Division of Cook
Australian House of Representatives Division
|Area||94 km2 (36.3 sq mi)|
Cook was created in 1969, mostly out of the Liberal-leaning areas of neighbouring Hughes. It was thus a natural choice for that seat's one-term Liberal member, Don Dobie, to transfer after his majority in Hughes was redistributed away. The division was named in honour of James Cook, who mapped the east coast of Australia in 1770. In 2006, the Australian Electoral Commission's Redistribution Committee for New South Wales proposed that the division be jointly named for Joseph Cook, who was Australia's Prime Minister in 1913-14. However as of 2020 no such action has been taken, and therefore Joseph Cook remains the only (eligible) Prime Minister who does not have a federal electorate named after him.
For most of the first quarter-century of its existence, it was a marginal Liberal seat; it has been in Liberal hands for all but one term. The Liberal margin blew out in their massive 1996 victory, and since then it has been a "blue ribbon" safe seat for the Liberal Party. Successive redistributions have pushed it further into the wealthier portions of Sutherland Shire, helping the Liberals consolidate their hold on the seat.
The most prominent members were Dobie, who held the seat from its 1969 creation until his retirement in 1996 (with a brief break from 1972 to 1975) Bruce Baird, a former Deputy leader of the Liberal Party of New South Wales before his move into Federal politics with his election in Cook and the current member, Scott Morrison MP, the current Prime Minister of Australia.
In 2007, following news of Baird's impending retirement, the seat attracted significant media attention due to the controversial preselection of Liberal candidate Michael Towke. Allegations surfaced that Towke had engaged in branch-stacking and had embellished his resume; although these allegations were subsequently proven false. In August 2007, Towke was disendorsed as the Liberal candidate and was replaced with Scott Morrison, a former director of the New South Wales Liberal Party. Morrison won the seat at the election and is the current sitting member.
The division is located in the southern suburbs of Sydney, including Beverley Park, Burraneer, Caringbah, Caringbah South, Carss Park, Cronulla, Dolans Bay, Dolls Point, Greenhills Beach, Gymea Bay, Kangaroo Point, Kogarah Bay, Kurnell, Kyle Bay, Lilli Pilli, Miranda, Monterey, Port Hacking, Ramsgate, Ramsgate Beach, Sandringham, Sans Souci, Sylvania Waters, Taren Point, Woolooware, and Yowie Bay; as well as parts of Blakehurst, Connells Point, Gymea, Kogarah, and Sylvania.
|Liberal||25 October 1969 –
2 December 1972
|Labor||2 December 1972 –
13 December 1975
|Liberal||13 December 1975 –
29 January 1996
|Liberal||2 March 1996 –
31 August 1998
|Previously a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. Lost preselection and retired|
|Liberal||3 October 1998 –
17 October 2007
|Previously held the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Northcott. Retired|
|Liberal||24 November 2007 –
|Served as minister under Abbott and Turnbull. Incumbent. Currently the Prime Minister of Australia|
|One Nation||Gaye Cameron||3,277||3.49||+3.49|
|United Australia||John McSweyn||1,135||1.21||+1.21|
|Christian Democrats||Roger Bolling||1,041||1.11||−3.74|
|Conservative National||Peter Kelly||551||0.59||+0.59|
|Total formal votes||94,023||93.87||−0.96|
- "The 2006 Proposed Redistribution of New South Wales into 49 Electoral Divisions : Report of the Redistribution Committee" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 2006. p. 36.
- "Liberal Party disendorses Michael Towke" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 August 2007.
- Sheehan, Paul (26 October 2009). "Nasty saga you nearly missed". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Cook, NSW, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.