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Is McMahon eyeing a new Federal seat?
The Liberal Party wants to abolish the seat of Macquarie ahead of the next Federal election. The seat is currently held with a solid majority by the Australian Labor Party’s Susan Templeman.
Due to changing demographics across the country the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) needs to redraw electoral boundaries. For NSW this will mean the loss of one seat from 47 to 46 and Sydney is the main focus.
At present, Macquarie largely covers the local government areas (LGA) of Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains. Under the Liberal proposal Windsor and Old Windsor Roads remain the major dividing line between the North Shore and Western Sydney. Under the Liberal proposal the Hawkesbury would be in a new seat called Reibey.
“It does this by splitting Macquarie into its two constituent parts with the Hawkesbury Council end of Macquarie combining with parts of The Hills Shire to create a new northern Sydney Liberal seat called Reibey,” ABC Election analyst Antony Green said on his blog. “The Blue Mountains end of Macquarie is combined with Bathurst and Lithgow from Calare. Calare is abolished with the rest of the electorate shoring up Riverina and Parkes. Calare is currently held by Andrew Gee who left the National Party and became an Independent earlier this year.”
In contrast, the ALP submission unsurprisingly retains Macquarie but removes Windsor and Richmond east of the river. This means that Macquarie needs to gain voters, which it does with a split of Penrith with the neighbouring electorate of Lindsay that Green described as “inelegant”.
Templeman massively increased her previously ultra-slim majority in the 2022 election, making Macquarie a safe Labor seat with a 7% margin, when she defeated the Hawkesbury Councillor, now Mayor, Sarah McMahon, as she had in 2019.
“In any redistribution, I will always express my preference to maintain the current boundaries which include the people and communities I have worked with for 13 years,” Templeman told the Hawkesbury Post.
“This is the third redistribution that I’ve been involved with, and I respect the independent process that the Australian Electoral Commission undertakes. In the current redistribution, Macquarie requires an increase in the number of electors, and there are multiple ways that could be achieved.”
The Liberal’s submission raises questions once more about the higher political ambitions of McMahon, who is a member of the NSW Liberal Party’s state executive. You can read the Liberal Party’s submission here: https://www.aec.gov.au/Electorates/Redistributions/2023/nsw/files/suggestions/nsw24-s0047-liberal-party-of-australia.pdf
Central to her controversial deal in September this year, with ALP councillors Barry Calvert and Amanda Kotlash to retain the Mayor’s job, was a promise that she would not run against Templeman in Macquarie for a third time.
Asked by the Hawkesbury Post whether she would stand for any new or other seat that contained the Hawkesbury under a redistribution, Cr McMahon – who has previously tried to silence the media by using the police – responded: “Really unsure how ‘do not ever contact me again’ is misinterpreted by you to mean, hey, keep emailing me! Please stop disrespecting my express wishes and do not contact me ever again. Your behaviour is shocking!”