The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) are proposing restribution of the federal electorate of Lowe and the renaming of the seat ‘McMahon’, after former Liberal Prime Minister Sir William McMahon and former member for Lowe (1949-1982). It is further proposed to abolish the seat of Reid, which is currently on the western boundary of Lowe.
Electoral boundaries are reviewed and altered on a frequent basis to ensure that seats are similar in numbers of voters across Australia. The proposed changes will result in a substantial amount of the suburb of Strathfield and all of Strathfield South moving to the seat of Watson.
There are certain ironies in these proposals. McMahon was the member for Lowe from 1949 to 1982 but was never known to live anywhere near his electorate. The AEC are proposing to rename Lowe, McMahon presumably to honour his contribution as the long-term MP and/or Prime Minister. However, at the same time, they are proposing abolishing the seat of Reid which is named for Sir George Reid QC, former Prime Minister (1904-05) and Premier of NSW (1894-1899). He also served as High Commissioner to UK and was elected to the British House of Commons. He is noted as one of the fathers of Federation and the only Prime Minister of the Free Trade Party, an ancestor of the Liberal Party.
If naming seats after former Prime Ministers or longserving MPs is the plan of the AEC, it should at least be consistent.
The seat of Reid was created in 1922, after the death of George Reid in 1918. George Reid for many years lived in Burwood and Strathfield.