Member for Rodney Paul Weller has invited the Electoral Boundaries Commission to visit the region as part of its review process.By Trent Horneman
Member for Rodney Paul Weller is rolling out the red carpet for the Electoral Boundaries Commission.
The commission has proposed to abolish Rodney at the next election as part of a review into Victorian electoral seats.
Mr Weller has fronted a hearing asking for the seat to be saved and now is inviting the commission to see Rodney for themselves.
In a letter to the EBC, and during a panel interview in early August, Mr Weller urged them to consider the impact the loss of a rural and regional Victorian seat would have on the local area.
Mr Weller said he would show the commission the volume of traffic through his Echuca office, as well as planned growth in agriculture and food production in the Rodney electorate.
‘‘Country Victorians regularly deal with a range of issues that are simply not a consideration for those living in metropolitan Melbourne,’’ Mr Weller said.
‘‘Issues such as water security, indigenous issues, native vegetation, agriculture, bushfires and access to government services are of critical importance to those living in rural and regional Victoria and it is imperative that they receive due attention in the Victorian Parliament.
Mr Weller said he is hoping the commissioners will reconsider their current proposal to abolish a rural and regional electorate if they were to spend a day in the Rodney electorate.
‘‘There are so many issues dealt with through the Rodney electorate office on a daily base and any change to electoral boundaries resulting in its loss would do a great disservice to all local communities, from Echuca to Heathcote, to Kyabram and Rushworth and across to Cohuna and Nathalia,’’ Mr Weller said.
‘‘This is not about my job, this is about the future representation of rural and regional Victorians,’’ he said.
Mr Weller hopes the EBC will heed the many submissions made by members of the local community who understand what’s at stake.
‘‘A situation where someone from Echuca or Kyabram would have to travel to Swan Hill to meet their elected representative is simply unacceptable,’’ Mr Weller said.
‘‘It is also especially unfair when you consider that those in metropolitan Melbourne would only have to travel a couple of blocks or at most, a couple of suburbs to achieve the same outcome.’’
An EBC spokesperson said they would wait to receive Mr Weller’s invitation and then make a decision.
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