Electoral district of Northern Tablelands

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Northern Tablelands
New South WalesLegislative Assembly
Nsw electoral district northerntablelands 2015.svg
Location in New South Wales
State New South Wales
Dates current 1920–1927
1981–present
MP Adam Marshall
Party National Party of Australia
Area 53,153.76 km2 (20,522.8 sq mi)

Northern Tablelands is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is currently held by Adam Marshall representing the National Party, following a by-election triggered by the resignation of independent member Richard Torbay.[1] The electorate currently includes Uralla Shire, Armidale Dumaresq Shire, Guyra Shire, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell Shire, Gwydir Shire and Moree Plains Shire.[2]

History[edit]

Northern Tablelands was originally created in 1920, with the introduction of proportional representation, replacing Armidale, Gough and Tenterfield, and elected three members. It was held by the same three members throughout its first incarnation: inaugural Country Party leader Michael Bruxner, state Minister for Education David Drummond, and Labor MP Alfred McClelland, grandfather of former federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland. In 1927, it was divided into the single-member electorates of Armidale and Tenterfield. It was recreated in 1981, partly replacing Armidale and Tenterfield.[3]

The first member after its recreation in 1981 was Bill McCarthy, a Labor member, who had previously been the member for the abolished electorate of Armidale. McCarthy was a popular member, and held the seat for Labor as the region trended increasingly conservative. McCarthy had developed serious health problems by the 1984 state election, but was persuaded to recontest to maintain Labor control of the seat; he subsequently died in office in 1987. Labor endorsed McCarthy's widow, Thelma, at the subsequent by-election, but she was narrowly defeated by National Party candidate Ray Chappell after a heavily-publicised campaign. Chappell was re-elected with little difficulty three times, but in the 1999 election faced a challenge from the popular ex-mayor of Armidale, Richard Torbay, standing as an independent. In a shock result Torbay won the seat with a comfortable margin, continuing a trend in NSW country areas for National Party candidates to be rejected in favour of local independents. In 2007, he was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the first independent to fulfill the role since 1917.

From 1999, Northern Tablelands covered 30,546 km², including the uplands of northern New South Wales. It centred on the university city of Armidale; other towns included in the electorate are Inverell, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and Uralla. The northern boundary of the electorate is the Queensland border. At the 2003 election, there were 42,886 enrolled voters.

In 2007, the low level of population growth in the electorate led to Northern Tablelands being expanded, both to the west to take in Warialda and Bingara and to the south to take in Walcha and Nowendoc, increasing its area to 44,674 km².[4]

The redistribution ahead of the 2015 state election saw Northern Tablelands expanded again to 53,153.76 square kilometres. Added to the district was the entirety of Moree Plains Shire along with the remainder of Armidale Dumaresq Shire, whilst Tenterfield Shire was removed from the district.

Members[edit]

First incarnation (1920—1927, 3 members)
Member Party Term Member Party Term Member Party Term
  Michael Bruxner Progressive 1920–1925   David Drummond Progressive 1920–1925   Alfred McClelland Labor 1920–1927
  Country 1925–1927   Country 1925–1927
Second incarnation (1981—present, 1 member)
Member Party Term
  Bill McCarthy Labor 1981–1987
  Ray Chappell National 1987–1999
  Richard Torbay Independent 1999–2013
  Adam Marshall National 2013–present

Election results[edit]

Northern Tablelands state by-election, 2013[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Adam Marshall 27,276 63.3 +35.0
Independent Jim Maher 5,814 13.5 +13.5
Labor Herman Beyersdorf 4,190 9.7 +6.3
Independent Katherine Nicholson 1,845 4.3 +4.3
Greens Dora Koops 1,782 4.1 +0.8
Independent Bill Bush 1,270 2.9 +2.9
Christian Democrats Silvana Nero 912 2.1 +0.5
Total formal votes 43,089 97.1 -1.7
Informal votes 1,304 2.9 +1.8
Turnout 44,393 85.7 +7.5
Two-party-preferred result
National Adam Marshall 29,817 81.0 +4.9
Labor Herman Beyersdorf 7,014 19.0 -4.9
National gain from Independent Swing +4.9

References[edit]

External links[edit]