The Liberal Party has proposed that Deakin move from Kurrajong to the neighbouring ACT electorate of Murrumbidgee. See Canberra Times
Should DRA oppose the suggestion?
We note that Labor proposes that Red Hill be moved to Murrumbidgee.
There are no suggestions to change for Yarralumla.
We have until 18 March to comment on these and other proposals.
Some discussion points which DRA proposes to put in a submission follow:
The DRA committee believes there should be no change in electoral boundaries as the projected Kurrajong population in 2020 is still within the acceptable range for the size of an electorate.
While it may make political sense for the Liberal Party (and moving Red Hill would deliver advantages for Labor) it does not make geographical sense for Deakin residents or for gaining traction on issues relevant to the residents of Deakin and on which DRA would be looking for representations by our local members.
DRA notes that:
- Deakin is geographically part of the inner south of Canberra.
- Deakin is a unique garden suburb with strong heritage issues similar to surrounding suburbs and unlike many of those in the Woden area; a major issue for Deakin is preservation of its historic garden suburb status.
- Deakin hosts a number of national institutions such as embassies and The Lodge. It is a varied suburb and less a dormitory suburb like Garran, Hughes or Curtin. Many issues in the Molonglo Valley are different.
- Parts of Deakin are covered by NCA planning zones and rules which overlap with ACT Govt planning requirements and as such have a close affiliation with Forrest and other inner south suburbs
- Deakin is bounded by two National Avenues (Adelaide and Melbourne) with heritage issues relevant to that status; unlike suburbs in Murrumbidgee. It adjoins the nationally significant National Parliament and the Central National Area.
- Deakin and Yarralumla have very similar planning and resident issues and interests and should be kept in the same electorate.