By NICOLE WILLIAMS
GEMBROOK electorate could be split in two after draft changes to the electoral boundaries were released last week.
Victoria’s Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) has proposed new boundaries to balance growth.
The Gembrook electorate will be slashed with the Yarra Valley region moving into the Eildon electorate.The EBC report said the expected growth in the Gembook electorate would far exceed the average 41,473 voters per electorate to ensure balanced voting.
It is currently 7.32 per cent above the average and is projected to rise to 19.63 per cent above.
“The EBC proposes that the Upper Yarra Valley be transferred to the new Eildon district, to strengthen Gembrook’s community of interest and help with numbers,” the report said.
“As well, the EBC proposes transferring the southern part of Yarra Ranges Shire, plus Clematis, to Monbulk district, so that the Gembrook district is confined to two municipalities (Cardinia and Casey).”
If the proposed changes are accepted, Gembrook will also include all of Officer, most of Berwick and Pakenham will be divided by the Princes Highway.
Current Gembrook MP Brad Battin said he supported the proposed changes.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering great projects to the Gembrook electorate – including Officer Specialist School, Officer Secondary College, the duplication of Cardinia Road and Clyde Road, hundreds of new railway station car parks and PSOs,” he said.
“I am proud to be delivering these initiatives to Gembrook. I look forward to seeing the final release of boundaries, due in October.
“Bass is also expected to lose a large portion of the electorate, with current enrolment 27.53 per cent above the average, and projection expecting it will explode to close to 50 per cent by 2018.
The EBC report said the growth corridor of Pakenham and Beaconsfield would see the figures continue to blow out.
“The only solution is to split the growth corridor, and the issue is where to do so,” the report said.
“The EBC proposes to give part of Berwick to Narre Warren South, the Bunyip-Nar Nar Goon area to Narracan, and Inverloch to Gippsland South, while taking in Nyora and Loch from Gippsland South and part of Clyde from Hastings to round out the boundary.”
Submissions from the Greens party suggested making Pakenham an individual electorate and Labor Party suggested giving the whole of Pakenham to the Gembrook electorate, however the EBC report said both suggestions would see the electorates exceed the 10 per cent leverage.