Part III: The final boundaries - Ringwood/Croydon/Bayswater/Monbulk
- The Liberal and Labor parties put forward changes to boundaries in the outer eastern suburbs with the aim of improving communities of interest. The Liberal Party suggested a simple swap of electors between Ringwood and Croydon districts. The ALP proposed very similar boundaries for Ringwood, but as part of a round robin of changes to four districts, the central feature of which was the restoration of the existing boundaries of Monbulk district.
- Regarding Ringwood district, the Liberal and Labor parties proposed that the northern parts of the suburbs of Ringwood and Ringwood North be transferred from Croydon to Ringwood, arguing that these areas have strong commercial, educational and transport links with central Ringwood. This addition would put Ringwood above the 10 per cent threshold, so the parties proposed that the district shed parts of Ringwood East and Croydon South36. Under the Liberal Party submission this area would be transferred to Croydon, while the ALP suggested that it be taken by Bayswater district.
- The unification of Ringwood and Ringwood North in Ringwood district would certainly strengthen community of interest. The other area to be transferred is more problematic. The part of Croydon South in the proposed Ringwood district and the part of Ringwood East along Bayswater Road have apparent links with Croydon district. However, the bulk of Ringwood East would appear to have readier access to Ringwood, and so would better fit in Ringwood district. The defect of the parties’ suggestions for Ringwood is that while they improve community of interest in one area, they damage it in another.
- Regarding Monbulk district, one of the ALP’s main scores against the district’s proposed boundaries was that they included Mooroolbark. In their view, residents of Mooroolbark had very few connections with the Dandenongs, in public transport, education, health, or sport and recreation. Their links were all with Croydon. The ALP warned that a member based in the Dandenongs would have difficulty representing an area that had nothing to do with the Dandenongs. The ALP also pointed out that the proposed boundaries split the community of The Basin, which should be united. The Basin and Boronia Heights Primary Schools and The Basin Community House reinforced the ALP’s case, stating that they were located in the Dandenongs Foothill zone and should be in Monbulk district, whose member had been working with them to achieve their goals.
- This is an area where perfection is impossible. As Mr Noah Carroll (State Secretary of the ALP) remarked at the 13 August public hearing, “Something’s got to split”. The EBC acknowledges that Mooroolbark would probably fit better in an eastern suburbs electorate than in a Dandenongs electorate. However, adoption of the ALP’s suggested boundaries would mean dividing Montrose, which has more of a Dandenongs foothills character. Moreover, the ALP’s suggestion splits Boronia down the middle – and Boronia is an eastern suburb rather than a foothills locality. Overall, the EBC considers it cannot adopt the ALP’s suggested boundaries.
- One weakness of the EBC’s proposed boundaries was that they bisected The Basin. Submissions from The Basin stressed the unity and spirit of the little community. The ALP’s submission pointed out that “the major roads, arterials, public service access and geographic boundaries all compel the community’s gravitation and orientation to the west rather than the east”, and that the only adequate road to the east was the narrow, steep Mountain Highway. The EBC accepts these arguments, and has decided to unite The Basin in Bayswater district.
The parties differed slightly on the area to be transferred; under the ALP’s proposal the area extended as far north as Mount Dandenong Road, while in the Liberal Party’s submission the area’s northern boundary was the Lilydale railway line.×