Move over McMillan: new name proposed for federal seat
 Baw Baw News   By // 23:40, Wednesday 9 May 2018

John Monash (left) and Angus McMillan (right). Images public domain.

The federal seat of McMillan will be renamed and redrawn if changes proposed by the AEC are adopted.

Australia’s electoral commission has been working on major changes to Victoria’s federal seat boundaries, including the addition of a new seat and the renaming of four electorates.


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McMillan’s boundaries presently enclose all of the Baw Baw and South Gippsland local government areas, as well as a large chunk of Cardinia (including Pakenham) and Moe and Yallourn North in Latrobe.

The Australian Electoral Commission has proposed the seat be renamed to Monash, drop Pakenham and Yallourn North, and pick up Bass Coast (including Phillip Island).

The proposed Division of Monash. Click for larger version.

Angus McMillan, for whom the seat is presently named, was instrumental in the murder of Aboriginal people in eastern Victoria in the 1800s. The proposed change comes following calls from Gippsland Indigenous groups for the seat to be renamed. MP Russell Broadbent has also stated he supports a name change.


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John Monash was a commander in the Australian military during the First World War and worked as a civil engineer during peacetime. The AEC considers his name relevant to the region because “Monash’s work at the State Electricity Commission contributed significantly to the development of the area.”

While pleased that McMillan’s name is set to go, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Roger Fenwick has expressed disappointment that a local Indegenous name had not been chosen to replace McMillan’s. You can read the Latrobe Valley Express‘ story on this here.

The AEC states boundary changes must be made to “take high growth areas out of electoral divisions which exceed the maximum number of electors permitted by the Electoral Act”.

We will know for certain if the changes will be made when divisions are announced next month or in July, assuming no further objection period is required.

Victoria’s high population growth was key to many decisions taken in the AEC’s proposed redistributions, which include the creation of a new seat. Named Fraser, the new seat remembers former Liberal prime minister and refugee rights activist John Malcolm Fraser.

The other three electorates facing name changes are:

  • Corangamite, which could become Cox in honour of May Cox,
  • Melbourne Ports, which could become Macnamara in honour of Annie Jean Macnamara, and
  • Murray, which could become Nicholls in honour of  Douglas Ralph Nicholls and Gladys Nicholls.

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