News

Boundary changes slammed

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

Any suggestion the Federation Council area should be part of a redistribution of NSW State electoral districts has been slammed by council, especially by Cr Paul Miegel.

Cr Miegel was commenting on a recommendation from General Manager Adrian Butler that council strongly request its entire area remain in the Albury Electorate.

Mr Butler said Federation Council has been more closely aligned with Albury than Wagga. 

“In the former Urana Shire, there was a fair amount of State Government services and connections to Wagga, but as an example, council is now in RAMJO and not REROC (Wagga), and the Rural Fire Service, Regional Development Murray and many other areas, are more aligned to Albury than Wagga or even Griffith (Murray electorate),” he told councillors at their on-line monthly meeting on June 23.

The electoral districts in New South Wales are being reviewed, and the boundaries redrawn if necessary, to ensure equal numbers of voters in each district. The process is required by legislation to take place after every second New South Wales State general election.

Cr Miegel expressed surprise at any thought about changing Federation Council boundaries after “just becoming a new council” (2016).

“It is always better to be able to deal with one set of Federal and State members,” he said. “Why deal with multi members beggars belief.”

Mr Butler considered it imperative that Federation Council make a submission and lobby the NSW Government, including through local member Justin Clancy MP, that the entire Federation Council area remain in the Albury electorate. Councillors agreed, on the motion of Crs Gail Law and Norm Wales. 

The last New South Wales redistribution was finalised in 2013, with the resulting boundaries in place for the 2015 and 2019 State elections. 

The redistribution process is being administered by an independent three-member Electoral Districts Redistribution Panel made up of the Chairperson, the Honourable Justice Arthur Emmett AO QC; the Electoral Commissioner for NSW, Mr John Schmidt; and the Surveyor-General of NSW, Mrs Narelle Underwood.

“Redistribution is integral to the democratic system in New South Wales and ensures the principle of one vote, one value,” Justice Emmett said. A redistribution is a collaborative process involving input from the public, community groups, political participants and other stakeholders. 

The Electoral Districts Redistribution Panel invites written suggestions and comments on these suggestions relating to the distribution of New South Wales into electoral districts. You can participate, visit elections.nsw.gov.au/redistribution.