‘Bean’ named as new Federal seat for the ACT

World War I war correspondent Charles Bean.

THE ACT looks certain to have a new Federal Lower House seat after the Redistribution Committee for the ACT today (April 6) published its report proposing names and boundaries for the three ACT federal electoral divisions introducing a new southern seat of “Bean”, named after the famous Australian World War I correspondent and historian Charles Bean.

Chair of the Committee and Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the ACT redistribution is required to enable an increase from two to three federal electoral divisions.

“Under the proposal the ACT would be broadly divided into northern, central and southern electoral divisions,” he said.

“Canberra” and “Fenner” would be retained as ACT division names with “Bean” becoming the name of a third ACT electoral division in recognition of prominent war historian Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean.”

The proposed boundaries would see:

  • the Federal electoral division of ‘Fenner’ cover the entirety of Gungahlin, Hall, most of Belconnen and Jervis Bay
  • the Federal electoral division of ‘Canberra’ centred over Lake Burley Griffin and include the city and other areas immediately adjacent to the lake. ‘Canberra’ would also include inner Belconnen suburbs through to Giralang in the north and Hawker in the north-west.
  • the federal electoral division of ‘Bean’ cover the southern part of Canberra including Tuggeranong, Molonglo Valley, Weston Creek, part of Woden Valley and Norfolk Island.

Mr Rogers said the Committee was faced with a situation where the northern part of the ACT was experiencing higher population growth than the south.

“With the increase to three federal electoral divisions the northern localities of Gungahlin and Belconnen can no longer be fully contained in a single federal electoral division.”

The consultative nature of the redistribution process continues with individuals and organisations now able to lodge objections to the Committee’s proposed divisions.

Written objections must be lodged no later than 6pm (AEST) Friday, May 4. The best way to lodge an objection is online. Objections can also be submitted via:

  • Email: FedRedistribution-ACT@aec.gov.au;
  • In person: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), Level 1, 50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra (business hours only);
  • Mail: The Australian Electoral Commission (Att: Redistribution Secretariat), Locked Bag 4007, CANBERRA ACT 2601; or
  • Fax: 02 6293 7660.

All objections received by the deadline will be available for public inspection on Level 1, 50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra and on the AEC website from Monday 7 May 2017.

Comments on the objections will then be accepted until 6pm (AEST) Friday, May 18. All comments on objections received by the deadline will also be made available for public inspection from Monday, May 21.

Charles Bean

Charles Bean was Australia’s official correspondent to the Australian Imperial Force after winning an Australian Journalists Association ballot. Bean accompanied the first convoy to Egypt, landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, before reporting from the Western Front.

After leading a historical mission to Gallipoli in early 1919, Bean returned to Australia where he commenced work on the “Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918”, writing six volumes in addition to editing the full set of 12. Bean was a primary advocate to establish the Australian War Memorial, which he believed should “avoid glorification of war and boasting of victory”, and served as a member of the Committee (later Board of Management) of the Australian War Memorial for 40 years, and as its chairman from 1952 until 1959. In addition, Bean became Chairman of the Commonwealth Archives Committee and was instrumental in creating the Commonwealth Archives.

Charles Bean chose to reside and work on the “Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918” at the Tuggeranong Homestead.

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