There is conjecture about whether the electorate of Paterson is named after Australian author and poet Andrew 'Banjo' Paterson (1864–1941), or after Colonel William Paterson (1755–1810), after whom the Paterson town and the Paterson river that were formerly within the electorate were named.
The seat was first proclaimed in 1947-1949. It was abolished in 1984 and then re-established at the 1992 redistribution.
After a redistribution in 2016, Paterson extends from Neath, Kurri Kurri and Williamtown in the south, along the Hunter River and Port Stephens in the north and along the Hunter Expressway to the west. The main towns include Kurri Kurri, Maitland, Medowie, Neath, Nelson Bay, Raymond Terrace and Williamtown.
Meryl Swanson has been the Member for Paterson since July 2016.
Former members include:
- Baldwin, B (LP) 2001–2016
- Horne, R H (ALP) 1998–2001
- Baldwin, R C (LP) 1996–1998
- Horne, R H (ALP) 1993–1996
- O'Keefe, F L (CP/NCP/NP) 1969–1984
- Fairhall, A (LP) 1949–1969
Paterson now covers 1,123 square kilometres.
Products and industries include beef and dairy cattle, mixed farming, maize, fishing and oyster farming, general engineering, transport, construction, tourism and recreational industries.
For more information, visit the Australian Electoral Commission website.