Division of Hunter
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Hunter (green) within New South Wales
|Area||20,111 km2 (7,764.9 sq mi)|
The division is located in northern rural New South Wales, and encompasses much of the Hunter Region, including the towns of Singleton, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Cessnock and Denman. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 75 divisions to be contested at the first federal election.
The Member for the Division of Hunter, since the 1996 federal election, is Joel Fitzgibbon, a member of the Australian Labor Party. On 16 October 2015 it was announced that the Division is to be abolished with the redistribution in New South Wales.
In 2015 the Australian Electoral Commission announced plans to abolish the federation seat of Hunter. Electors in the north of Hunter will join New England. The roughly 40 percent remainder will become part of Paterson, where the Liberal margin is set to be notionally reduced from 9.8 percent to just 0.5 percent as a result. Since the Commission's guidelines require it to preserve the names of original electorates where possible, the commission proposed renaming Charlton to Hunter. Due to changing populations, overall New South Wales loses a seat while Western Australia gets an extra seat.
The seat has been in Labor hands since 1910, and for most of that time has been reasonably safe for that party. The Hunter Region has been one of the few country areas where Labor has consistently done well. Among its notable members have been Prime Minister Edmund Barton, former Labor Leaders Matthew Charlton and Dr H. V. Evatt, and Joel Fitzgibbon, who was a minister in the first and second Rudd governments. The seat became somewhat marginal in 1984 when much of its territory was shifted to the newly created Charlton, but since 1990 Labor has never tallied less than 53 percent of the two-party vote.
The seat has been held by two father-son combinations. Rowley James held the seat from 1928 to 1958 before giving it up for Evatt, who was in danger of losing his Sydney-area seat of Barton and wanted a friendlier seat in which to run. Evatt was succeeded after one term by Rowley James' son, Bert, who held it until 1980. Eric Fitzgibbon won the seat in 1984, handing it to his son and current member, Joel, in 1996.
|(Sir) Edmund Barton||Protectionist||1901–1903|
|Frank Liddell||Free Trade, Anti-Socialist||1903–1909|
|H. V. Evatt||Labor||1958–1960|
|Australian federal election, 2013: Hunter|
|Palmer United||Jennifer Stefanac||6,552||7.62||+7.62|
|One Nation||Bill Fox||3,245||3.78||+0.43|
|Christian Democrats||Richard Stretton||1,834||2.13||−0.25|
|Total formal votes||85,941||93.46||−0.33|
- "NSW Division - Hunter, NSW". Virtual Tally Room, Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- The Age, 16 October 2015: [ttp://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labors-joel-fitzgibbon-loses-his-seat-in-redistribution-by-australian-electoral-commission-20151016-gkar7q.html Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon loses his seat in redistribution by Australian Electoral Commission]
- Australian Electoral Commission to abolish Federal NSW seat of Hunter: ABC 16 October 2015
- Draft federal redistribution of New South Wales: Poll Bludger