Named after Sir Edmund Barton, Australia’s first Prime Minister, the seat of Barton covers much of the St George area which lies in the southern suburbs of Sydney. Its boundaries include the Georges River, the Cooks River and the shores of Botany Bay.
According to the 2006 census, there were around 136,000 people living in Barton with many tracing their heritage back to different parts of the world. Over 11% spoke either Mandarin or Chinese with a further 8% speaking Greek and 7% Arabic. While the average income of people in the electorate is similar to the national average, housing loan repayments are 50% higher placing the electorate in the top 5 in the country for mortgage stress.
As part of the St George area, Barton is home to one of Australia’s most successful and well-known sporting teams, the St George-Illawarra Dragons. Barton is also the birthplace of the St George Bank, one of Australia’s largest banks.
Historically, Barton is a significant electorate, having been the seat of Dr H.V. Evatt, a Federal Labor leader, High Court Judge, key figure in the establishment of the United Nations, and President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Barton also holds a dark place in Australian political history. It was the site of perhaps the first political murder in Australia. Thomas Ley, a Sydney lawyer, won the seat of Barton in a disputed contest from Frederick McDonald, the Labor candidate. McDonald challenged the result, claiming Ley tried to bribe him, but mysteriously disappeared on his way to see the Premier Jack Lang. Subsequently, Ley left for England where he was convicted of another murder. He was committed to Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum, where he died in 1947.
Members for Barton:
- McClelland, R (ALP) 1996-
- Punch, G F (ALP) 1983-1996
- Bradfield, J M (LP) 1975-1983
- Reynolds, L J (ALP) 1969-1975
- Arthur, W T (LP) 1966-1969
- Reynolds, L J (ALP) 1958-1966
- Evatt, H V (ALP) 1940-1958
- Lane, A (UAP) 1931-1940
- Tully, J T (ALP) 1928-1931
- Ley, T J (NAT) 1925-1928
- McDonald, F A (ALP) 1922-1925
The 2009 redistribution of electoral boundaries by the Australian Electoral Commission means that the boundaries of Barton have changed. Suburbs now contained within the electorate of Barton include:
Arncliffe, Banksia, Bardwell Valley, Beverly Hills, Beverly Park, Bexley, Brighton-Le-Sands, Carlton, Carss Park, Dolls Point, Earlwood, Kingsgrove, Kogarah, Kogarah Bay, Kyeemagh, Monterey, Ramsgate, Ramsgate Beach, Rockdale, Sandringham, Sans Souci, Turrella, Undercliffe, Wolli Creek.
Download a map of Barton here