This came through from my friend Helen Bergen last Friday.
ANDREN’S CALARE RESTORED
Today’s release of the proposed redistributed boundaries of Calare/Macquarie show the old Calare electorate, held by Independent Peter Andren, has been largely restored.
Ironically Mr Andren said in 2006 “If you were a cynic, you’d be tempted to see the division of Calare into two equal bits in the redistribution of NSW electoral boundaries, with Bathurst moved into the Blue Mountains seat of Macquarie, as a deliberate attack on a seat held by an independent – a ‘divide and hope you can conquer’ approach.”
He went on to say “Nevertheless it’s a bit concerning that I heard through reliable sources six months ago that a new seat would be created running from about Springwood in the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. It seems the Liberal and Labor parties both feel it’s a winnable electorate and that it would be hard for an independent or impossible for a National candidate to win”.
The proposed Calare boundaries show an electorate largely resembling the 1996 electorate, when Mr Andren was first elected as Calare’s Independent.
Towns included in the proposed “new” (old) Calare are Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow, Mudgee, Gulgong, Glen Davis, Oberon and Blayney.
It is ironic in the extreme the whilst the 2006 Redistribution Committee ignored Mr Andren’s comprehensive arguments that the 2006 redistributed Macquarie and Calare were lacking in cohesive communities of interest, the Committee this time around have determined that the electorate boundaries then argued by Mr Andren in fact do align with communities of interest.
It certainly leaves questions about both major parties’ need at the time to remove a strong, fearless and ethical Independent voice in the Parliament which has been noticeably absent since Mr Andren’s death in 2007.
Peter’s quote comes from his local newspaper column, 6 July 2006: http://peterandren.com/pdf/Newspaper%20Column/2006/July_6_-_CWD_&_WA_Daily_column_Bathurst.pdf. You can find more in the Media 2006 section at his website: www.peterandren.com
Page 50 of the Report of the Redistribution Committee of the Australian Electoral Commission, with its description of the proposed Calare boundaries can be found at www.aec.gov.au