Community opposes suggestion of Mayo redistribution

Community opposes suggestion of Mayo redistribution

People in Mayo are already “up in arms” about just the suggestion that their federal seat could be scrapped under any electoral redistribution in South Australia, their local Member Rebekha Sharkie said today.

“I’m already receiving emails and calls from constituents angry and worried about losing their voice, particularly the distinct regional voice of the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island,” Ms Sharkie said.

“It beggars belief to divide our vast area, more than 9300 square kilometres, across bordering seats when you’ve got Makin just over 100 kilometres square, Sturt or even Adelaide that have multiple boundaries and could easily be absorbed by neighbouring metropolitan seats.

“Many residents in my region are angry about losing wards in their local councils because they are worried about losing local representation, so the prospect of having their interests looked after by politicians whose main voter base is metropolitan or near the border of the State at Mount Gambier makes them very concerned.”

The prospect of electoral redistribution in South Australia has been prompted by the State’s falling population.

SA is almost certain to lose one of its 11 seats.

On the Insiders ABC program on Sunday it was revealed both Labor and the Liberal Party are considering axing Mayo and redistributing voters to other neighbouring electorates.

However, Senator Nick Xenophon said any move on Mayo by the two major parties smacked of “collusion”.

“It’s effectively a declaration of war on regional South Australians and on Rebekha Sharkie and the team,” he said.

“It would be both illogical and spiteful if that’s what the major parties were doing.”

Submissions can be made to the Australian Electoral Commission before it makes a decision.

If the Mayo redistribution was put up as an option, Ms Sharkie said the Nick Xenophon Team would have a good case to argue for retention because of the electorate’s communities of interest, its regional and rural representation and its fast-growing population.

“I know I would be joined by many, many of my constituents in putting in submissions arguing along the same lines,” she said.

“Regional South Australia, which makes up about 30 per cent of the State’s population, already has a limited voice in this Parliament.”