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From Cook to Cunningham?
Tuesday, 02 June 2009

Cunningham Electoral Map
Both the Federal Labor and Liberal parties have suggested Bundeena Maianbar move to the electoral seat of Cunningham.

The suggestions were made by the parties to the Australian Electoral Commission as part of the normal process of electoral redistribution between elections. The redistribution is performed to ensure equal representation by population and involves the changing of electoral boundaries. The initial part of the process involves a submission of public suggestions and comments on resdistribution to the AEC.
The next step in the redistribution process will be in early August when the AEC publishes a Proposed Redistribution Report. This will be followed by another round of public comments with a final determination to be published in December.

The Liberal Party submitted a 86 page report for NSW redistributions commenting the following with regard to Bundeena Maianbar:

The current Throsby/Cunningham boundary is a strong one, making use of the vast Port Kembla industrial area and the railway line to delineate the northern and southern Wollongong seats. CUNNINGHAM is adjusted by gaining just under 2,000 electors from Cook, including the Royal National Park and the localities of Bundeena and Maianbar. Both localities are linked with the northern suburbs of Wollongong in current state electoral arrangements. They also are very similar to communities such as Otford and Stanwell Park, adjacent to the Royal National Park at its southern extremity and currently in Cunningham. All four have a mixture of holiday homes and some "sea change" commuters.

While Cunningham remains at the lower end of the margin of allowance, this means the Wollongong-based seat of Cunningham does not have to take any of the suburbs of metropolitan Sydney, nor lose its distinct southern boundary.

The Labor Party submitted a 44 page report for NSW and redistributions commenting the following with regard to Bundeena Maianbar:

Throsby is well below quota and with the transfers to Gilmore noted above, it is then able to gain Wollongong proper from Cunningham. Cunningham which is also significantly below quota is then able to move north. It takes Bundeena from Cook and from Hughes it adds the southern suburbs of Sutherland Shire from Loftus down. Its northern boundary becomes similar to that of the State District of Heathcote which covers parts of both Wollongong and Sutherland LGA's.

Cook then gains Bonnet Bay and Como from Hughes and the Woronora River becomes a significant electoral boundary for Cook, Hughes and Cunningham.

Cunningham Electoral MapCook Electoral Map

Cunningham is currently located south of the Royal National Park and encompasses Helensburgh, the coastal towns from Stanwell Park to Kiama as well as the City of Wollongong. This is in contrast to Cook which encompasses the eastern half the Sutherland Shire which includes Gymea Bay, Lilli Pilli, Caringbah and Cronulla.

If Bundeena Maianbar had been part of the Cunningham seat in the 2007 election then they would have been represented by Sharon Bird of Labor instead of Scott Morrison of the Liberals in the Cook seat.

The question for residents is which seat is more aligned to the interests of Bundeena Maianbar. Is it under Cook as an outer Sydney suburb in the Sutherland Shire or under Cunningham as a coastal town on the way to Wollongong?
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