Concerned Citizen of Newtown

Earlier today I wrote a letter to my local member of the NSW Parliament, the Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, telling him…

Hi Alex
I just want to put on the record my concerns about the boundaries for the new seat of Newtown, which I discovered this week I’ll be voting in at the forthcoming election.

I was overseas for a number of months in 2013 during the consultation period, and so missed an opportunity to raise my concerns. Until I received the letter from the SEC I wasn’t even aware the changes had been proposed and gazetted.

The rationale for the boundaries for the new seat are confusing. I’m now part of a seat which contains suburbs I have absolutely no connection with such as Petersham and I’m now disconnected with suburbs like Moore Park, and Darlinghurst which are within walking distance, and which I think represent a more natural community of interest. Those who drew the boundaries seem to have used rather blunt tools to accommodate the need for a new seat to reflect the growing inner city population.

Anyway, it’s done, and I’m sad, because I’ll be losing you as a local member, and even though I’m sure we’ll end up with a fabulous new member (Greens, ALP likely), I suspect they’ll have a tough job trying to represent the views of quite different suburbs with few natural connections to each other.

A few hours later, I received this reply

Dear James

Alex has asked me to respond to your message about the boundary changes. Thanks for your comment about losing him as your MP – sadly there are lot of people in Alex’s network who soon won’t be his constituents.

Alex opposed the division of Surry Hills into two electorates and made submissions to the Boundaries Commission about their proposal.

Unfortunately inner city population growth continues to mean that the central city electorates will have to keep being made smaller.

We hope that there is a strong and progressive MP for the Newtown electorate after 28 March. Please make sure that your voice is heard in the process and you keep whoever it is accountable over the next four years.

Regards
Roy Bishop JP
Electorate Officer for Alex Greenwich MP

I should declare I quite like Alex. Followed on from Clover Moore. Independent. Openly gay. He sent me a hand-written Christmas card this year. Yaddah yaddah.

Irrespective of that, I’m somewhat dumbfounded I’ve ended up in this new electorate which Antony Green descibes as “very higgledy-piggledy” and which is notionally Green.

Yours,

Concerned Citizen of Newtown

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