Independent Sydney state MP and former head of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich will file objections to redrawn electoral boundaries that cut supportive suburbs from his seat, while the creation of a new electorate in the Inner West could see the rise of a fellow LGBTI-friendly independent.
The redrawing, announced by the NSW Redistribution Commission on Monday, will cut parts of Chippendale, Redfern and Surry Hills from Greenwich’s seat, all areas that have consistently and overwhelmingly voted for either Greenwich or his independent predecessor Clover Moore in the past, as well as Moore and Centennial Parks.
The redistribution, which will come into effect at the next state election in 2015, will give more weight to polling booths in Liberal-leaning areas like Edgecliff, Paddington and Woollahra, making it more difficult for Greenwich to hold off Liberal challenges to the seat in the future. While Greenwich won comfortably last year, Moore only just edged out Liberal candidate Adrian Bartels on primary votes in 2007 with solid support from suburbs now due to be cut from the electorate.
Greenwich was elected with over 47 percent of the vote at a by-election in November after the state government’s ‘Get Clover’ law banning state MPs from serving on local councils forced Moore to resign from Parliament after 24 years.
Speaking to the Star Observer, Greenwich said that while he would be pushing to keep Surry Hills from being split in two, he remained confident in his ability to hold the seat.
“Every election is tough and there’s always lots of work to do, but I don’t think my situation is dire by any stretch of the imagination,” Greenwich said.
Greenwich also expressed hope that the new state electorate of Newtown, comprising the areas of Surry Hills he may lose and a large portion of the inner west, would elect an independent representative like himself.
“If Newtown is created I would encourage another progressive independent to run. It’s an area with a long history of progressive representation by independents and it has a strong LGBTI heritage, so there’s certainly an opportunity there.”
Greenwich said he had “no one specific” in mind when he made the comments.
View a map of the new electoral boundaries here.