Bendigo, Ballarat and Wannon are among dozens of Victorian federal electorates where electoral boundaries will be changed in order to minimise population differences between divisions.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC) proposed redistribution for the state of Victoria will affect about 370,000 voters or about 8.3 per cent of eligible voters in Victoria.

The Australian Electoral Commission has a responsibility to ensure that electoral divisions are representative, so that each Member of Parliament is acting on behalf of a similarly sized constituency.

The Commission uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to monitor population flows and project how many voters will be living in each division over the next four years. Under the rules, all Victorian divisions have to be on track to have between 122,785 and 131,691 voters by April 17, 2028.

Any division that is predicted to have too many or too few voters needs to have its boundaries changed.

According to ABS population trends, Ballarat was tracking to have 124,120, which put it in the target range. But the same data showed neighbouring Bendigo would have just 121,056 voters by 2028, putting it well short.

To solve the imbalance, the AEC proposed to move more than a dozen towns from Ballarat into Bendigo.

The redistribution will shift nearly 1000 voters to Bendigo, affecting towns in the Hepburn Shire Council: Clydesdale, Drummond, Dry Diggings, Franklinford, Glenlyon, Porcupine Ridge, Sandon, Tarilta and Yandoit.

The changes have potential to shift margins for candidates in affected electorates. However, Catherine King held Ballarat at the last election with a two-party preferred split of 63% to the Liberal candidate, Ben Green’s 37%. All of the polling booths involved in the redistribution voted strongly Labour at the last election, but the number of votes involved and the current voter preferences are unlikely to make any difference to Catherine King or the Labour Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters.

Ballarat is also set to lose 274 voters from the Golden Plains area on its south-east edge. Voters from Maude and Sutherlands Creek will likely be moved into the Division of Corio. Overall, Ballarat stands to lose 1200 voters, putting it just inside the target range for 2028.


This article is based on a media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.