Part II: The proposed boundaries - Southern Metropolitan
- This region extends from the inner metropolitan area just across the Yarra River from Melbourne’s Central Activities District down Port Phillip Bay and out into the nearer eastern suburbs. The inner area is growing rapidly through apartment developments, but most of the rest of the region is relatively declining.
- Albert Park district’s enrolment is currently 14.74 per cent above average, and is projected to climb further to +20.04 per cent. The source of most of the growth is the high-rise development in and around Southbank. The Liberal Party’s submission argued that Southbank should be transferred from Albert Park to Prahran, reflecting Southbank’s “connection with the parks precinct and the similar high density style of development that is occurring in the neighbouring South Yarra area”. The ALP favoured the same change, with the addition of South Melbourne. However, the EBC considered that the extensive parkland between Southbank and South Yarra acts as a divide between the two communities, and that the numbers did not require such a substantial change.
- The St Kilda Road Precinct and Promotion Committee proposed that the boundary be shifted west from the middle of St Kilda Road to Queens Road, arguing that this would facilitate the handling of issues common to both sides of St Kilda Road such as planning, and that the parkland around Albert Park Lake makes Queens Road a good boundary. The EBC supported this view.
- In the south, the EBC supported the Liberal Party proposal to shift the boundary with Brighton district north to Dickens Street. The proposed boundary effectively followed the St Kilda-Elwood locality boundary, and so improved community of interest in the district as well as reducing the number of electors. The EBC proposed that Albert Park district take the triangle between Barkly Street, Carlisle Street and St Kilda Road from Prahran. This area of St Kilda has closer associations with St Kilda than to the east, and St Kilda Road makes a strong boundary in the area.
- The proposed district’s enrolment was 5.12 per cent below the State average, and it was expected to rise to the average, reaching +0.54 per cent by 2018.
- Brighton district is currently 6.36 per cent below average, and is relatively declining to -11.89 per cent by 2018. Submissions tended either to shift the boundaries to the north or to the south. The EBC proposed that Brighton gain surplus electors from Albert Park by taking in Elwood. In the south-east, the district lost Hampton East to Bentleigh district. The proposed boundary, along Cummins Road and Bluff Road, was not as strong as the current Nepean Highway boundary, but was still clear. Enrolment for the proposed district was currently on average at +0.2 per cent, and was predicted to decline to -7.16 per cent.
- The next coastal district, Sandringham, is 7.44 per cent under the average and is expected to drop below the 10 per cent tolerance to -10.54 per cent. Most submissions favoured only minor alterations to the district. The EBC proposed to take in the triangle between the Nepean Highway, Wickham Road and Chesterville Road. This change put all of Highett in the district, and also united the Southland Shopping Centre. Enrolment for the proposed district was 3.19 per cent below average, and it was predicted to decline slightly to -6.01 per cent.
- Inner urban Prahran’s enrolment is currently close to average at -2.66 per cent, and is projected to decline slowly to -6.36 per cent. Submissions had a wide variety of ideas for Prahran, with the Liberal Party proposing that it include Southbank, the ALP suggesting that it take in South Melbourne as well while losing areas in the east and south, and the Greens that it push south to include St Kilda, uniting “the areas of Melbourne with the highest proportion of residents who identify as Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender and Intersex”. The EBC proposed that the district take from Albert Park the area between St Kilda Road and Queens Road, while losing part of St Kilda west of St Kilda Road. In the south, a swap of parts of St Kilda East and St Kilda with Caulfield district resulted in a clearer boundary along Inkerman Street and Orrong Road. In the east, the EBC proposed to transfer all but a fraction of Toorak (south of the Dandenong rail line) to Malvern district. Toorak has links both west to South Yarra and east towards Malvern, but as most of Toorak is already in Malvern district, it made sense to unite the suburb in one district. The proposed district’s enrolment was 8.33 per cent below the average, but it was projected to rise marginally to -7.78 per cent.
- Malvern district is 7.03 per cent below average, and is expected to drop to -12.15 per cent. The three political party submissions, plus Mr McSweeney, all supported Malvern absorbing the balance of Toorak. The district has very strong boundaries along the Yarra River, Gardiners Creek, Warrigal Road and Dandenong Road, that are identical with the Stonnington City Council boundaries. The only area where Malvern district could readily expand was in the west. The inclusion of nearly all of Toorak fitted communities of interest as well as improving Malvern’s numbers. The proposed district’s enrolment was 2.67 per cent above average, and was projected to trend downwards to -4.44 per cent.
