Division of Parramatta
Australian House of Representatives Division
|Namesake||Parramatta, New South Wales|
|Area||57 km2 (22.0 sq mi)|
The Division of Parramatta is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was created in 1900 and was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the first federal election. It is named for the locality of Parramatta. The name Parramatta has been sourced to an Aboriginal word for the area. The Darug people had lived in the area for many generations, and regarded the area as a food bowl, rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta ('Parramatta') which means "the place where the eels lie down".
The division is based in the western suburbs of Sydney. Besides Parramatta, it includes Camellia, Clyde, Constitution Hill, Dundas Valley, Granville, Harris Park, Holroyd, Mays Hill, North Parramatta, Oatlands, Rosehill, Rydalmere, Telopea, Wentworthville, Westmead; and parts of Carlingford, Dundas, Ermington, Guildford, Merrylands, North Rocks, Northmead, Old Toongabbie, Pendle Hill, South Granville, South Wentworthville, and Toongabbie.
As originally created, it covered the outer northwestern suburbs of Sydney, though that city's dramatic growth made it an entirely urban seat after World War II. For most of the first seven decades after Federation, it included a large amount of conservative-leaning territory that usually swamped Parramatta itself, which has historically been a working-class area. As a result, the seat was held by the Liberals and their predecessors for all but one term from Federation until 1977.
A redistribution ahead of the 1977 election split Parramatta almost in half. Most of the wealthier eastern half became the comfortably safe Liberal seat of Dundas. Most of the western half, including the bulk of the Parramatta LGA, became the core of a marginal Labor seat that retained the Parramatta name, as per Australian Electoral Commission guidelines that require the names of original Federation electorates to be preserved where possible. Parramatta's Liberal incumbent, Phillip Ruddock, opted to follow most of his base into Dundas, allowing his 1975 challenger, John Brown to become only the second Labor member ever to win Parramatta.
Since then, it has been located between Labor's traditional heartland of western Sydney and the traditional Liberal stronghold of the North Shore. As a result, whenever the seat is redistributed, a shift of a few kilometres to the west or east can radically alter its political landscape.
Most recently, the 2006 redistribution shifted Parramatta from marginally Labor to notionally marginally Liberal (as defined by the Australian Electoral Commission). Nevertheless, as was widely expected at the 2007 federal election, the incumbent Labor member, Julie Owens, held the seat ahead of Liberal candidate Colin Robinson, a member of the Electrical Trades Union, with an increased majority.
Owens has subsequently been re-elected at the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections. The latter victory came as Labor lost government, marking the second time (her 2004 win being the first) that the Liberals and their predecessors have been in government without holding Parramatta.
Prominent members of Parramatta over the years have included (Sir) Joseph Cook, a former Prime Minister; (Sir) Garfield Barwick and Nigel Bowen, both of whom served as Attorney-General before moving to senior judicial position, Barwick as Chief Justice of the High Court. Ruddock, a former Attorney-General and Immigration Minister also represented the seat (though he was the member for Berowra by then); as did Brown, a former Sports Minister.
|(Sir) Joseph Cook||Free Trade, Anti-Socialist||1901–1909|
|(Sir) Frederick Stewart||United Australia||1931–1945|
|Sir Garfield Barwick||Liberal||1958–1964|
|Christian Democrats||Keith Piper||4,347||5.30||+2.83|
|Liberal Democrats||Mark Guest||2,013||2.45||+2.45|
|Family First||Mikaela Wu||1,202||1.47||+1.47|
|Online Direct Democracy||Andrew Driessen||469||0.57||+0.57|
|Total formal votes||82,022||90.74||+1.19|
- Troy, Jakelin. "The Sydney Language". Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Sydney: Macquarie Library. p. 76.
- Green, Antony (2010). "Parramattta". Australia votes 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Carr, Adam (2007). "Division of Parramatta". Guide to the 2007 Federal Election. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
- Parramatta, NSW, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.