Regional political representation is at risk after a proposal to scrap either the NSW Murray-Darling or Murrumbidgee electorates, Conargo Shire Mayor Norm Brennan has said.November 8, 2012 4:14am
The proposal to remove one of the two was tabled in NSW Parliament late last month, as recommended by the NSW Electoral Commission.
The perceived population drift away from the region to metropolitan areas has been listed as the deciding factor.
If adopted, the boundary redistribution would see the size of the local electorate increase significantly.
It would also have a noticeable impact on the level of local political representation, according to Cr Brennan.
‘‘I think (Member for Murray-Darling) John Williams is struggling now to get around the electorate, so making it bigger won’t have any positive impact,’’ he said.
‘‘We are very lucky John has an office (in Deniliquin), but I’m quite sure we wouldn’t get one if our region is covered by a city rep.
‘‘It’s a sad state of affairs and it is typical of government.’’
Mr Williams himself has also labelled the boundary redistribution proposal for the local area as ‘‘ridiculous’’.
He said it would see the electorate for this region expanded by at least 10 per cent.
Mr Williams also raised concerns it would impact on the level of representation and political attention received in regional NSW.
‘‘We are currently looking at projected population figures for the Murray-Darling, and there is a potential we will lose either the Murray-Darling or the Murrumbidgee electorate,’’ he said.
‘‘They will be merged into one, and so instead of the electorate covering 30 per cent of the state, it will cover more than 40 per cent.
‘‘What that will end up doing is we won’t see hardly any representation west of the Blue Mountains.’’
Mr Williams said the proposal has come from the NSW Electoral Commission, and so far seems to be supported by the government.
But he said he does not support the proposal to ‘‘chop up’’ more country electorates.
‘‘There always has to be 93 electorates, so what they do is knock one out of the country and add one in the city,’’ he said.
‘‘They look at this boundary change every second election, and there’s a whole heap being considered.
‘‘But what it means is that we’re getting into a situation where it only affects three politicians in the southern region — that’s not a lot of people to fight the change.’’
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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