Among the proposed boundaries redistribution, the current Murray-Darling electorate will take in part of the Murrumbidgee district (which will be abolished) to become the Murray electorate. In addition to Wakool Shire Council, the electorate will consist of the Local Government Areas of Wentworth, Murray, Hay, Deniliquin, Conargo, Berrigan, Balranald, Griffith, Leeton, Murrumbidgee and Carrathool.
Cr Douglas said he was concerned the proposed distribution would mean less representation for communities in the southern areas of NSW.
“We constantly have to remind bureaucratic outfits like the NSW Electoral Commission that recognising communities of interest is vitally important.
“The electorate is huge as it stands. It takes a local member with a plane to service it and the member for Murray-Darling John Williams does an admirable job of providing representation to communities. I don’t think the Electoral Commissioners have turned their minds at all to the southern areas and their Victorian focussed location,” he said.
“Under the proposed redistribution, the bigger city will become Griffith, which means the Griffith colossus will almost always have the votes to elect the member. It also stands to reason that the current NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli could become our local member.”
Cr Douglas added that other options put forward regarding proposed boundaries would have provided better representation for communities.
“For instance, one idea suggested was a stand-alone case to create a rural zone for electorates with low populations and huge areas. This could have meant fairer representation for those living in these massive electorates.”
Cr Douglas encouraged community members to have their say about the proposed redistribution.
“How our communities react to these unsatisfactory, ill-considered proposed changes will define the future of the Murray-Darling electorate. As it stands, this proposal would see it named 'Murray' but for all intents and purposes it will be Murrumbidgee,” he said.
Suggestions and objections to the proposed NSW electoral boundaries will be accepted until midnight on Wednesday, 17 July 2013. Any member of the public can submit a suggestion or objection.
For more information regarding the proposed NSW electoral boundaries, visit www.redistribution.nsw.gov.au.