- Caulfield district’s enrolment is 8.9 per cent below the State average and is declining to 13.02 per cent below. Most submissions suggested only minor changes to the district’s boundaries. The district has a strong community of interest based on Caulfield and clear boundaries. The EBC considered that only marginal changes were required. The EBC proposed an eastward shift of the boundary to Grange Road, so that the district embraced all of Caulfield East and Glenhuntly and most of Ormond. In the north-west, there was an exchange of areas with Prahran to clarify the boundaries. The proposed district’s enrolment was 2.01 per cent below the average, with a projected decline to -6.37 per cent.
- Oakleigh is one of the smaller districts in metropolitan Melbourne, with an enrolment presently 13.28 per cent below average and declining to an expected -18.85 per cent. Oakleigh is in an area with few natural features, and where there can be flow-on effects from surrounding districts, so it is not surprising that there was a wide variation in submissions. Mr Gordon and Dr Richardson suggested abolishing the district, and other submissions, such as that by the Greens, drastically altered its orientation. The Liberal Party had a minimal change approach. For the EBC, the loss of the strip west of Grange Road to Caulfield district strengthened the need for Oakleigh district to expand elsewhere. The EBC proposed that the district extend to the east to take Huntingdale, Notting Hill and the part of Clayton north of Dandenong Road (including Monash University’s Clayton campus) from Clayton district, plus the mainly industrial part of Mulgrave west of Springvale Road from Mulgrave district. The proposed district was still centred on Oakleigh, had clear boundaries along major roads, and good east-west transport routes on Dandenong, North and Wellington Roads. The proposed district’s enrolment was 7.88 per cent below average, and was projected to decline to -9.78 per cent.
- Bentleigh’s enrolment is not far from the average at -4.69 per cent, but is projected to fall below the 10 per cent tolerance (reaching -10.86 per cent) by 2018. Most submissions did not advocate major changes for the district. The ALP suggested including the part of Highett east of the Nepean Highway in the district, while the Liberals proposed that the district include Hampton East instead. The EBC proposed that the district take in the triangle to the south-west bounded by the Nepean Highway and Wickham, Bluff and Cummins Roads. This meant no longer using the strong boundary of the Nepean Highway, but it did unite the catchment area of the Moorabbin shopping centre and included all of Hampton East. In the north-east, the EBC proposed giving the new Clarinda district the part of Bentleigh East bounded by Warrigal, Centre, Mackie and North Roads, to ensure that Clarinda had sufficient electors. The proposed Bentleigh district was little changed, and still had clear boundaries. Its enrolment was 2.83 per cent below the average, and was expected to decline to -8.6 per cent.
- Enrolment for Hawthorn district is 5.66 per cent below the average, and is projected to stay within the 10 per cent tolerance, reaching -9.46 per cent by 2018. The Liberal Party supported the status quo for Hawthorn. The ALP proposed that the district lose Canterbury and extend to the south-east, while the Greens and most of the private submissions took a different approach, with the district losing Glen Iris in the south and expanding due east. The EBC did not believe that major changes were justified for Hawthorn. It proposed a small eastward advance from Wattle Valley Road to Highfield Road, taking part of Canterbury from Box Hill and part of Camberwell from Burwood. The proposed district’s enrolment was close to the average at -1.27 per cent, and was projected to be -6.01 per cent.
- Burwood district is 5.38 per cent below average, and is predicted to just breach the 10 per cent threshold with an enrolment of -10.08 per cent by 2018. Submissions put forward a wide variety of boundaries for Burwood, and the Greens and Dr Mulcair proposed to abolish the seat. The EBC considered that only minimal changes were necessary. In the north-west, the district gained part of Surrey Hills south of Canterbury Road from Box Hill, while losing a strip of Camberwell west of Highfield Road to Hawthorn. The changes left Burwood district with clearer boundaries than before. The proposed district’s enrolment was 1.19 per cent below the average, and was projected to decline to -6.73 per cent.