Ryan Park could be the next Member for Wollongong and Noreen Hay could become the Member for Port Kembla under a proposed redistribution of electoral boundaries put forward by the NSW Liberal Party.
In its submission into the review of NSW electoral boundaries, the party is proposing the electorates of Wollongong and Keira be redrawn to create what are essentially two new seats.
Keira MP Ryan Park’s seat is mainly an escarpment seat that curves around Ms Hay’s seat of Wollongong, which primarily hugs the coast.
Under the Liberal plan the two seats would be divided more evenly from the escarpment to the coast with the southern electorate to be known as Port Kembla and the northern seat taking on the name of Wollongong or even Corrimal.
West Dapto and Horsley would also fall into Port Kembla.
In their submissions the Labor Party and the NSW Greens are suggesting less detailed changes beyond shuffling the electorates of Shellharbour, Wollongong and Keira north, so in the end Keira loses 2725 voters in Figtree and picks up more than 7000 voters in Thirroul from the electorate of Heathcote.
Every eight years the law requires boundaries of the 93 NSW electoral districts to be reviewed to ensure each seat has an approximately equal number of electors.
Wollongong MP Noreen Hay said the Liberal Party’s submission appeared ‘‘a bit ambitious for electorates that don’t really need a great deal of change’’.
‘‘It does beg the question why [the Liberal Party] would seek to make such a significant change,’’ Ms Hay said.
‘‘I think there may be a couple of reasons, I think it is about the interests of the Liberal Party outside the region, changes here could have benefits somewhere else.
‘‘A proposal that turns electorates here on their head for a gain somewhere else in NSW is totally unsatisfactory.
‘‘I think they are showing scant regard for people of this area, even more scant regard for people in West Dapto and Horsley in the choice of a name for the electorate.
‘‘I don’t support calling a seat that includes Dapto ‘Port Kembla’. How does that benefit people?’’
Meantime, Kiama MP Gareth Ward has accused the ALP and Greens of ‘‘gerrymandering’’ in their attempts to have a section of traditionally Liberal-leaning areas of the Southern Highlands removed from the Kiama electorate.
Instead, the Liberals propose to remove a section of Labor heartland at Albion Park Rail from the Liberal-held Kiama seat, giving it to Shellharbour, and replace it with agricultural communities south of the Shoalhaven River.
Mr Ward said Labor and the Greens were seeking to create boundaries that presented a better electoral chance to them. He said places like Robertson and Burrawang had been part of the Kiama seat for the past 24 years.
Mr Ward said the reality was the redistribution needed to accommodate the rapid growth in the South Coast electorate.
‘‘Redistributions are like a Meccano set and if you move one section another area gets affected,’’ he said.
The Electoral Commission has given people until March 20 to comment on the proposals, which are available at www.elections. nsw.gov.au.