Rodney residents will have to wait until October to see if their appeals have been heard after addressing the Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission on Friday.By Jess Craig
Member for Rodney Paul Weller said the region would have to wait until October to see if the Victorian Boundaries Commission had listened to appeals to save the seat from abolition.
Mr Weller and several other groups and representatives from the electorate addressed the Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission in Bendigo on Friday.
‘‘I think it went all right
‘‘I was certainly happy to take the opportunity to speak at the hearing.’’
The Riv asked Mr Weller if he had considered his political future if Rodney was lost, after receiving information that he could be considering a tilt at one of the Bendigo electorates.
Mr Weller would not confirm the information, but said he would have to look at all options in the event his seat was abolished.
If the EBC’s proposal is approved, Rodney would be consumed by Swan Hill, an electorate held by National Party deputy leader and Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh.
If the EBC proposal went through, Mr Weller’s job would rely on the National Party pre-selecting him in front of Mr Walsh.
Mr Walsh would not comment on the possible fight to remain in parliament, but both men were against the proposed changes.
‘‘I believe the proposed electoral boundary changes are not in the best interests of regional Victorians,’’ Mr Walsh said in July.
‘‘I’m extremely disappointed by the changes.’’
Seymour and Benalla would take the southern and western reaches of Mr Weller’s seat.
Mr Weller believed abolishing Rodney and shifting the boundaries to the west towards Swan Hill did not make any sense in terms of agriculture, public transport or industry and said ‘‘commonality’’ lay to the south.
‘‘The idea to expand Rodney to the south, to include Huntly, formed part of the Nationals’ submission to the commission in November,’’ he said.
‘‘The EBC believes that Huntly has a different community of interest because it is on the urban fringe of Bendigo.
‘‘The EBC’s argument shows a lack of understanding of the makeup of the towns and cities within our rural and regional electorates and proves that unless you are living and working here, you don’t know what’s best for the constituents.’’
The EBC is expected to release final boundaries on October 17.
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