfield, Maryknoll, Nar Nar Goon, Nar Nar Goon North, Tynong and Tynong North.
Above: a map of the new boundaries. Source: VEC.
The seat also picked up a chunk of the Bunyip State Park from the seat of Gembrook.
Modelling published by the VEC suggests the changes have made Narracan a stronger seat for the Liberals, with an estimated two-party preferred vote of 66 per cent for the party under the new boundaries.
Narracan’s two-party preferred result at the last election was 62.39 per cent Liberal, 37.61 per cent Labor.
Despite the redistribution being expected to work in his favour, sitting Liberal MP Gary Blackwood told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen there would be challenges in reaching out to new parts of the electorate.
“You’ve just got to accept it, it doesn’t really worry me,” he said.
“The challenge for me now is to become known in the new areas.
“I was probably sad to lose Newborough because I used to have some really good contacts in Newborough developed over the eight years, they’re a great group of people down there, but the electoral commission makes these decisions for their own reasons.”
He did however express concerns the electorate had not been set up with future growth in mind.
“It is really about making sure they keep the electorates pretty balanced in terms of number, I understand that, but the thing that [gets] me a bit is we’re at 42,000 now and we’ve got a growing population. It’s going to be quite a while before the next redistribution so potentially we could have a population in Narracan of 60,000 before the next redistribution.
The redistribution does however work for Labor candidate Kate Marten in one way: she lives in Pakenham, which is just on the fringe of the redefined electorate.
Census data for the redistributed electorate suggests the age groups of voters are relatively well spread out, with 35 per cent of the population is aged between 40 and 64 years.
Just over 84 per cent of Narracan electors were born in Australia, while 3.6 per cent were born in England and one per cent were born in New Zealand.
The largest religious grouping is “No Religion”, with 26.9 per cent, with Catholics a close second at 23.2 per cent.
Just over 17 per cent of people in the new Narracan are technicians or trades workers, whereas “professionals” make up 15.2 per cent of workers.
Three per cent of the population travels to work via public transport, the bulk by car.
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