THE state seats of Ballarat East and Ballarat West have been abolished in a redrawing of electoral boundaries and will be replaced by Buninyong and Wendouree.
Victoria’s Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) released the new boundaries after they were tabled in parliament yesterday morning.
The new seat of Wendouree – currently known as Ballarat West – will take in more areas around Ballarat central, but will lose Sebastopol. It will keep Wendouree, Delacombe, Alfredton and Ballarat’s north.
Ballarat East – set to become Buninyong – will undergo even more radical changes, taking in Sebastopol, Linton and Haddon, while losing Kyneton, Daylesford and Creswick.
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said losing Sebastopol would make the seat more difficult to retain for Labor.
“My first thought is that it makes a really marginal seat, really really marginal. It was never going to be an easy fight,” she said.
“I’ll absolutely be putting myself forward as a candidate to hopefully represent Wendouree.”
Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard said the new boundaries did not offer too much of a surprise, as they largely mirrored draft maps released earlier this year.
He said he did not believe the new seats needed to move away from their current names.
“From my point of view I’m certainly sad to see Hepburn and the Macedon Ranges component go from the electorate,” he said.
Mr Howard said the changes would not have an impact on his decision to stand again at the next election.
“I haven’t finalised in my mind whether I will contest Buninyong at the next election. When we come to preselection I will need to make a decision,” he said.
A redrawing of seat boundaries is required from time to time to ensure that each electorate has roughly the same amount of voters.