MP opposed to Mayo being axed in State seat shuffle

21 Jul 2020

Posted August 31, 2017

Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie said her electorate of Mayo should not be the seat cut from South Australia’s tally of 11 seats following the determination announced by the Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers today.

Due to population shifts, Mr Rogers found that a redistribution of federal electoral divisions would be required in Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

South Australian seats would decrease from 11 to 10 while Victoria and the ACT would each gain a seat to increase to 38 and three seats respectively.

"This is also a sad day for South Australia," Rebekha said.

“No matter which electorate is removed, it is a sign that our presence on the national stage is diminishing.

“I’m totally opposed to Mayo being absorbed into other electorates to accommodate the ruling of the AEC, and my community has made it extremely clear to me during the AEC’s deliberations that they are opposed to losing the seat, irrespective of which Party wins the next election.

“Mayo is a regional area and a very cohesive area with many communities of interest.

“According to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, Mayo is the happiest electorate in Australia, and I believe that much of this is because of our high rate of volunteering and connection to our community.

“Latest ABS volunteering data shows more than 29 per cent of people in Mayo volunteer in their community compared with the state average of just over 21 per cent and the national average of 19 per cent.

“The feedback I have received from many residents is they do not want their rural area just tacked onto a metropolitan electorate where their experiences and interests will be swallowed up by the urban majority.

“People in the northern Hills do not want their electorate headquarters in Elizabeth, residents in Mount Barker don’t want their MP based five hours’ drive away in Mount Gambier and people at Victor Harbor and even Kangaroo Island do not want their MP based in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

“About 30 per cent of South Australia’s population is regional so I believe, and the people of Mayo believe, that the number of regional seats in the State should reflect that.

“Also Mayo has two of the fastest-growing population areas in South Australia in Mount Barker and on the South Coast.

“I’m going to encourage my community to argue their case for keeping Mayo by putting in submissions to the AEC.

“Given the statistics and the valid concerns of the residents of Mayo, I would be extremely disappointed if either major Party, for political expediency, put in submissions that Mayo should go.”

The Electoral Commission is expected would meet tomorrow to direct the commencement of federal redistribution processes in Victoria, SA and the ACT.

Redistribution Committees will be appointed and the public will be invited to make suggestions and comments on matters affecting the drawing of federal electoral boundaries and the naming of electoral divisions.

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