Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy says he has accepted the umpire’s decision in changing his electorate to include Wangaratta and the Alpine region and exclude Rutherglen and Numurkah.By Racheal Willett
Mr McCurdy welcomed the new communities that would form the Ovens Valley electorate but said he was saddened by the loss of the local communities he currently represents including Numurkah, Strathmerton, Katunga and Rutherglen.
“I am working closely with the Numurkah community on flood recovery so it will be sad to not have that community anymore but I will continue to strongly represent them and the other towns in state Parliament right up until the 2014 state election,” he said.
“The umpires have made their decision and now I will work with it and continue to represent my constituents.”
Mr McCurdy said the electorate would change from 5000sqkm currently in Murray Valley to 9600sqkm in Ovens Valley.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission released the finalised state electoral boundaries last week after a period of public consultation.
The new boundaries are part of a redivision of electoral boundaries for both houses of state parliament to ensure each vote in Victorian state elections has an equal value.
The new Ovens Valley seat will have a total of 44,024 electors, combining 31,024 from the existing Murray Valley with 242 from Benambra and 9077 from the Benalla electorate which is set to be abolished.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission reported, “there are strong transport , service and community links between Wangaratta and the Ovens and King Valleys. The current boundary cuts off Wangaratta from much of its hinterland ad the Ovens Valley is part of the Benalla district though it is somewhat separated from the rest of that district.
“Inclusion of all Alpine and Wangaratta municipalities in the proposed district united Wangaratta with its hinterland.”
With regard to Rutherglen the commission noted the Benambra district needed to gain voters and “most submissions including those by the Liberals, Nationals and Greens suggested including Rutherglen in Benambra. There was some local opposition but it improved community of interest to incorporate the whole of Indigo Shire in one district”.
The changes come into effect at the 2014 state election.
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