Margin: Labor 16.8%
Location: Illawarra, New South Wales
Outgoing member: Jennie George (Labor)
In a nutshell: Located in a solidly working class area of the Illawarra region, Throsby has been an enormously secure seat for Labor since its creation in 1984. Jennie George will bow out as member at the coming election, to be replaced by Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Stephen Jones.
Throsby covers the coast south of Sydney from Port Kembla to Shellharbour, and inland to take in Lake Illawarra and Albion Park. It was created in 1984 from territory previously covered by Cunningham and Macarthur. The redistribution has added a large but lightly populated area around Jamberoo from Gilmore in the south and removed Farmborough Heights to Cunningham in the north, each exchange accounting for about 6000 voters. It has at all times been safe for Labor, especially since 1993 when the seat lost the inland areas of Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale and became wholly oriented in the Illawarra.
Throsby was held by Colin Hollis until 2001, and former ACTU president Jennie George thereafter. George won preselection through the party’s contentious N40 rule which allows the state executive to take matters out of the hands of local branches, thereby thwarting Sharon Bird who would have won a vote. Bird went on to become member of Cuuningham in 2004. George is bowing out at the election after a largely uneventful parliamentary career, to be succeeded as Labor candidate by Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Stephen Jones.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.