Labor wants it, the Liberals want it and even Clover wants it: a westward shift for the Bligh electorate, which would see the fabled pink seat incorporate the Sydney CBD.
The boundaries of all state government electorates are currently being examined by an independent commission in preparation for the 2007 election. Some electorates -“ such as the current CBD seat of Port Jackson -“ have too many voters, while others -“ such as Vaucluse and Coogee -“ have too few. Thus the need for boundary changes.
Submissions by the ALP, the Liberal Party and Bligh MP Clover Moore roughly concur that the electorate’s eastern flank should be ceded to the seat of Vaucluse, while Pyrmont and the CBD should be added to Bligh. The ALP submission calls for the re-configured electorate to be known as Port Jackson and the Vaucluse electorate to be re-named as Bligh.
Moore criticised the major parties for proposing what she said was a radical carve-up. Her proposal would see Bligh retain Paddington but allow for the transfer of Darling Point, Edgecliff and Woollahra to the seat of Vaucluse.
The Labor Party proposal would mislead and confuse voters by renaming the electorate of Vaucluse as Bligh, with only about 20 percent of the current Bligh electorate, Moore said. The proposed Port Jackson would contain substantially more voters from the current Bligh electorate.
But former Labor MLC Paul O’Grady, who worked on the ALP submission, rejected Moore’s criticisms. Bligh should be retained as an electorate name because of its historical significance, he said.
The ALP proposal for the area started from the assumption that Bondi should not be split between electorates -“ a logical proposition that had obvious flow-on effects for other electorates, O’Grady said.