Electoral district of Balcatta

Balcatta is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia.

Western AustraliaLegislative Assembly
Location of Balcatta (dark green) in the Perth metropolitan area
StateWestern Australia
Dates current1904–1911; 1962–1974;
1977–1996; 2005–present
MPDavid Michael
PartyLabor Party
Electors28,284 (2019)
Area21 km2 (8.1 sq mi)
DemographicNorth Metropolitan

The district is based in Perth's northern suburbs. A historically safe Labor seat, it was held by the Liberal Party for one term between 2013 and 2017.


Balcatta is located in Perth's northern suburbs. It is a north-to-south elongated electorate, squeezed in between the Mitchell Freeway to the west and Wanneroo Road to the east. The district includes the suburbs of Balcatta, Stirling, Tuart Hill and Joondanna as well as western and southern portions of Hamersley and all parts of Osborne Park east of the Mitchell Freeway.


Balcatta has had several incarnations as an electoral district. It has been held by the Labor Party on every occasion, other than a single term from 1905 to 1908.

The first incarnation of the seat, established by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1904, was spelt "Balkatta" in some sources and "Balcatta" in others. It extended all the way from modern-day Sorrento to Herdsman Lake, and was won by Labor's Frederick Gill at its first election in August 1904. However, the minority government of which he was part, referred to in the press as a "Mark-Time Ministry", collapsed a year later, and Gill and a number of other Labor members lost their seats in the 1905 election to Ministerial candidates. John Veryard held the seat for a single term, losing it to Gill in 1908. The seat was then abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1911, with most of it going to form the new seat of Leederville, which Gill subsequently won.

A new district of Balcatta was created ahead of the 1962 state election, and was won by Labor's Herb Graham, who for the previous 19 years had been the member for East Perth, which was abolished at the redistribution. Graham represented the district for over a decade, before retiring from politics on 30 May 1973 to accept a position on the Licensing Court. At the resulting by-election held on 28 July 1973, which was watched by many observers both as an indication of Premier Tonkin's two-year-old Labor government's fortunes with the electorate as well as the more practical matter of whether it would retain its one-seat majority in parliament, former television news reporter and Labor candidate Brian Burke won by just 30 votes on preferences, having trailed Liberal candidate Neil Beck on the primary vote. The seat was renamed Balga effective from the 1974 state election.

The name Balcatta was revived for the district just one term later at the 1977 state election, after a redistribution in 1976. Burke once again won the seat, and ultimately became the Labor Party leader and State Opposition Leader on 28 September 1981.

At the 1982 redistribution, which took effect from the 1983 state election, Balcatta was significantly altered. Having previously included the suburbs of Balcatta, Balga, Girrawheen, Nollamara, Westminster and parts of Osborne Park, it moved west of Wanneroo Road and southwards into Tuart Hill and Joondanna, while a new district of Balga was created to take in the other areas. Burke transferred into Balga, while the member for the abolished seat of Mount Hawthorn, Labor's Ron Bertram, transferred into Balcatta.

The district was again abolished ahead of the 1996 state election. Incumbent Labor MP Nick Catania unsuccessfully contested the new seat of Yokine.

Balcatta returned as an electorate name at the 2005 state election. The seat was won by Labor MP John Kobelke, who was previously the member for Nollamara.

Members for BalcattaEdit

Balcatta (1904–1911)
Member Party Term
  Frederick Gill Labor 1904–1905
  John Veryard Ministerial 1905–1908
  Frederick Gill Labor 1908–1911
Balcatta (1962–1974)
Member Party Term
  Herb Graham Labor 1962–1973
  Brian Burke Labor 1973–1974
Balcatta (1977–1996)
Member Party Term
  Brian Burke Labor 1977–1983
  Ron Bertram Labor 1983–1989
  Nick Catania Labor 1989–1996
Balcatta (2005–present)
Member Party Term
  John Kobelke Labor 2005–2013
  Chris Hatton Liberal 2013–2017
  David Michael Labor 2017–present

Election resultsEdit

2017 Western Australian state election: Balcatta[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor David Michael 10,265 44.2 +8.6
Liberal Chris Hatton 8,885 38.3 −13.3
Greens Nicole Harvey 2,508 10.8 +2.6
Christians Keith McEncroe 749 3.2 +1.6
Micro Business Mile Nasteski 544 2.3 +2.3
Liberal Democrats Richard Tait 252 1.1 +1.1
Total formal votes 23,203 94.2 +1.7
Informal votes 1,426 5.8 −1.7
Turnout 24,629 88.1 +0.3
Two-party-preferred result
Labor David Michael 12,950 55.8 +12.9
Liberal Chris Hatton 10,247 44.2 −12.9
Labor gain from Liberal Swing +12.9


  1. ^ Balcatta District Profile and Results, 2017 State General Election, WAEC.

External linksEdit