Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent said a written proposal he put to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to change the electorate’s name continues to gather momentum.
“I wrote to the AEC on March 15 suggesting ‘Monash’ would be a more appropriate name for this electorate,” Mr Broadbent said.
“Since that time I have been contacted by many people who are also keen to see the name of the electorate changed. While Monash was my suggestion, the ultimate decision will remain the AEC and I continue to encourage people to gather their thoughts and write to the AEC after the election.”
The seat is currently named after explorer Angus McMillan, who opened up much of Gippsland, but was also responsible for the massacre of local Indigenous people.
Sir John Monash developed the use of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley and was head of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV).
“Angus McMillan has a history that is well-documented. His murder of our Indigenous people is well known and it’s time to recognise that his name is no longer an appropriate one for this electorate,” he said.
“I think it’s very important we address issues like this when we get the opportunity to do it.
“Over the last few years it has been raised with me on a number of occasions and I have done quite a bit of research and had a look at the situation and realised that the name should be changed.”
Mr Broadbent believes McMillan would probably have a redistribution after the next federal election because it had well over the required number of voters in it.
When that happens, he said, the seat should also be renamed.
“It would send a message of practical reconciliation, it would send a message that we actually care about these issues and if we are not responsible to our past, we don’t understand our past, and we can’t get on with our future,” Mr Broadbent said.
*Tomorrow, Mr Broadbent will make a significant roads funding announcement with Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester.