Division of Fremantle
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Australian House of Representatives Division
|Area||196 km2 (75.7 sq mi)|
The division was created at Federation in 1900 and was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the first federal election. It is named for the city of Fremantle, which in turn is named for Captain Charles Fremantle, captain of HMS Challenger, which brought the first settlers to Western Australia. The Division is located in the southern suburbs of Perth, and includes the entirety of the City of Fremantle, City of Cockburn, and Town of East Fremantle, as well as Rottnest Island and a portion of the City of Melville.
As originally drawn, it included nearly all of Perth's southwestern suburbs. On these boundaries, the seat frequently changed hands between the Australian Labor Party and the conservative parties for the first three decades of its existence. However, Labor has held the seat without interruption since 1934, and for all but one term since 1928. The 1949 expansion of Parliament made Fremantle even safer for Labor by shifting most of its northern portion to the newly created Division of Curtin. Since then, it has usually been one of the safest Labor seats in Australia. It was nearly lost in the landslides of 1975 and 1977, but since then the Liberals have only garnered as much as 45 percent of the two-party vote twice, in 1996 and 2013.
Over the years, Fremantle has been held by a succession of senior Labor figures. The seat's best-known member was John Curtin, who was Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945. Other high-profile members were Kim Beazley (senior), a minister in the Whitlam Government; John Dawkins, a minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments; and Carmen Lawrence, the former Premier of Western Australia and a minister in the Keating Government. Lawrence retired at the 2007 election. She was succeeded by Melissa Parke, a former United Nations lawyer and a minister in the second Rudd Government.
|Elias Solomon||Free Trade||1901–1903|
|William Hedges||Western Australian||1906–1909|
|William Watson||United Australia||1931–1934|
|Kim Beazley (senior)||Labor||1945–1977|
|Mature Australia||Mick Connolly||2,335||2.75||+2.75|
|Socialist Alliance||Chris Jenkins||1,404||1.65||+0.79|
|Total formal votes||84,876||96.00||+2.51|
- Fremantle, WA, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.