Could there be a different result for Janelle Saffin at the next election?
Could there be a different result for Janelle Saffin at the next election? Aisling Brennan

Sitting MP unafraid boundary changes will unseat her

UPDATE, 2.30pm:  ALTHOUGH she scraped into the state seat of Lismore at the last NSW election on the back of Greens' preferences, sitting member Janelle Saffin is not worried proposed electoral boundary changes will disadvantage her.

The Labor member for Lismore believes the changes are small with "only a few hundred votes, if anything".

"I feel in terms of voting, there really is no change as I see it," she said.

"They can draw them [the boundaries] where they like and I will just represent them and advocate for them in the same way I do now.

"Remember, it's a broad church in the seat, you have got the Northern Tablelands and now presumably Eureka and Federal, and within that you have got a whole range of political views."

 

Original story: THE Greens' chances of winning the state seat of Lismore have been enhanced under proposed changes to the NSW electoral boundaries released on Monday.

In a case of swings and roundabouts, it will also rob sitting Greens member for Ballina Tamara Smith of several hundred votes.

Most notably the proposed changes impact several small villages in the hinterland of the Byron local government area which will jump from Ballina to Lismore.

The NSW Electoral Commission's redistribution panel has proposed that the eastern boundary of the electoral district of Lismore reverts back to the pre-2013 redistribution boundary.

Federal will swap back to Lismore under a state electoral boundary redistribution.
Federal will swap back to Lismore under a state electoral boundary redistribution.

It means Eureka, Federal, Huonbrook, Goonengerry, and part of Wilsons Creek and surrounds will be transferred from the electoral district of Ballina to the electoral district of Lismore.

These areas heavily lean towards the Greens, robbing Tamara Smith of crucial support, and putting it into Lismore which was narrowly won by Labor at the last election.

These votes could tip the balance in favour of the Greens getting a greater percentage of primary votes than Labor, making Lismore a seat to watch in the future.

The redistribution panel has also proposed to transfer part of the locality of North Woodburn from the electoral district of Lismore to the electoral district of Clarence.

There have been no changes to the boundaries of Coffs Harbour and Tweed under this review.

The panel agreed that for much of the North Coast, there is a relatively consistent growth outlook, with all areas 'expected to increase and the largest gains expected along the coast and in the larger inland centres such as Lismore and Casino.

The sea change phenomena, accelerated by COVID-19, should ensure electoral numbers in most coastal areas would be expected to increase, driven by a combination of retirees and families, many of whom have moved from metropolitan Sydney.

Once finalised, the redistribution comes into effect for the March 2023 state election.

Any by-elections that take place prior to that election will be conducted on the applicable 2019 electoral district boundaries.

Submissions on the proposed district names and boundaries will be open until December 9.

The last redistribution of seats in NSW was done in 2013 following the 2011 election.



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