By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
Wallan will move out of the Yan Yean electorate and from a regional to a metropolitan Melbourne upper house seat as part of new Victorian electoral boundaries for the state election in November 2022.
The proposed changes were announced in June and were confirmed last week.
In the lower house, Wallan will move from Yan Yean into the newly created Kalkallo electorate, which takes in Beveridge, Craigieburn and the surrounding northern fringe of Melbourne, and replaces Labor MP Ros Spence’s seat of Yuroke.
Wallan will also move from the regional upper house seat of Northern Victoria, into the Northern Metropolitan region.
Labor’s Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes will no longer represent Wallan, and has confirmed she will move her Wallan office to a new location if re-elected.
“I am disappointed that the final boundaries for the Northern Victoria electorate for the 2022 election will no longer include a large section of Wallan – a community I’ve been proud to serve for the last seven years,” Ms Symes told the Review.
“I will work with parliamentary services on a new location for my office following the state election.
“I want to reassure the Wallan community that my electorate office remains available for State Government matters leading up to the 2022 election.”
The eastern fringe of Wallan will remain in Northern Victoria and, in the lower house, will continue to be represented by Labor’s Danielle Green.
“There’s always an element of sadness because I know I’m going to lose areas and constituents I’m very fond of, [but] I’m really glad that the final boundaries have returned Wallan East,” Ms Green said.
“It’s great just to have the certainty, and I’m committed to representing everyone in the Yan Yean district until the election.”
Under the changes Wandong and Heathcote Junction will also move from the Euroa electorate, represented by deputy Nationals Party leader Steph Ryan, into Ms Green’s electorate.
Ms Green said she was no stranger to regional areas and was looking forward to building on her connections in the Wandong area.
“I was born and raised in regional Victoria so I’m very comfortable representing those people and listening to their concerns,” she said.
Ms Green said she would gain about 1400 residents from the Euroa electorate, as well as a small number from South Morang and Wollert. She will lose electors in Diamond Creek, who now join Eltham. She has confirmed her Diamond Creek office would be relocated to be more central in her district.
It is Ms Green’s third electoral boundary shift during her tenure. Victoria’s Electoral Boundaries Commission conducts realignments every two elections for both houses of state parliament to ensure each vote has an equal value and each elector is represented equally.
The proposed changes address population growth north of Melbourne.
In the lower house, a total of 910,384 electors, 21.28 per cent of all electors, have been transferred to different electoral districts. In the upper house, the number of electors moved to different regions is 714,569, 16.7 per cent of the total.
Victoria’s Electoral Boundaries Commission, EBC, took into account 127 written and 25 verbal submissions received from the Victorian community when preparing the final boundaries, which saw changes to the boundaries in Gippsland, Ballarat and Melbourne.
Electoral commissioner Warwick Gately was pleased with the level of engagement in the process.
“Redivisions are a key part of Victoria’s electoral system, as they ensure fair representation and an equal voice for all voters in state elections,” he said.
“The EBC released proposed boundaries on June 30 and invited public comment. After considering the written suggestions and objections and holding two public hearings, the EBC has amended the proposed boundaries in 38 areas, transferring 127,425 electors to different electoral districts.”
People can view the new and current boundaries on the commission’s interactive map, or download maps in PDF format from the website ebc.vic.gov.au.