- Held by: Graham Watt – Liberal Party
- Since: 2010
- Swing at 2010 election: 9.6 per cent to Liberal
- Redistribution details: Extended to parts of Surrey Hills and reduced in parts of Camberwell.
- Size of electorate: 24.7 sq. km
KEY COMMENTS: A medium to high-density suburban area with a significant immigrant population. The major issues are transport, traffic and urban planning and sustainability in the area.
Recent arrivals make dormitory electorate hard to grasp
Walk down Canterbury Road in Box Hill South and you’ll be wreathed in the smell of hot oil and garlic. There are Chinese restaurants everywhere, and on weekends most are packed with families. Wait staff rush back and forth from the kitchen, shouting in Mandarin. If you can push your way to a table, the food will be served to you hot and fast.
Trixie Hu works as a waitress at one of these restaurants – the Shanghai Garden Dumpling. She moved to Australia last year to study at Monash University.
‘I quite like it,’ she tells me, ‘but I sometimes feel that I’m not that involved in the whole community – maybe because I’m international.’
She is summing up the theme for many people in the electorate of Burwood, in which statistics from local governments covering the area show an astonishing quarter of residents arrived within the last eight years.
Mr Graham Watt grew up in public housing. He was one of eleven children and, so far as he was concerned, the only one who was interested in working. His father became an invalid pensioner when Mr Watt was 10 years old.
By Michelle See-Tho. Liberal politicians representing the people of Burwood seem to have got themselves into a tangle with their election promises concerning the Waverley Hockey Club.read more
By Michelle See-Tho. ‘More democracy’ is one of the reasons Burwood’s Chinese born residents give for moving to Australia, but very few of them seem to be aware of the forthcoming state election, let alone how they will vote.read more